from the album After 7 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13
Today's song of the day comes from the R&B trio After 7, who came together in the mid-1980's with two brothers of soul singer/songwriter/producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Kevon and Melvin, along with Keith Mitchell. They recorded their self-titled debut album in 1989, with Babyface helping them out in a huge way, producing the album and co-writing six of its eight tracks. And with Kevon sounding so much like his brother, the set was like an extension of the Babyface/Deele canon. The upbeat first single, "Heat Of The Moment", was a top-5 hit on Billboard's R&B chart, but only made a minor dent on the pop chart at the time at #74 (it would later re-enter the Hot 100 and reach the top-40). Another dance-soul number, "Don't Cha Think", was released next, and while it made the R&B chart at #25, it missed the pop chart altogether. Normally, most R&B groups wouldn't get much promotion for the album after that, or even be dropped, but it does help to have one of the biggest moneymakers in the record business in the family, so they got a third single released, this time changing gears to a lush mid-tempo love song. "Ready Or Not", written and produced by Babyface with longtime collaborator L.A. Reid, accompanied the former's own "Whip Appeal" up the pop charts, appealing to the much of the same (ahem, female) audience...
"Ready Or Not" climbed the pop chart to become After 7's first top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1990. The single spent two weeks at #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, and crossed over to #7 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list.
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In 2014, neo-soul singer Jazmine Sullivan sampled "Ready Or Not" for her singer "Let It Burn", which made it to #4 on Billboard's Adult R&B chart, and #22 on the main R&B list.
And finally, here's After 7 performing on Arsenio Hall...
Up tomorrow: Another R&B trio, who have some separation issues.