The R&B decade of the 90s was perfection. Some of the best and most powerful ballads of all time emerged from that decade. For me there was one artist in particular that stood out.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1997 and I was 17 years old at the time. I had just got my driver's license and I always had the radio on full blast. Then the moment happened. I tuned in 103 Jamz and heard this lovely yet sad sounding ballad called Anytime. What first struck me were the enchanting piano chords at the beginning of the song. Then I heard the voice.
Oh that voice.
It was this sensual, velvety, smooth sounding tenor vocal that came over the bed of piano music that just blended perfectly. I took another route that day on my drive home to the music store.
Remember Planet Music? Back in the day when they had a store where you can buy....CDs?
I walked into Planet Music and asked the retail representative where can I get the song "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" At the time I wasn't quite certain the title of the song, since they didn't announce it on the radio. The sales guy gave me a bemused look and it was at that moment that I inevitably had to hum the tune of the song to my embarrassment. He knew exactly what I was looking for and led me to the Brian Mcknight album Anytime.
I swear I wore that record out. I don't even think the CD plays anymore it's so scratched up from overplay. Along with Anytime I loved You Should Be Mine, and The Only One For Me.
I'll be honest and admit publicly that I used to sing his songs aloud in my bedroom and substitute the pronouns "she" for "he" and serenade my invisible Mr. Right with all of his songs. I sure did.
In college I continued to blast Brian Mcknight in my car on the drive to campus. At that time I owned Back At One and Superhero. I even purchased retro Brian Mcknight albums and LPs like his duet with Vanessa Williams Love Is from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack.
I miss R&B that sounds like this. I miss Brian. I did a Google search on Brian and noticed he released a new single back in April of last year called Fall 5.0. I think I'll download that today. I honestly had no idea he was still making music. I don't really listen to the radio much anymore and everything I choose to listen to is 80's and 90's music in my iPod.
Take a moment and reminisce on what good R&B used to sound like: