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Don't Be Cruel

4.7 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Don't Be Cruel
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Audio CD, June 20, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Although his first solo record tanked, this release looked like the beginning of a superstar career. Brown, a former lead vocalist with New Edition (he was replaced by Johnny Gill, but both men participate in most NE reunions) has an appealing, if somewhat grainy, voice. It's a good match for the hip-hop beats that underpin some of the best songs here, especially "My Prerogative," which at the time sounded like an anthem. His ability to deftly merge R&B's upscale and hip-hop street esthetic (both Teddy Riley and Babyface produce tracks on this CD) changed the role of the rake hero. Sadly, this was Brown's lone significant musical moment as a solo artist. Except for marrying Whitney Houston, his life since has become a skein of self-destructive activities. --Martin Johnson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002PHV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,531 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you weren't at least a teenager in the late 1980s, then you'll most likely have a hard time believing that Bobby Brown made headlines for his hits and not for his embarrassing run-ins with the law. In retrospect, the success of this former New Edition member wasn't supposed to happen and it surprised all parties involved--even Brown himself. After the flop album "King of Stage," Brown had one more chance to prove himself as a solo artist, and nobody was sure if "Don't Be Cruel" would be a hit. Fortunately for him, it was. It skyrocketed to Number One on the album charts, spawned a string of Top Ten hits, and his onstage dance moves made him a new teen heartthrob. What's more, "Don't Be Cruel" is credited as an album that helped put two things on the map: a) new jack swing and b) LA Reid & Babyface, the production team who did a handful of the material on this album. However, his most familiar single was the Gene Griffin/Teddy Riley-produced "My Prerogative," which is just as slammin' a new jack groove as anything Guy ever recorded. The hits "Every Little Step" (whose original album version is way better than the single remix, in my mind), "Roni," and the ballad "Rock Wicthca" are all bonafide jams that have that late-1980s r&b feel, while the album cut "I'll Be Good to You" also stands out pretty well. "Don't Be Cruel" isn't a perfect album, though. Brown's vocal style is limited and the second half of the album loses a bit of steam. But it's an overall fun r&b record that proves Brown did indeed have a life well before he made headlines as Mr. Whitney Houston.
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Format: Audio CD
Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel album may be the reason we still talk about him today. This album matches quite well with his bad boy image and superb artistry that he brings to it. The album opens strongly with two powerhouse funky numbers in Don't Be Cruel and My Prerogative before shifting to two lush ballads in Roni and Rock Wit'cha. Every Little Step continues the funk. The other songs that weren't hits were also good, such as Take It Slow and I Really Love You. And while Britney Spears may have done My Prerogative late last year for her greatest hits album and it's okay, it's no contest to Bobby's more hardcore version! This album is like the prelude to what Usher's Confessions album did in 2004, something that had major crossover success on R&B, pop and dance circles. It really represented the new jack swing trend so very well with its charging beats and rhythms. It was a huge hit all throughout late 1988 and most of 1989. I think that Bobby's recent troubles haven't affected this album one bit. In fact, most people would rather hear Bobby's music than the typical news report on him. Myself included. Though some of Bobby's albums haven't sold as strong as this one, this was him at his highest level. LA and Babyface along with Teddy Riley and others produced a fabulous high class album with Don't Be Cruel. This is like the What's Going on of the late '80s, an album that's had a major effect on music culture and the R&B landscape. It is still a classic record to this day! I hope that Bobby returns back to the top soon!
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Format: Audio CD
When Bobby Brown released this cd in June of 1988, just one week after his former group New Edition released their Heartbreak cd with his replacement member Johnny Gill, few expected it to even offer competition to the NE disc. 18 months later, at the close of 1989, the Don't Be Cruel had sold 7 million copies, spent weeks at #1 on the pop chart, yielded Brown 6 top 10 pop hits, including the #1 smash "My Prerogative," and most signifigantly ended up as the year's top r&band pop album. He was, and has been, one of only 3 black males to do so (M.Jackson & Lionel Ritchie being the other two.) Brown then was considered the king of r&b and was one of the first artists to bridge r&b with rap. Hard to believe it's been 10 yrs since Brown's heyday and even harder to believe that from those lofty heights then he is regarded as nothing more than a punchline now. Still, Don't Be Cruel remains required listening for any current r&b male star, Sisqo included, so as not to forget who trailblazed it. Kudos to wife Whitney, who reminded the world of Brown's contributions to hip hop,pop, and r&b. Bobby, rest assured, this is one fan who has not forgotten! Long live the king!
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Format: Audio CD
I don't remember what it was earlier this year ( prolly the radio ) talking about old Bobby Brown was about to drop again and how it would be better than `Don't Be Cruel'. I bust out laughing...I thought `Impossible...preposterous, ludicrous!" After all, this album was THE JOINT when it dropped. I don't care what anyone said if you didn't have this album you were an outsider, a joke, the laughing stock. IF you didn't know "Don't Be Cruel" by heart, forget about having friends.
"Ohoh, girl
As long as I've been givin' my love to you
You should be givin' me your love, too
But you just keep on actin' just like a fool
You know it ain't cool
Don't Be Cruel...cause I would never be that cruel to you...
Don't Be Cruel...girl you need to change your attitude!"
You know you had your little childhood relationship battles...I know you did. That was the jam...it was undeniable. `Roni' was equally the jam.
"My heart belongs to tenderoni ( she's my only love!)
She's My Only Love ( My Heart)
The truth about Roni, she's a sweet ol' girl
About the sweetest little girl in the whole wild world
She'll make the toughest homeboy fall deep in love
Said once you had a Roni you will never give her up
She's a special kind of girl that makes her daddy feel proud
You know the kinda girl that stands out in crowds
Found a tender roni and the Roni is so right
I think I'm gonna love her for the rest of my life"
WHAT!? Known by heart by many. And those were just the semi-jams. Don't forget about `My Prerogative', `Rock Witcha' and `Every Little Step'. Straight up JAMMIN. Funky, movin, grooving, and straight up smoove. The Hip Hop and R&B was PERFECTLY blended here and never since has it been surpassed...maybe equalized but not surpassed. Definitely (in my mind) the opal of the New Jack swing era. Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel...a MUST HAVE.
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