Monday, January 10, 2022

"You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids on the Block

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3722
Date:  11/19/1988
Debut:  97
Peak:  3
Weeks:  26
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  This boy band nearly went extinct when "Please Don't Go Girl," the first single from their second album Hangin' Tough, initially got nowhere. They were on the verge of losing their recording contract, but luckily a Florida radio station began to spin the tune and it started to gain attention. Eventually it would make the Pop Top 10 at #10. With a temporary reprieve, the group went out on the road opening up for Tiffany and then this second single was issued out. This time around, MTV started to play the song's associated video and it helped to bring more fans on board. Like their previous hit, it slowly caught on and weaved its way all the way up the Pop chart to #3. It also got to #20 Dance and #28 R&B. It would sell well enough to go gold. The hit kicked off albums sales and around the time this single peaked, the LP would be in the Top 20 and already gold. NKOTB mania had begun.

ReduxReview:  I think two things helped to make this tune a hit. First was the "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" part of the chorus, which was annoyingly catchy and difficult to ignore. Second was the associated video. Shot in black and white, it featured the guys doing a choreographed routine that fans started to imitate and others mocked. Still, both added up to a formula for success and the song took off. I wasn't into it at the time and had difficulty taking these tossed together groups seriously, but they did have their place and the music wasn't all that bad. Maurice Starr did a solid job in writing/producing tracks that were appropriate for the group, their attitude/style, and their age. This hooky pop track with an undercurrent of R&B was a good vehicle for the boy band and it was really the one that truly sparked their career. The song was pure pop marshmallow fluff, but it was well done and memorable.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  NKOTB was formed by songwriter/producer Maurice Starr. Starr had initially discovered New Edition and would write/co-produce their 1983 debut album Candy Girl. Starr worked on the LP in conjunction with producer Arthur Baker along with a few side musicians. After issues arose with New Edition that led to them parting ways with Starr, he then turned right around and developed NKOTB. For their 1986 self-titled debut album, Starr would mainly write, produce, and play the instruments, but there were some collaborators as well. However, for Hangin' Tough, Starr decided to just take it all on himself. Star would fully write eight song for the album, co-write two, produce them all, and perform all the instruments. The only area of the recording he had help with was the engineering and mixing. Other than that, Starr did it all himself. That formula would be in place again for the group's Christmas album along with their third studio LP 1990's Step By Step. But then like New Edition, NKOTB decided to separate themselves from Starr in order to go in a new direction for 1994's Face the Music. It didn't quite work out and it brought an end to their hit making days.


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