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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of New Edition

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Album Review

For those who missed out on New Edition's excellent Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 or their 2003 compilation simply entitled Hits, this 20th Century Masters collection is an economically sensible survey of the band's long and evolving career from their years as bubblegum kid crooners to serious new jack swingers to powerhouse R&B icons. All of the big hits are represented here: "Cool It Now," the Ray Parker, Jr.-penned "Mr. Telephone Man," "Earth Angel" (the big romantic number from The Karate Kid Part II that was overlooked in favor of Peter Cetera's juggernaut hit "The Glory of Love"), the quiet storm ballad "Can You Stand the Rain," and "If It Isn't Love" (erroneously but quite amusingly referred to in the liner notes as "If It Isn't Me"). It also features their two hit singles from 1996's Home Again, giving the compilation a greater sense of their creative evolution over the span of a decade. It's not the finest or most thorough compilation on the market, but those looking for simply the hits will be satisfied with what is put together here.


Formed: 1982 in Boston, MA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New Edition's early, Jackson 5-inspired material made them the forerunners of two generations of teen pop (most of which was geared to white audiences). As they matured and progressed, they laid much of the groundwork for the fusion of hip-hop and R&B known as new jack swing. In fact, after New Edition drifted apart, all of its members had at least some significant success outside the group as part of the new jack movement, which helped ensure that their original incarnation would be remembered for...
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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of New Edition, New Edition
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