Monday, March 20, 2023

"Heat of the Moment" by After 7

Song#:  4079
Date:  10/21/1989
Debut:  86
Peak:  74
Weeks:  12
Genre:  R&B, New Jack Swing

Pop Bits:  Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who at the time was on a hot streak with this co-writer/co-producer L.A. Reid, wasn't the only one with talent in his family. His older brothers Melvin and Kevon were solid vocalists who had formed a trio in their college days with friend Keith Mitchell. The trio would perform around the Indianapolis area, but it seems none of them were set on a career in music. They secured good jobs and on occasion would get together to perform. In the meantime, Babyface did pursue the music business and became very successful. As his career was hitting its stride, Babyface reached out to his brothers and Mitchell and invited them out to L.A. It was Babyface's intent to turn the trio into a legit vocal group. He would dub the trio After 7 and secure them a deal with Virgin Records. Babyface and L.A.. Reid would write and produce nearly all the tracks on the trio's self-titled debut album. Once completed, this first single was issued out. It would do well at R&B getting to #5, but it didn't quite catch fire at Pop where after three months it could only manage to peak near the bottom quarter of the chart. It wasn't too bad of a start, but as the 90s rolled in, the trio would break through in a much bigger way.

ReduxReview:  This was another competent Babyface/Reid track that was made a better by the trio's vocals. Kevon Edmonds took the lead and his powerful voice sailed effortlessly through the track. The trio definitely had the vocal goods, so it really came down to the tracks they were supplied from Babyface and Reid. While this one didn't necessarily separate the trio from the new jack pack, a couple other singles from the album would. Oddly, I don't remember any of the After 7 hits, so they were apparently not on my radar. That wasn't surprising at the time because new jack was wearing thin on me. Thanks to Babyface, this trio's hobby of performing once in a while together turned into a legit career.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) A second single from After 7's debut album wouldn't fare very well, but the the third single, "Ready or Not," would catapult them into stardom. The single would get to #1 R&B/#7 Pop and go gold. A fourth single, "Can't Stop," would do just as well hitting #1 R&B/#6 Pop and going gold. The two hits helped the album get to #3 R&B/#35 Pop. It would become a platinum seller. To keep the momentum going, the label would reissue "Heat of the Moment" to the pop market. On its second go-around it would do much better reaching #19. For the trio's second album, '92's Takin' My Time, Babyface and L.A. Reid would have less involvement due to their hectic schedules. Still, the LP would become a #8 R&B/#76 Pop platinum seller thanks to a pair of R&B Top 10s that were mid-charters at Pop. Babyface and Reid would return for '95's Reflections, but it seemed the trio was running out of steam. The LP would feature only one significant hit, the #5 R&B/#31 Pop single "'Til You Do Me Right." The album would reach #7 R&B/#40 Pop, but halt at gold level sales. By that point in time it seems the trio may have been having label issues. After the release of a hits compilation in '97, the members then decided to go their own ways. More than a decade later, Kevon and Mitchell would restart After 7 with Melvin's son Jason taking his place. However, in 2016 Melvin would rejoin the group and the quartet would record an album titled Timeless. It would do well (#7 R&B) thanks to five R&B Top 10 hits. Melvin would die in 2019. His son would end up leaving the group and was replaced by Danny McClain. In 2021, the trio would record the album Unfinished Business. While the LP would not chart, it did feature one last R&B Top 10 hit.  2) After the trio split, Kevon Edmonds chose to head out on a solo career. His debut album, '99's 24/7, would get to #15 R&B/#77 Pop thanks to the gold selling title track single (#2 R&B/#10 Pop). It would be ten years before he would release his second solo album, 2009's Who Knew.


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