When Maurice Starr uncovered the talents of a Roxbury vocal group in the early ’80s at a talent show at Dorchester’s storied Strand Theater he saw the second coming of the Jackson 5. The boys didn’t win the completion (they came in second) but they did win a deal with Starr & Streetwise records. Starr came up with the name New Edition (as in a new edition of the Jackson 5) and started recording with the boys the day after the talent show at the Strand. This group of kids (all under 15) had their first single “Candy Girl” shoot to #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. This led them to their debut album, also titled Candy Girl, which had a lot of pop/early hip hop influences, yet still has a classic R&B feel.
Other hits such as “Popcorn Love” and “Ohh Girl” and the slow burner of “Is This the End” make this album well rounded and no surprise as to why they went on to become one of the biggest R&B groups ever. The success of New Edition led to Bobby Brown’s solo career, the success of Bell Biv DeVoe and served as a template for the “boy bands” that followed. But don’t let that last line fool you, this album packs a bite with solid production and hooks for days.