Saturday, July 27, 2019

"Earth Angel" by New Edition

Song#:  2842
Date:  08/23/1986
Debut:  71
Peak:  21
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B, Doo Wop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  This teenage vocal group were doing quite well scoring eight R&B Top 10's including three #1's. This led to two of their albums selling in the platinum territory. But it all wasn't sunshine and roses for the group. In addition to label/management issues, member Bobby Brown was ejected from the group at the end of 1985. Now functioning as a quartet, their first assignment was this cover tune that they recorded for the soundtrack to The Karate Kid, Part II. It would be issued out as a single and once again the group found themselves in the R&B Top 10 (#3). The tune would cross over to the Pop chart where it became their fifth Top 40 entry. The success of the single prompted the group to do a full covers album of doo wop classics. Under the Blue Moon would be released later in November and although it wouldn't be as big of a hit as their previous two albums, it did well enough to go gold.

ReduxReview:  This was a good choice for the vocal group. Having a new school R&B group of teens doing an old school doo wop tune was a fun idea and if it worked it would introduce a young audience to a classic song. It did work out and it led to a full album of remakes that did pretty well. While the song choice was solid, I wasn't a fan of the production. It was a near cheezy/karaoke background that didn't do anything for the tune or even for the vocalists.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by The Penguins in 1954. Theirs would be the first version to reach the Pop chart where it got to #8. The Crew-Cuts would follow it up closely early in 1955 and their version would reach #3. Three other artists would hit the Pop chart with the song: Gloria Mann in 1955 (#18), Johnny Tillotson in 1960 (#57), and the Vogues in 1969 (#42). New Edition would be the sixth artist to get the song on the chart (and to this posting date, the last to do so). The classic tune was instrumental in shaping early rock and roll music and is considered one of the best doo-wop songs of all time. It's even played a role in pop culture as being the song that the dance band was playing in the hit film Back to the Future (where Michael J. Fox is sitting in on guitar in a pivotal scene).



  1. Um, excuse me but your review doesn’t match the 0/10 star rating. Just wanted to point out that typo to you.