In the 80s, New Edition was my favorite group and favorite artist, hands down. I remember being sad when Bobby Brown left the group, and I don’t know how I knew this at such a young age but I was sad because they “kicked him out the group.” I don’t think I’d ever heard that he was kicked out, but I believe I just assumed that’s what happened. Doing some research, it seems like that is basically what happened. None of their individual projects were anywhere near as good as New Edition was, and I didn’t particularly like the direction NE went in with Johnny Gill.
Being older now, I can appreciate the “Heart Break” songs a lot more than I did at, what, age 7 and 8. But I felt even then that, with the kind of voices the rest of the guys had, Gill’s voice was just overpowering at times…which, to me, was and is not fair, given NE was their group and he was brought in after the fact. It’s not Gill’s fault that the other guys were not as vocally strong, but Gill is better suited to being a solo artist for that reason, in my opinion. He never fit the group, as far as I’m concerned…
Despite all that, when NE came out with “If It Isn’t Love,” I loved the song. At that age and as much as I loved NE, it was almost one of those situations where they could have sang the Campbell Soup song and I would have loved it. But even now, it’s a great song to me, and I particularly love the long version that was on the 12″ record my parents bought for me. In fact, I have developed a newfound appreciation for the long version, which is called the “Club Mix.” Several records with that version are for sale on Discogs.
- “If It Isn’t Love” (Club Mix)