so, a while back i did a post on the premier r&b girl bands of the 90s, and this is the b list. the ones who now work in telesales, stay at home with their kids or ‘went back to college to study fashion’.
its funny that the spice girls are still credited with opening up the market for girl acts, in a decade widely remembered for the proliferation of drippy irish boy bands. in the same way that nkotb didn’t invent boy bands, the spice girls were far from an influence on ooh, about 50 or so r&b girl groups that came before them. i laughed when i read an early US review that claimed the spice girls sounded ‘a bit like tlc’. yeah and mya sounds a bit like aretha.
so, being the same age as baby spice i was far too old to get caught in the spice trap and managed to navigate the irritation of my then new boyfriend fancying geri halliwell. we’re still together, and he denies everything.
these groups didn’t go on to conquer the world (destiny’s child) and don’t enjoy regular royalty payments by being featured on countless classic r&b compilations (jade, swv). they probably only had one good album each, that wasn’t quite successful enough to guarantee a follow up.
such groups don’t really exist today as it’s not commercially viable to put any money into new acts that will have limited success. at least this lot managed to shift a few units, if not a platinum amount. so, if they think they’re skint now, they should thank their lucky stars they weren’t born ten years later…check out the 90s girl band premier league and the even more unfortunate one-hit wonders. and the no-hit wonders.
90s also-ran girl bands - download here
zhane – sending my love
zhane’s early work was club friendly but little substance…so they did a reverse nelly furtado and wrote some nice material for their second album. also check out ‘crush’.
assorted phlavors – make up your mind
this group, with their typical mid 90s sound, suffered somewhat from arriving on the cusp of timbaland and missy‘s late 90s r&b revolution. along with…
allure – head over heels
…mariah’s girl group, who are still together but have suffered from delays and non-starters with their second and third albums.
braxtons – slow flow
yes, as in, toni‘s sisters. the group thing didn’t last long but tamar has had minimal solo success. did a fairly pointless cover of diana ross’ ‘the boss’.
for real – like i do
identikit 90s r&b group with no distinguishing features. briefly attempted to differentiate themselves with the original version of this track and its accompanying motown-style video.
nuttin nyce – in my nature
nastier than jade and more vocally challenged than swv, their main competition at the time. most of their tunes now sound very dated.
kut klose – surrender
slinky slow jam specialists, in my opinion they did grind’n'b much better than the slightly desparate sounding changing faces.
mokenstef – he’s mine
popular track from another faceless r&b group that doubtless prompted a thousand catfights in the (then very few) r&b clubs across the country.
sista – i wanna be with you
sista‘s album was shelved but has since leaked, and you can hear proto-missy all over it.
good girls – just call me
perennial old skool half-hour favourite, in the hard to find remix version. despite this, the good girls found chart success elusive, perhaps due in part to their odd penchant for acid wash denim, which was seriously passe by 1992.