Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike!
If that opening line immediately rings a bell, then like myself, you’re a bona fide New Edition fan. So, you can imagine my glee when I scored two tickets to the group s current All Six Tour in Brooklyn – a glee that was only slightly dimmed by the news that Bobby Brown has dropped out of the tour for health reasons.
As Brown said in a statement to PEOPLE, “I was not myself due to a medical procedure.”
Fortunately, other ticket holders may be luckier than me – Brown has vowed to return to the tour at a later date: “When I am healthy, I will return to the group and rejoin the tour.
That said, let me give you a little background on my New Edition obsession: The first album I ever bought with my own money was their debut release, Candy Girl, which I listened to over and over again until I knew all the words. I wrote Michael Bivins an impassioned letter (no, I never received a reply) explaining why I thought he was so cool (what can I say, I loved his dimples). And I even performed “Popcorn Love” at my school’s talent show.
Cut to 1997 when I first met my husband. We instantly bonded over our love of the group, which by then had splintered into various acts (Bell Biv DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant). But it didn’t matter; their music brought back the fondest memories of our childhood, which made me ponder – could any of their biggest hits stand up to the likes of today’s “Wiggle” or “Fancy”?
I think so. And so, to commemorate the All Six Tour this summer, here’s my list of their most enduring songs:
This is the song that started it all. From Ralph Tresvant’s high-pitched voice to the family-friendly raps, every kid (young or old) is happy to sing along.
"Mr. Telephone Man"
Sure, the tech lingo is a little dated (no one talks to an operator anymore), but the sentiment of not hearing back from your loved one still resonates. Plus, this was the first time we heard Bobby really break it down.
"If It Isn’t Love"
Not only is the production on par with – or, in some cases, even better than – what we’re hearing on the radio right now, but Queen Bey paid homage to their smooth dance moves in her “Love on Top” video.
Technically, this is all Bobby B. But he wouldn’t have been able to dub himself the “King of R&B” without his New Edition beginnings. Plus, Britney Spears covered it in 2004 with all the same swagger.
From the ashes of the group’s disbandment arose BBD and this certified club banger. Case in point: Gabrielle Union and her Think Like a Man Too costars performed it to hilarious effect in the 2014 film.
• With reporting by TARA FOWLER