Anyone over the ago of 30 will probably agree when you say New Edition is the best black group ever (besides Boys II Men). Before B2K, Jagged Edge, N’ Sync or New Kids On The Block could even know what a harmony is, New Edition were coordinating wardrobe ensembles on tours around the world.
Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell started New Edition in Orchard Park housing projects (also known as “The Bricks”)in 1978. At the peak of the New Edition era during the 80’s the group consisted of: Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell.
In 1983 after placing second in a talent show, Maurice Starr took the boys to the studio to record their debut album Candy Girl. “Is This The End,” “Popcorn Love,” “Jealous Girl” and “Candy Girl” gave New Edition their first set of hits and the number one spot on the charts.
It is reported that each member received a check of $1.87 for that album after tour budgets and expenses. They soon parted ways with Maurice and after a bidding war signed with MCA Records. The group produced only one more album before Bobby Brown left in 1986 to pursue a solo career.
Bobby Brown’s first album did minor damage on the charts. It was his second, Don’t Be Cruel that certified him as a solo star! Don’t Be Cruel eventually went eight times platinum.
In 1987 Johnny Gill was introduced into the group and led New Edition in their fifth studio project which spawned five hits “If It Isn’t Love”, “You’re Not My Kind of Girl”, “Can You Stand The Rain”, “Crucial” and “N.E. Heartbreak.” New Edition had evolved from “bubble-gum” music to love-ballads. Soon after, three more members would venture off.
Bel Biv Devoe was formed in the 90’s with Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe. Their single “Poison” pushed their debut effort to sell over three million copies. Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill also went solo and also dabbled in multi-platinum success!
By the late 90’s N.E was coming to an end and even though they owed MCA Records another album, things were just not the same. The group reunited (including Bobby) for the Home Again Tour. Bobby Brown and Michael Bivins left before the tour finished.
New Edition reconciled in 2005 to bring us “Hot Tonight,” which had to be the best old-head return we have ever seen!
All six members of New Edition have signed on to celebrate their 30th anniversary. “This is just the beginning. We’re preparing for a world tour and many other exciting things that we’ll be announcing soon. The next chapter of New Edition is going to be an incredible celebration to thank our fans for all of their support over the last 30 years,” said Ricky Bell in July at The Essence Music Festival.
“Can You Stand The Rain” “Candy Girl”
Check out New Edition: From then to now!
More Face 2 Face: