Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Mr. Telephone Man" by New Edition

Song#:  2169
Date:  12/22/1984
Debut:  79
Peak:  12
Weeks:  16
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This teenage vocal group scored their first major Pop hit (#4) with "Cool It Now," the lead single from their self-titled second album. It would also be their second #1 at R&B. To follow it up, this track from the album was issued as a single. It replicated the results of they previous song by hitting #1 at R&B. It also did well at Pop, but just missed out on the Top 10. The hits would sent the album to #1 at R&B and #6 Pop. Eventually it would be a double-platinum seller

ReduxReview:  This was a big improvement for me over their previous singles. The material is more mature, yet it retains a bit of teenage innocence, which is what they needed. Parker wrote a really nice tune (see below) and it suited the young group quite well. I think it remains one of their best singles. They should have done a lot more with Parker.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was written and produced by Ray Parker, Jr. However, New Edition was not the first artist to record the song. It was originally recorded by Jamaican artist Junior Tucker (aka Jr Tucker). Tucker first had some success in Jamaica at the age of seven when he scored a #1 hit. He had some further success there, but soon the pull of a wider audience drew him to the US where he signed with Geffen Records. His first album for them, Jr Tucker, was produced by Ray Parker, Jr. Parker also wrote three songs for Tucker including "Mr. Telephone Man" and the single "Bad Girls," which got to #61 at R&B. The album faded quickly as did Tucker's career with Geffen. Parker then took "Telephone" over to New Edition and they made it a hit. Tucker continued to occasionally record over the years and later turned to Christian reggae music.


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