Lost but not least! Ralph Tresvant – Who’s The Mack (Album Version) (MCA)
“Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall… Who do you call when you need a man to hold you, squeeze you. Do it all, (Come on, ooh), and baby. Who’s the Mack…”
No matter what at the end… Chances are great you’ll feel / you’ve felt the way I did back in 1993 when coming to listen to ‘Who’s The Mack’. With, from its very first notes, the evidence of the one – Marvin Gaye – it takes its influences from. From its overall climate with arrangements courtesy of producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. To its vocal performance with Tresvant showing as to how he’s probably been the most… sensitive singer the Flyte Tyme pair has been working with. The whole over a clever sampling work of Marvin‘s intoxicating 1972 ”T’ Stands For Trouble’. Therefore givin’ it a cinematic Blaxploitation feel.
Not as famous as ‘Sensitivity’ from his previous album, but certainly as good if not even better…
A native of Boston, MA, Ralph Tresvant started performing at local talent shows along with Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins. This being how he and his partners came to the attention of Brooke Payne who gave them the name New Edition to signify they were a new edition of the Jackson 5. Therefore responding to Maurice Starr‘s search at the time. The latter signing them on his Streetwise Records label. Meanwhile a fifth member by the likes of Ronnie DeVoe (Payne‘s nephew) joined the band.
Featuring gems like ‘Popcorn Love’ and its title track, their 1993 ‘Candy Girl’ album ideally put them on the map. After a dispute over money, New Edition left Starr‘s management and record label though. Soon after signing a new deal with MCA then releasing their self-titled second album. Meanwhile solidifying their position with the Top Five smash hit ‘Cool It Now’ then ‘Mr Telephone Man’ with Tresvant takin’ the lead vocals.
A third album – ‘All For Love’ – followed, featuring another hit by the likes of ‘Count Me Out’. But the story of the band would get through period of turbulence. With Bobby Brown voted out by the group’s management team after behavorial problems back in December 1985. Then the first rumors of Ralph Tresvant goin’ solo. This bringin’ his pals to recruit a new lead singer by the likes of Johnny Gill, although Tresvant managed to stay with them at the end. Their 1988 ‘Heartbreak’ album marking the start of their collaboration with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. This resulting in an impressive series of 5 hit singles. From ‘If It Isn’t Love’ to ‘Can You Stand The Rain’ and ‘N.E. Heartbreak’ among others.
Following Bobby Brown‘s example, the group went on a hiatus. Leavin’ the time to his members to release their own projects. With Ralph Tresvant goin’ further way with producers Jam & Lewis. This resulting in the release of his eponymous debut-album back in 1990. An effort which spanned ‘Sensitivity’, his biggest success under his own guise. But also ‘Stone Cold Gentleman’ with a rap from fellow New Edition member Bobby Brown.
Tresvant came back as a solo artist in 1993. This resulting in the release of his ‘It’s Goin’ Down’ album featuring the Marvin Gaye-esque ‘Who’s The Mack’ produced by Jam & Lewis.
One could also find Tresvant‘s vocals on various film soundtracks. From ‘Mo’ Money’ (‘Money Can’t Buy You Love’ and ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’). To ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ (‘Somebody Bigger Than You And I”) along with Bobby Brown, Faith Evans, Johnny Gill and Monica. And he also made a cameo appearance in ‘House Party 2’ delivering one single for its soundtrack by the likes of ‘Yo Baby Yo’.
Tresvant made his return as a solo artist back in 2006. Putting an end to a 13 year hiatus with his third album – ‘Rizz Wa Faire’ – on Xzault Media Group.