Monday, January 3, 2022

"You're Not My Kind of Girl" by New Edition

Song#:  3715
Date:  11/12/1988
Debut:  100
Peak:  95
Weeks:  4
Genre:  R&B, New Jack Swing

Pop Bits:  The vocal group's '88 album Heart Break was their first to featured new member Johnny Gill and their first working with the production/songwriting team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. It started off well with the first single, the new jack swing tune "If It Isn't Love," reaching #2 R&B and #7 Pop. The hit helped send the album to #3 R&B/#12 Pop and becoming a platinum seller. Next up for release from the LP was this second single. It would do well at R&B getting to #3, but at Pop it couldn't find an audience and fell off the chart after a short month at the bottom.

ReduxReview:  This song does even more than "If It Isn't Love" in moving the group in a more mature direction. Jam & Lewis came up with a song and a production job that provided a more sophisticated base for the vocalists. It nearly comes together with the background vocals being the best part. However, some of the sophistication is lessened by the still young sounding and less nuanced lead vocals. Then the spoken word part comes in and nearly ruins the whole song. For me it just wasn't necessary and it cheapened the whole thing. The tune was also less hooky/memorable than "If It Isn't Love" and that did it no favors at Pop. It was a half-step in the right direction that perhaps could have been better.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  While Johnny Gill would supply co-lead vocals for a few tracks on the album, the one song he fully headed up was one he didn't like. Gill was not a fan of the LP's final track "Boys to Men." At the time  the group was wanting to move in a more mature direction and Gill thought "Boys to Men" was a step back towards the group's earlier teen sound. Despite his objections, the song got recorded and became the last track on the LP. While Gill may not have been a fan of the tune, a group of young guys from Philly loved it enough to name themselves after the song. Boyz II Men first started to form in '85 under the name Unique Attraction. By '88, they had a steady line-up as a quintet and had updated their name to Boyz II Men after the New Edition song. In 1990, a friend of theirs happened to be doing body guard work for rapper Will Smith, who was going to be attending a local concert where the New Edition offshoot group Bell Biv DeVoe was to perform. The guy told the group to show up and he would put them in front of Will Smith and they could quickly perform for him. When they got to the venue, their contact wasn't there. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, they somehow sneaked backstage and ran into Bell Biv DeVoe. They seized upon the moment and sang for the trio. Michael Bivins was so impressed that he decided to manage the group. Pared to a quartet, Bivins got them signed to Motown and in 1991 their debut album Coolyhighharmony appeared. It would end up selling over 9 million copies. They would go on to be one of the biggest selling R&B acts of the 90s.


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