In a world where the musical landscape is bombarded with over-produced drivel and Auto-tuned garbage, it makes music fans like myself cringe at how far down the quality of R&B/Hip-Hop has gone. I mean, does anyone even remember a time when there used to be R&B/Hip-Hop groups? A time when a song could stay on the charts and become a classic? A time when MTV used to PLAY music videos??? All that has become a bygone era.
But back in the early 90′s, R&B/Hip-Hop was really dominating the mainstream and many of the songs and music videos made a cultural impact on the youth of America. These types of artists were doing genres like R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, and New Jack Swing and it made listening to music fun. If you knew these songs and artists, you were considered “cool” by your peers. Not so much with the current artists nowadays….
With that said, I’m taking it upon myself to list a collection of early 90′s R&B/Hip-Hop albums that need remastering. I’m not talking about a “Greatest Hits” collection with a few remixed songs, I mean a full-on track-by-track upgrade! These albums deserve to get recognized once again for the brilliant (and sometimes corny) songs they’ve place upon us and I ain’t one to skimp out on a good album!
In no particular order:
TONI BRAXTON “TONI BRAXTON”
To me, Toni’s first album is and will ALWAYS be her best work. Every song in the album is a virtual hit and with production by the LaFace team, there was no way this album could go wrong. Hit tracks include “Another Sad Love Song”, “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”, “Breathe Again”, and “You Mean The World To Me”. I await the day when Toni decides to return to her roots and do another album like this one.
JODECI “FOREVER MY LADY”
Considered the “Bad boys” of Hip-Hop, the guys at Jodeci debuted their first album under the New Jack Swing genre and unleashed a number of big memorable New Jack hits such as, “Come And Talk To Me”, “Stay”, “Forever My Lady”, and “I’m Still Waiting”. Rumors have been floating for years of a reunion but until that happens, we’ll just have to wait….
BELL BIV DEVOE “POISON”
With the unforgettable lyric of “Never trust a big butt and a smile“, the homeboys from BBD brought New Jack Swing into the 90′s with the killer single “Poison”. Other hit tracks include “Do Me” and “When Will I See You Smile Again?” With the title track featured in the 2004 smash-hit videogame “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”, the feedback was positive, which only means that remaster should’ve followed!
MARY J. BLIGE “WHAT’S THE 411?”
Mary’s first album was an excellent debut that has it’s fair share of Hip-Hop classics (without all the intimate drama that came in her subsequent albums after this one). Mary displays her Hip-Hop prowess in full force in tracks like “Real Love”, “What’s the 411?” and “Love No Limit” that I haven’t seen her do since then. This album will always be reminder of why I like Mary J. Blige. REMASTER PLEASE!
MARIAH CAREY “MARIAH CAREY”
Can you believe that NONE of Mariah’s albums have ever received a remaster? I certainly can’t believe it considering how many big hits she’s had since her debut. Speaking of which, Mariah’s debut album is (in my very honest opinion) the very best one in her entire discography. You can argue about other albums like “Music Box” or “Daydream” or even “Emancipation of Mimi”, but without her first album, there would be no Mariah (and the billions of copycats out there).
With killer songs like, “Vision Of Love”, “I Don’t Wanna Cry”, “Love Takes Time, and “Someday”, I find it a sacrilege that this album has never gotten the upgrade it deserves. Take note, Columbia Records! REMASTER IT!!!
COLOR ME BADD “C.M.B.”
I’ll admit it: Color Me Badd is my ultimate guilty pleasure and I am NOT ashamed to say it! I simply love this album and nothing you say will pry me away from it. Yes, I understand that lots of people consider them to be a novelty act that let it’s image overtake its musical talent (and believe me, they had it) but it doesn’t mean their music was “badd” (hah, get it?).
There’s no way you can mention early 90′s Hip-Hop without mentioning the ultra-hot tracks of “I Wanna Sex U Up”, “All 4 Love”, “I Adore, Mi Amor”, and “Groove My Mind”. This group deserves a remaster simply for the reason that it wouldn’t be the early 90′s without them.
S.W.V. “IT’S ABOUT TIME”
Wait a sec, a female group? With soul? Yup, that’s what you got with SWV. With lead singer Coco, the group debuted their album and garnered a chunk of big classic ol’ skool hits such as “I’m So Into You”, “Downtown”, “Weak”, and of course, “Right Here (Human Nature)”, which was horribly sampled by that mutherfucker, Chris Brown. What’s the hold up, we need a remaster!
JANET JACKSON “janet.”
I remember very distinctly back in 1993 when Janet’s first single from this album called “That’s The Way Love Goes” (and its video which featured a then-unknown J-Lo) was released, everyone I knew instantly loved it. Janet re-teamed with Jam & Lewis for her sexually charged follow-up to “Rhythm Nation 1814″ and what we got was an instant classic. With killer songs like “If”, “Because Of Love”, “Again”, and “Anytime, Anyplace”, how could this album still not be remastered??? C’mon, Virgin Records!!!
BOYZ II MEN “II”
While the group’s first album (“Cooleyhighharmoney”) was a hit in it’s own right, it was the group’s second album that launched R&B into the stratosphere like a rocket. The first single entitled, “I’ll Make Love To You” was an instant smash and the follow up singles, “On Bended Knee” and “Water Runs Dry” helped cement the group’s status as hitmakers. Unfortunately, their follow-up efforts have gone largely ignored, but the group is still together and still touring. REMASTER!!!
EN VOGUE “FUNKY DIVAS”
What, another female group with Soul? Goddamn right! The ladies of En Vogue ruled most of 1992 with their smash singles “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” and “Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel”. There’s no question that this group deserves a remastered album.
R. KELLY “12 PLAY”
Yes, I couldn’t ignore the one and only R Kelly. Think what you want about him but his music is too good, especially the music from “12 Play”. R. Kelly brought his R&B swagger to his solo debut and churned out big tracks like, “Bump & Grind”, “Your Body’s Calling”, “Sex Me” (featuring a then-unknown singer named Aaliyah), and “Summer Bunnies”. REMASTER!!!
I really am amazed at how these albums have gone largely ignored by these groups and their record labels. Like I said before, these albums deserve a second chance to shine and I’m sure music fans like myself would definitely appreciate and BUY them.
OH, I’M NOT DONE WITH THIS LIST! TO BE CONTINUED……..