Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Edition

The year is 1978. The place is Boston, Massachusetts, in a housing project called Orchard Park (referred to as "The Bricks"), Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell formed a group that would later be called by their manager Booke Payne,New Edition, after adding Ralph Tresvant, who was Bobby and Ricky's best friend, and then later rounding out the group with Payne's nephew Ronnie DeVoe after winning a talent show in 1980.

Being guided by Maurice Starr and eventually singing to his labelStreetwise Records, after winning second place in a talent contest thrown by Starr, the group recorded their debut album "Candy Girl" in late 1982, and released it in 1983. "Candy Girl" went to number one in both the American R&B singles chart and the UK singles chart, and featured the hits: "Is This The End", "Popcorn Love", "Jealous Girl", and the title track.

Originally inspired by The Jackson 5, New Edition burst onto the scene becoming a pop phenomenon. In the early-mid 1980s, New Edition sold more units in the United States than any other teen singing group.

In 1984, New Edition parted ways with Streetwise Records for financial reasons and soon singed with MCA Records to record and release their self-titled second album "New Edition", which spawned the hits: "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man".

The second half of 1985 brought about the release of "All For Love", with hits: "Count Me Out", "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)", and "With You All The Way", and the year end brought about the release of "Christmas All Over The World", a holiday EP. Around this time, pressure arose from management and MCA forcing the group to vote Bobby Brown out due to behavioral problems. Brown later embarked on a solo career to release his debut "Don't Be Cruel".

Having already lost Bobby Brown from the group, rumors started surfacing about Ralph Tresvant pursuing a solo career as well in 1987. With fears of potentially losing another member, Bell, Bivens, and DeVoe voted in Johnny Gill of Washington D.C., who already had commercial success from singing duets with vocalist Stacey Lattisaw. Ultimately, Tresvant decided to remain part of the group.

Gaining another fifth member for the group, New Edition released their fifth studio album titled "Heart Break", which feature Gill doing co-lead. This is also an album which shows a change in sound from "bubblegum" to a more adult perspective.

In later years, Brown would return, leave the group, then return again. They released a few more studio albums and did tours. In 2005 they performed a medley of their songs on BET's 25th Anniversary special, as well as performing hits recorded by the Jackson 5 in a special memorial tribute on BET to Michael Jackson in June 2009.

For more info on New Edition, log on to their site at

New Edition Mix by DJ Kool Emdee

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