First Hit #1: October 6, 1990
If there’s one genre that never, ever leaves the chart, it’s smooth R&B. It changes to fit the time, but it is the one chart constant that you can rely on. Maxi Priest, for example, has an early ’90s version of the genre. It’s got a bit of rap in there, a dash of synth bass to fit with the times, but those are just affectations. This song hits because of the chorus, and the enduring impression of the song is the R&B vocal, rather than anything new that the song has going on under the surface. Maxi Priest might be trying all sorts of new things, or at least trying out new trends to see if they fit, but they’re don’t matter overall. It’s not the rap verses that are going to stick in one’s mind or drive one to buy the single, it’s the hook on the chorus, and the singing itself, which is right smack in the middle of R&B tradition. The more things change, the more they stay the same.