LOS ANGELES (UM Records) - Five years, 1991 to 1995, three albums - triple platinum, double platinum, platinum, each No 1 R&B. Ten R&B Top 10 hits, four of them gold, five of them R&B No 1s. The marriage of streetwise hip-hop to romantic R&B in what would become known as Hip-Hop Soul. The inspiration for a swarm of groups, not only in sound, but appearance and style. And then Jodeci
But the future is back with "Back To The Future - The Very Best Of Jodeci" (Universal/UMe), released June 7, 2005, in both explicit and clean versions. Among its 16 selections are all of the group's R&B hits plus fan favorites and the debuts of a trio of recent remixes by bandmember Dalvin DeGrate. Simultaneously released is a visual companion, Jodeci's first DVD, featuring the music videos for many of the tracks on "Back To The Future."
Jodeci was two sets of brothers: the Haileys (Joel aka "JoJo" and Cedric aka "K-Ci") and the DeGrates (Donald aka "DeVante Swing" and Dalvin), and thus "Jo-De-Ci." Natives of Charlotte, N.C., they toured the South in separate groups singing and recording gospel music before joining together to create impassioned R&B in a hip-hop world.
Jodeci's wild, sexual image and smooth vocals, its combination of vintage soul and New Jack vibe, were a sensation from the start. 1991's debut album "Forever My Lady" went triple platinum, No 1 R&B and cracked the pop Top 20. Three singles went No 1 R&B - the title track (also Top 30 pop), "Stay" and the gold-certified "Come & Talk To Me" (also No 11 pop). "I'm Still Waiting" reached No 10 R&B.
1993's follow-up, "Diary Of A Mad Band," moved further into an edgier future and earned No 1 R&B/No 3 pop chartings and double platinum. Going gold was the No 1 R&B/No 15 pop "Cry For You" while "Feenin'" hit No 2 R&B/Top 30 pop and "What About Us" No 14 R&B. Also included on "Back To The Future - The Very Best Of Jodeci" is the album's "My Heart Belongs To You," as well as remixes of "Alone" and "Success." That same year, Jodeci performed on "Uptown MTV Unplugged" and its cover of Stevie Wonder's "Lately" became the subsequent album's biggest hit - gold, No 1 R&B/#4 pop.
In 1995, the conceptual "The Show, The After Party, The Hotel" went platinum, No 1 R&B/ No 2 pop. Gold was "Freek'n You," No 3 R&B/Top 15 pop. "Get On Up" peaked at No 4 R&B/Top 30 pop and "Love U 4 Life" No 8 R&B/Top 40 pop. Also heard on "Back To The Future - The Very Best Of Jodeci" are "Good Luv" and a remix of "S-More."
Record label and personal controversies as well as a natural desire to try other projects eventually put Jodeci on hiatus, from which the foursome has yet to emerge. K-Ci & JoJo, however, continued making hits as a duo. The best of K-Ci & JoJo was first compiled on "All My Life: Their Greatest Hits" and the DVD "All My Life: Their Greatest Video Hits" (Geffen/UMe), both released earlier this year.