Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Cool It Now" by New Edition

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2056
Date:  09/22/1984
Debut:  84
Peak:  4
Weeks:  25
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This teenage vocal group, developed by producer Maurice Starr, did well with their self-titled debut album. It resulted in good sales and a #1 R&B hit with "Candy Girl." Another Top 10 hit would follow, but the group had a difficult time crossing over to the Pop chart with "Candy Girl" unable to make the Top 40 (#46). The young group toured and gained fans, but when it was all done, the kids went home with virtually zero money in profit. Feeling they were getting the short end of the straw, the kids sued to get out of their contract with Starr. They won and immediately got picked up by MCA. The label went into action and set the group up with several producers including Michael Sembello ("Maniac") and Ray Parker, Jr. With a more clean-cut image, the guys recorded a new self-titled album. This first single was issued and it became their second to top the R&B chart. The song was pushed heavily to Pop and it paid off when the single reached #4. That crossover action helped to earn the group a gold record. The album would reach #1 R&B/#6 Pop and would eventually hit the double platinum mark.

ReduxReview:  Back in the day I just considered these guys a weak imitation of the Jackson 5 and I didn't pay much attention to them. I wasn't a fan of this tune and the tinny 80s production and little raps didn't help. It was a fine track for younger kids, but as an adult I wouldn't be caught blasting this tune in the car with the windows down. I'm still not fully on board with the song - I'd rather just listen to the Jackson 5. However, I hear it with different ears now and as a piece of extra sweet, saccharine-laced candy, it's not all that bad.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was written and produced by Vincent Brantley and Rick Timas. The pair had written it specifically for New Edition, but had zero luck in trying to get it to the group. Feeling that it just wasn't going to happen, they recorded the song with another group whose members were older than those of New Edition, but it just didn't sound right. It was meant for the young teens of New Edition. They caught a break one day when they spotted one of MCA's VPs at a restaurant. Armed with a cassette player and the tune, they boldly got the guy's attention and played/sang him the song. The exec liked what he heard and set up a meeting in the studio with New Edition's manager. It was decided that the group would record the song and that Brantley and Timas could produce it. The pair would also produce two other tracks for the album.


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