Wednesday, January 25, 2023

"Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)" by New Kids on the Block

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  4036
Date:  09/16/1989
Debut:  68
Peak:  8
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  NKOTB mania was in full swing by this point in time following three Pop Top 10 hits including a pair of #1s including the platinum-selling "Hangin' Tough." Their album of the same name had already spent two weeks at #1 and had gone 4x platinum. Wanting to really capitalize on the group's popularity, their label, Columbia Records, decided to reach back to the group's debut and release this cover tune in order to re-promote that self-titled album, which had just recently gone gold. The ballad would do well hitting the Pop Top 10 while also making it to #12 AC and #34 R&B. The ploy worked well with the group's debut LP quickly going platinum and then double-platinum in January of '90.

ReduxReview:  This was just an awful idea from the get-go. These kids were just too young and inexperienced to handle a song like this. Not only that, they had nary an ounce of soulfulness between them. They were meant to do bubblegum/teen pop and not cover a mature soul classic. If their lack of ability wasn't enough, then there was the horrible production. It sounded so cheesy and stilted. Making matters even worse was the addition of an insipid spoken word part. Cover tunes can be a great marketing tool if done right (or even halfway okay), but it takes a special kind of talent to take a well-known hit and then just shit on it. I can't really blame the New Kids for this. You know they were guided and told what to do, so this lies squarely on producer Maurice Starr and whoever else was in charge of the group. Thanks to New Kids mania, this travesty went Top 10. Luckily, since then it has been forgotten. And should be. Yup, this one can join the exclusive zero club.

ReduxRating:  0/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a Philly soul classic originally recorded by The Delfonics. Their version, titled "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," would be a #3 R&B/#10 Pop hit in 1970. The song would earn the group a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Duo or Group. Written by producer Thom Bell and the group's lead singer William Hart, it would be The Delfonics' second and final song to reach the Pop Top 10 following 1968's #4 "La-La (Means I Love You)" (#2 R&B). While the song would be covered by many artists, thus far New Kids on the Block have been the only other artist to reach the Pop chart with a version.


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