Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a sucker for music biopics and documentaries. That’s why I was so excited when I started seeing trailers and teasers last year for The New Edition Story mini-series. While I enjoyed The Temptations mini-series and The Five Heartbeats movie, those were set in an era that was before my time. New Edition, on the other hand, was a group I grew up with.
I remember seeing their posters in my sister’s room and hearing “Candy Girl” and “Count Me Out” on Z-93 in Charleston, SC. New Edition, more than any other group, in my opinion, were the forerunner to the boy band craze of the ‘90s within pop and R&B music. There is no NSYNC or Dru Hill without New Edition.
I thought the documentary was extremely well done. The casting was superb, in particular, Bryshere Y. Gray as Mike Bivens (the accent was spot on) and Luke James as Johnny Gill. While the mini-series covered their greatest hits, there were other solid New Edition songs that you did not hear.
Yes, this was sung briefly, but not performed during the mini-series. "Jealous Girl" was the B-side to the 1983 “PopCorn Love” single. In my opinion, it was one of their more underrated slow jams. You are probably more familiar with the 1991 version that was covered by Another Bad Creation.
Off the NE Heartbreak album, “Superlady” is an often-overlooked gem. Of course, it’s overshadowed by “Can You Stand the Rain” and “If It Isn’t Love”. In general, the NE Heartbreak album was a seminal transition point in R&B from the ‘80s to the ‘90s.
“I’m Still in Love With You”
The group scored a Top 10 hit with this song from the 1996 reunion album, Home Again. Written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with Ricky Bell and Ralph Tresvant on lead vocals, I was surprised that it wasn’t featured more during the mini-series.