DAR Music: 7 Classic R&B Albums From 1993

By @TrueGodImmortal

1993 was a great year. The Bulls won the NBA Title, the hip hop world got introduced to Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang, and R&B music was at the pinnacle for the genre. It is crazy to think that 1993 was 25 years ago, but time flies. It feels like yesterday seeing the cover of Janet Jackson's new album in stores, hearing the opening riffs of H-Town's classic "Knockin' Da Boots", or the arrival of Toni Braxton to the music world. 25 years. That's such a long time for music to age and it seems as most of the albums from that year are still remembered quite fondly. As a result, I wanted to go back to 1993 and take a look at 7 classic albums from that year that have turned or are turning 25. Which albums are featured? Read on to find out.

*Janet Jackson- janet 

-The essential Janet Jackson album of course deserves a mention, as this is her signature album in the 90's and perhaps her best work overall. After signing a high profile contract with Virgin Records, Janet would return with a massive album that explored different facets of herself and her artistry. The album is sexually charged with sensual elements spiced in as well, which was a far cry from Rhythm Nation and Control. The album produced a number of hits from the classic "That's The Way Love Goes" to "Again" to "Any Time, Any Place", and the album itself flows smoothly. While Control is my pick for her best album overall, I think this is her greatest work. She executed every song, every note, and the entire album to near perfection. Janet was at her best in 1993. This album officially turned 25 in May, and it still sounds great from start to finish now.

*H-Town- Fever For Da Flavor

-Perhaps the most underrated R&B group of the decade, H-Town delivered with a classic debut album that somehow doesn't get the attention it deserves in terms of legacy. While I'm personally partial to their second album, the debut from this trio was excellent and almost flawless. While the first single was the biggest moment for their career, the entire album has a great sound to it throughout. Of course, the no. 1 hit "Knockin Da Boots" will always be the focus when looking at this album, but tracks like "Lick U Up", "Baby I Wanna", "Keepin' My Composure", "Sex Me", and others were also very solid and helped round out this album. Fever For Da Flavor turned 25 in April and the album still sounds like greatness after all these years.

*Babyface- For The Cool In You

-I always believed that Babyface was better as the songwriter for others than the artist himself, but there were a few exceptions to this rule. Tender Lover and For The Cool In You were both prime examples of what Babyface could do as an artist and why he is the greatest songwriter of all time. For The Cool In You is one of those albums that you have to truly sit with and appreciate, because the music gets better with each listen. Whether it was the smooth title track, the classic single "Never Keeping Secrets", or even the hit "And Our Feelings", Babyface delivered on an album that would see triple platinum success and be a regular on the charts. This album will turn 25 officially in August.

*R. Kelly- 12 Play 

-So, I get it. Plenty of people are boycotting the music of R. Kelly and he is trash as a human being, which I totally get. As a human being, he seems like the worst of the worst in some ways. However, a majority of the artists we knew and loved were terrible people, and while that's not something to overlook, music and the person for me are mostly separate. While I haven't listened to much of R. Kelly's music over the last 5-10 years, I would be foolish to deny the impact and classic nature of his first official solo album, 12 Play. This album took R. Kelly to a new level of stardom and rightfully so. While I don't think this album is flawless, I think it would be criminal to not recognize how impactful and important to R&B it was and still is. Tracks like "Sex Me", "Bump N Grind", "Your Body's Callin", and "It Seems Like You're Ready" make the album such a classic listen and it would of course see success and be revered in R&B circles. The album would sell over 6 million copies, an amazing feat, and it will turn 25 in November.

*Tevin Campbell- I'm Ready

-For all of the success that Tevin Campbell had as an artist, his star never shined any brighter than it did with this album, his second release. Armed with an immensely talented group of producers and songwriters from Quincy Jones to Prince to Babyface, Tevin would release his sophomore album to rave reviews and critical acclaim, and best of all, mainstream success. With the title track and "Can We Talk" being the two major singles along with other songs like "Shhh", "Always In My Heart", "The Halls Of Desire", and more rounding out the project, Tevin would see the spotlight shine on him for an extended period with this album. Going double platinum and having two top 3 R&B hits was an amazing feat and there is no year in his career bigger and better than 1993. This album officially turns 25 in October.

*Toni Braxton- Toni Braxton 

-I will always be a fan of Toni's debut and it might be the greatest female R&B album of all time next to Anita Baker's Rapture. While that might be a bit too much for some to agree with, the fact remains that Toni arrived and took over with ease. Backed by LaFace Records and the songwriting and production talent of Babyface, her debut was poised to be a success and it exceeded all expectations for the most part. This album turns 25 on July 13th, and it still sounds amazing in 2018, which is a testament to the longevity of Toni and how well this album managed to age. With a ton of hits and huge commercial success to the tune of 8 million copies sold in the U.S., Toni shined with songs like "Breathe Again", "Another Sad Love Song", "Seven Whole Days", "How Many Ways", "You Mean The World To Me", and many more. This album is a huge influence on many women in R&B today and it is beyond the word classic IMO.

*Jodeci- Diary Of A Mad Band

-My personal favorite R&B group experienced tremendous success in the early 90's, and all of their albums, this remains my choice as their best work. Diary Of A Mad Band was the group's sophomore release and it was slightly more hip hop influenced than their debut and it worked perfectly IMO. With songs like "Feenin", "Cry For You", "What About Us", and the album opener "My Heart Belongs To U", Jodeci showcased why they were ahead of the other R&B groups of the time and this album would be certified double platinum, earning the group more accolades and bragging rights. This album turns 25 in December, and I can still listen to it regularly in my playlist, and the same could be said for the other albums here. I don't remember the last year in R&B where there were so many classics released. The good days.



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