Thursday, February 3, 2022

"Dial My Heart" by The Boys

Song#:  3745
Date:  12/10/1988
Debut:  78
Peak:  13
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B, New Jack Swing

Pop Bits:  This boy band consisted of the four Abdulsamad brothers (Khiry, Hakeem, Tajh, and Bilal). Hailing fro Carson, California, sometime around '84 the brothers (ages 5 to 10) formed their own vocal group and basically turned to street performing in Venice Beach in order to get money for a Father's Day present. They earned their goal in one day, but then with their father's help turned the performing into a regular weekend gig. In '86, the brothers decided that they wanted to give the music business a shot. They branched out to talent shows and then started to get hired for private events. As word spread about the brothers, their father sent out a homemade demo tape to a some labels. It attracted a few of them and in the end the brothers chose MCA. However, when the head of R&B at MCA moved over to Motown, he took The Boys with him. With everything in place, The Boys began to record their debut album Messages from the Boys. They were working with several writers and producers, but then a connection got them hooked up with hitmakers L.A. Reid and Babyface. The pair would co-write and produce three tracks with The Boys including this first single. The song would first take hold at R&B and it would eventually become a #1 hit. It would also get on the Dance chart at #18 while nearly making the Pop Top 10. A second single, "Lucky Charm," would become their second single to top the R&B chart, but unfortunately it didn't reach the Pop chart. Still, the double R&B #1's sent the album to #3 R&B and #33 Pop. It would eventually go platinum.

ReduxReview:  These youngsters were kind of tapped to be a Jackson 5 or New Edition. I think they had talent, but not enough to reach the heights of those stars. You could hear some potential on their first LP, but only when they worked with Reid and Babyface. The rest of the album was not nearly as good and a couple of tracks were practically unlistenable. They were still just so green and they needed some pros to really hone their talent. Reid and Babyface were able to do that and gave them some tracks that were age appropriate and catchy. Their production also suited the kids and the end results were not too bad. This single was fun and had a hooky chorus. It was a solid piece of bubblegum R&B and served as a good introduction. The jury was out on if they would last, but then The Boys basically took themselves out of the game after their third LP (see below).

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In 1990, The Boys would release a self-titled second album. This time around, the brothers took on more control and wrote nearly every song on the LP. It would be produced by Daryl Simmons and Kayo (of the Reid/Babyface stable). Its first single, "Crazy," would become their third R&B #1. It would also get to #29 Pop. A second R&B Top 10 would follow as would a track they recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire for their album Heritage. Their second album would be a gold seller. Their fortunes waned with their 1992 third album The Saga Continues..., which they mainly wrote and produced themselves. The title track would reach #15 at R&B and that would do it for the brothers. All of a sudden, they were gone. While many folks assume they just got dumped by Motown, it seems that was not the case. During their journey the brothers began to discover more about their heritage and the more they knew and learned, the less attractive the whole Hollywood/music biz thing looked. So after their third album, they decided to pack up and leave. They would moved to Gambia in West Africa to learn more and would eventually pick back up on their music. Two of the brothers moved back to the States, but Hakeem and Bilal stayed and became Suns of Light. They opened their own recording studio where they worked on their own music along with other local artists.


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