New Edition

From Academic Kids

New Edition is an American R&B and pop boy band, formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978, that was most popular during the 1980s. Guided by producer Maurice Starr, New Edition was originally a Jackson 5-esque collection of five young African American teenage singers, including lead singers Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown, and vocalists Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe. The group was notable for #1 singles such as "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man", and their success led to the creation of late-1980s and 1990s boy bands like New Kids On The Block, The Backstreet Boys, and NSYNC.

Like the Jackson 5 before them, New Edition became a pop phenomenon, and were big enough to have Madonna as an opening act during their early days.

The group parted company with Starr in 1984; Starr responded by promptly creating New Kids on the Block, essentially New Edition with Caucasian teenagers. Bobby Brown left the group for a successful solo career in 1986, and was replaced by former solo child star Johnny Gill. The group's sound also evolved at this time from bubblegum pop-syled R&B to smoother, more adult music. The new material, primarily produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, had a strong new jack swing feel. The first album recorded with Gill, Heart Break, had numerous R&B hits, including "If It Isn't Love", "Can You Stand The Rain", "N.E. Heart Break", and "Boys To Men" (which later lent its name to the Philadelphia-based group Boyz II Men).

New Edition essentially broke up in 1989, with Bell, Bivins, and DeVoe forming the popular hip hop group Bell Biv DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant beginning his solo career and Gill restarting his solo career, with more success this time. In 1996, all six former members reunited for the Home Again album, although Bobby Brown opted out of the second half of the Home Again tour. The Gill-led version of New Edition from the 1980s is currently signed to Bad Boy Records, and released the One Love album in 2004.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Gill is the only non-Boston native among the group's six members.

Personnel

Discography

  • 1983: Candy Girl
  • 1984: New Edition
  • 1985: All for Love
  • 1985: Christmas All Over the World
  • 1986: Under the Blue Moon (doo-wop covers album, recorded as a quartet after Bobby Brown left)
  • 1988: Heart Break
  • 1996: Home Again
  • 2004: One Love
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