Are you a fan of ’90s R&B? Have you been fantasising about bumpin’ & grindin’ as soon as the reception starts? Don’t worry – you’re not alone!
It’s certainly got its critics but the ‘90s was in fact a fertile decade for music. The era that gave us Britpop, grunge, breakbeat, D&B, trip hop and the guilty pop pleasures that are Girls Aloud, Spice Girls & Backstreet Boys also heralded a new era for R&B. You can still hear its influences in today’s chart-topping hits – Drake has made no secret of his admiration for TLC, Bruno Mars says he owes a big debt to R&B hitmakers like Boyz II Men and Solange has paid credit to Brandy for her role in paving the way for today’s R&B.
Here are a few old-school R&B classics to take you right back to the ‘90s’. If you’re a house fan, we’ll soon be doing a round-up of the best remixes of some of these classics in another post very soon. Surprisingly, some of them even give the originals a run for their money! Some of the tracks below could be just perfect for your cocktail hour, background music during dinner or to encourage your guests to break out those ‘special’ moves on the dancefloor. Why not add a few to your Must Play List for your big day?
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1. Jumpin’ Jumpin’ – Destiny’s Child
Before she became one of the world’s biggest solo performers, Beyoncé was destroying the charts as part of Destiny’s Child.
2. Pony – Ginuwine
Ginuwine and Timbaland wrote this classic 1996 earworm.
3. R. Kelly – Bump N’ Grind
R. Kelly gets straight to the point with this 1994 baby-making classic
4. Monica & Brandy – The Boy Is Mine
Monica & Brandy respond to Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney’s ‘The Girl is Mine’
5. Ghost Town DJs – My Boo
The Running Man Challenge gave this tune a whole new audience in 2016 but it was originally released in 1996 – millions think it still sounds fresh!
6. Adina Howard – Freak Like Me
Sampling Sly & the Family Stone & Bootsy’s Rubber Band, this tune sold over a million copies & was covered by the SugaBabes.
7. Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
Chart-topping global platinum ’90s R&B bestseller!
8. Boyz II Men – End of the Road
The ultimate ’90s singalong R&B ballad!
9. Mary Mary – Shackles (Praise You)
“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance…”
10. SWV – Right Here
Sisters with Voices sample MJ and remind us of the joys of sea fishing and, er, jodphurs…
11. TLC – Waterfalls
Big players in the R&B scene, ‘Waterfalls’ is one of TLC’s most memorable hits, featuring Cee-Lo Green on backing vocals.
12. Whitney Houston – My Love is Your Love
Coming in at the tail end of the decade, this is one of Whitney’s best-loved tunes.
What are your essential ‘90s R&B tracks? Let us know in the comments.
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