Saturday, April 9, 2022

"I Wanna Be the One" by Stevie B

Song#:  3802
Date:  02/18/1989
Debut:  96
Peak:  32
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Freestyle


Pop Bits:  This freestyle artist from Florida was able to grab some attention with his 1988 debut album Party Your Body. It reached #78 thanks in part to the #5 Dance/#43 Pop hit "Spring Love (Come Back to Me)." Thanks to Stevie B's growing popularity over the course of his next two albums, Party Your Body would end up being certified gold over two years after it was first released. But before that, Stevie B had to issue out a follow up and his second LP In My Eyes would be ready early in '89. This first single was issued out and it would become his first to crack the Pop Top 40 while making it to #21 Dance. While it wasn't a huge breakthrough, it helped to maintain and slightly expand his fan base.

ReduxReview:  Since it worked out well the first time around, Stevie B's label, LMR, left him to do most all the work for his second album. With a bit more experience and perhaps a few more bucks behind him, his new album sounded better. The songs were in the same vein as the ones on his debut, but seemed a little more focused and consistent. It paid off with this first single reaching the Pop Top 40, which signaled he was moving in the right direction. This was a good freestyle track from Stevie B and he nearly hit the mark, but it still wasn't quite as catchy or memorable as other freestyle hits of the day.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In 1988, a chance meeting with Stevie B helped another artist gain a bit of fame. Canadian rapper Wes Williams had been working on a music career since his early teens. He initially went by the name Melody MC and got some airtime on a local Toronto radio station. By 1988, he changed his name to Maestro Fresh Wes and had a couple of demos under his belt that helped him get a performing spot on the music TV show Electric Circus. It went well and he was invited back for a second appearance. Wes nearly said no, but ended up on the show performing "Let Your Backbone Slide." It was a good decision as another performer who was booked for the show, Stevie B, happened to catch Wes' song. Stevie B liked it enough to have his label LMR check out the rapper. LMR signed Wes and in '89 he would release his debut album Symphony in Effect. "Let Your Backbone Slide" would be the first single and it would reach #10 in Canada. It would be the first hip hop song by a Canadian artist to become a gold seller. The album would reach #4 and become the first platinum seller by a Canadian hip hop artist. "Let Your Backbone Slide" would get to #14 on the US Rap chart. Wes' follow ups did successively less well, but his breakthrough album and single would continue to be favorites in Canada. He later turned to acting and would receive a Gemini nomination (the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy) for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Role for his appearance in the Canadian series The Line.

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