While the single was on its climb to #1 on the R&B Charts Don’t Be Cruel the album was released on this date in 1988. It would be late July when “Don’t Be Cruel” the single would reach the top spot and lead the way for the other singles released from the album “My Prerogative”, “Roni”, “Every Little Step” and “Rock Wit’cha” all of which would occupy a spot in the Top 3(“My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step” would reach #1 as well).

Don’t Be Cruel was part of the seismic shift in R&B where between the months of May and June you say releases from Al B. Sure!, Guy, Bobby Brown and New Edition. Of note N.E. Hearbreak and Don’t Be Cruel were released on the same day(MCA Records seems to have had a well-played strategy). So we wanted to take a little time out today to give a nod to a recording that sent Bobby Brown into the stratosphere, ushered in a new sound as well as some new faces(yes I meant to do that) on the musical landscape. The work turned in for this project by the likes of L.A. and Babyface and Teddy Riley really set the stage for the next decade in music.

On the way this week we have an episode of our Inside The Album Podcast dedicated to Don’t Be Cruel. We hope that you will join us for that in-depth conversation and help us to celebrate this monumental recording.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.