Friday, May 13, 2016

"Is This the End" by New Edition

Song#:  1648
Date:  10/15/1983
Debut:  90
Peak:  85
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This vocal group of teenagers had a hit right out of the gate with their debut single "Candy Girl." The bubble gummy tune would go to #1 at R&B while topping out at #17 on the Dance chart. Surprisingly, the Jackson 5-ish tune didn't impress Pop listeners and it peaked outside of the Top 40 at #45. For their second single, this ballad was issued. R&B listeners dug the tune and sent it to #7, but once again Pop wasn't that thrilled with the group and the song spend a month near the bottom of the chart.

ReduxReview:  I think this was producer/co-writer Maurice Starr's attempt to rewrite the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" (#1 Pop and R&B, 1970). It's not a bad imitation, but it is nowhere near the quality of the original. The youngsters do a good job with the tune, but Ralph Tresvant's high-pitched, unrefined voice gets a bit grating near the end. They would all mature into great singers, but at this time they were still kids learning their voices and were just not as polished as the brothers they were basically imitating - the Jackson 5.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Producer and co-songwriter of this song, Maurice Starr (real name Larry Johnson), attempted a solo career in 1980 with his debut album Flaming Starr. The album went nowhere and its follow-up Spacey Lady met the same fate. With the solo career not taking flight, Starr began looking around for group that he could develop and produce using his own songs. His chance came along when he heard these teenagers perform at a talent show. Starr and his brother Michael Jonzun (real name Michael Johnson) co-wrote the majority of the songs on New Edition's debut album. The two brothers would recruit one other brother to help form the band the Jonzun Crew. They had some limited success over the course of three albums. Their best single effort was when "Space Cowboy" reached #12 on the R&B chart in 1983.


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