WEEKLY THROWBACK

Throwback Thursday: Maze feat. Frankie Beverly – ‘Before I Let Go’

Maze are a R&B, soul, and quiet storm band, also known alternately as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly or Frankie Beverly & Maze. The band was established in San Francisco in the early 1970s. The group became an immediate success when Marvin Gaye took them on the road with him as one of his opening acts.

“Before I Let Go” is a classic single off of their 1981 live album, Live In New Orleans. The single peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard R&B chart. The group is heralded for their silky smooth vocals and funky live instrumentation. Questlove of The Roots once tweeted that “Before I Let Go” is the “official song of Black people.” He may have been onto something (lol) as it has reached iconic barbeque/family reunion/wedding reception, sold out show status. Enjoy the throwback above!

After the jump check out a live performance of the hit from 1995:

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Throwback Tuesday: Seal – ‘Kiss From A Rose’

Seal is a British soul and R&B singer/songwriter, who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

His signature song, “Kiss from a Rose” was first released as a single in July 1994, from his sophomore album, and then re-released in 1995. It was included on the Batman Forever film soundtrack, helping it to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. At the 1996 Grammy Awards, the song took home three awards, ‘Record of the Year,’ ‘Song of the Year,’ and ‘Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.’ It also won the 1996 MTV Movie Award for ‘Best Song from a Movie.’

The song showcases Seal’s vocal depth as it’s both “sweet” and soulful. The arrangement and layering were genius! Enjoy the throwback above!


Throwback Thursday: Mark Morrison – ‘Return Of The Mack’

Mark Morrison is an English R&B singer. Although he became a commercial success nearly overnight, his career was plagued by run-ins with the law that prevented him from consolidating his position as a star.

His classic single “Return of the Mack” was released in the United Kingdom in March 1996 and reached No. 1 on the UK Singles chart a month later. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early summer 1997 for one week and went platinum. The song even stayed on the Billboard charts for a lengthy 25 weeks. The song’s track includes a sample from the song “Genius of Love” by American band Tom Tom Club. It additionally samples “Games” by Chuckii Booker.

Enjoy the throwback above!


Throwback Tuesday: Raphael Saadiq – ‘Ask of You’

Raphael Saadiq is a singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist, and record producer. Saadiq has been a standard bearer for “old school” R&B since his early days as a member of the multi-platinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! He is best known for his work as the lead vocalist and bassist of the group, but also well known for his musicianship and production for other artists.

“Ask of You,” was a single by Saadiq featured on the soundtrack to the movie Higher Learning. The song peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B chart. It became his biggest solo hit to date.

Enjoy the throwback above!


Throwback Thursday: Maxwell – ‘Fortunate’

Maxwell is a Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter whose music spans R&B, funk, and soul, but he is best known as an exemplar of the neo-soul movement.

“Fortunate” is a soulful song sung by Maxwell, from the film soundtrack of the 1999 motion picture Life. The song was written, composed, produced and arranged by R. Kelly. It was awarded
“Best R&B Single of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards and “Best R&B/Soul Single” (Male) at Soul Train Awards. Maxwell was nominated for a Grammy for “Best R&B Male Vocalist” and also nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for “Favorite Song of the Year.”

The song, Maxwell’s biggest hit to date, spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is notable for showcasing his soulful vocal ability and his wide vocal range. Enjoy the throwback above.


Throwback Tuesday: Ginuwine – ‘So Anxious’

GinuFine Ginuwine definitely made some steamy classics! Who can forget “So Anxious.” This takes us back to the BET ‘Midnight Love’ days.

Ginuwine has contributed so much to R&B since he burst onto the scene in the ’90s. Today his catalog features some of the greatest records of that era through the early 2000s. “So Anxious” was the third single released from his sophomore album 100% Ginuwine.

The song, produced by Timbaland and written by Static Major, was Ginuwine’s second Top 20 hit, and peaked in the Top 5 on the Billboard R&B chart. The song describes the narrator anxiously waiting on his lover all night to return his calls so that she can meet him for romance. The music video was directed by Chris Robinson, and it wouldn’t be a Ginuwine video without a dance break.

Enjoy the throwback above.


Throwback Thursday: Ol’ Skool feat. Xscape & Keith Sweat – ‘Am I Dreaming’

Ol’ Skool was a R&B group from St. Louis, Missouri during the 1990s that consisted of Jason Little, Jerome “Pookie” Lane, Tony Herron, Curtis Jefferson, and Bobby Crawford. Their cover of Atlantic Starr’s classic song, “Am I Dreaming,” was released as a single by the group off their eponymous debut album.

The remake featured female R&B group Xscape, and Keith Sweat, who discovered the group.  The song was also featured on Xscape’s Traces of My Lipstick album. Most of Ol’ Skool’s music was about love and sensuality (which we need more of again in today’s R&B), and represented the art of soulful balladry.

Enjoy the throwback above!


Throwback Tuesday: Janet Jackson feat. Blackstreet – ‘I Get Lonely (Remix)’

Janet Jackson is an iconic R&B singer, dancer, and actress. Having sold over 140 million records, she is ranked as one of the best-selling artists in the history of contemporary music. “I Get Lonely” was released as the third single from her sixth studio album The Velvet Rope, it became Jackson’s twelfth R&B chart-topper. The song debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single also became Janet’s eighteenth consecutive top ten hit on the Hot 100, setting a record for her as the only female artist to achieve that feat, surpassed only by Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

The song received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards. Equally popular, was the Teddy Riley and Timbaland produced “I Get Lonely (TNT Remix)” featuring iconic R&B group Blackstreet.

The “I Get Lonely” video continues to influence newer artists today, including Australian pop singer Sam Sparro’s “I Wish I Never Met You” video, and Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” live performances, which were both inspired by the video, outfit, and choreography. Enjoy the throwback above!


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