"Don't Be Cruel" - Bobby Brown
from the album Don't Be Cruel (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14
Today's song of the day comes from R&B singer Bobby Brown, who had left (or was ejected, depending on who you talk to) the popular vocal group New Edition in 1986. Embarking on a solo career, he released his debut solo album King Of Stage that same year, but the lead single from the project, "Girlfriend", stalled out in the bottom half of the pop chart even though it went all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B list. For his second effort, MCA shelled out the money for hot producers of the moment L.A. Reid and Babyface to steer most of Don't Be Cruel, writing and producing half of the tracks on the album. That included the first single and title track, written by the pair with Daryl Simmons, and the new jack swing vibe that drove the beat was just what mainstream pop radio ordered up...
"Don't Be Cruel" not only was his first solo top-40 hit, the song climbed into the top ten on the pop Hot 100 in October of 1988. The single also spent two weeks on Billboard's R&B chart. Internationally, the record went to #13 in the UK, #18 in New Zealand, and #23 in Ireland.
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Here's Bobby performing the song live on Arsenio Hall...
...and ringing in the new year in 1989 for MTV...
Up Tomorrow: British metalheads have a toothy romance.