Our Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs list takes a look at a singer, songwriter and producer who rose to fame in the late 80s early 90s. He was one of the inventors of the New Jack Swing era. He wrote songs for himself as well as other artists such as Tevin Campbell, Jodeci, Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case and Usher. His biggest hit single is “Nite and Day.” Some of his other hits include “Off on Your Own (Girl),” “Killing Me Softly,” “Rescue Me,” “Oooh This Love Is So,” “No Matter What You Do,” “Right Now” as well as others. His debut album sold over three million copies.
Albert Joseph Brown III was born on June 4, 1968. He wanted to be a football player while he was in high school. He could have had a scholarship in football, but he turned it down because he became interested in music. In 1986, he met record producer Andre Harrell who sent his demo tapes to Warner Bros. The label went on to sign him in 1987. The record label entered him into a talent search called Sony Innovator Talent Search. Legendary producer Quincy Jones was one of the judges of the competition. He picked Al B. Sure! as the winner of the competition. He went on to record his debut album.
In Effect Mode came out in 1988. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 20 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Nite and Day,” “Killing Me Softly,” “Off on Your Own (Girl),” “Rescue Me” and “If I’m Not Your Lover.” The album sold over three million copies. The album was a huge hit for Al B. Sure! and he was on the same level as Bobby Brown.
Private Times…and the Whole 9! was released in 1990. It debuted at number four on the r&b charts and number 20 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Misunderstanding,” “No Matter What You Do,” “Had Enuf?” and “Hotel California.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. The album didn’t sell as much as his previous album, but it did manage to go gold.
Sexy Verses came out in 1992. The album peaked at number two on the r&b charts and number 41 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Natalie,” “Right Now” and “I Don’t Wanna Cry.” Honey I’m Home came out in 2009. It was his first album in nearly 20 years. It features the singles “I Love It! (Papi Aye, Aye, Aye),” “Lady in My Life,” “Dedicate My All,” “By the Way” and “Never Stop Loving You.”
Al B. Sure! was known for singing romantic songs. His sexy voice intoxicated a lot of fans especially women. His spoken voice is deep while his singing voice is tenor. Once he stopped recording music, he was able to use his velvety voice to his advantage. He became a disc jockey for quiet storm radio. When he was at the height of his career, he competed with Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Guy, Christopher Williams as well as other New Jack Swing artists. He also helped develop the careers of Tevin Campbell and Jodeci. He may not have had a long music career, but he managed to make an impact on music. Our Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs list will feature his best songs.
# 10 – Misunderstanding
The first song on our Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs list is “Misunderstanding” from the Private Times….and the Whole 9! album. The song has an r&b and New Jack Swing sound. The gold digging song is about a woman who is after him for his money. He refused to let her play with his heart. He knows she only comes around when he has something to offer her. This song was the lead single from his sophomore album. He had pressure to deliver a big hit after his hit singles from his debut album dropped.
This single was right in line with the jams from the In Effect Mode album. It has a 90s sound, but fans of today’s music could still enjoy it. The music is energetic and good for dancing. The keyboard and drums sell the music. This jam was definitely pumping in the jeeps during its release. He starts the song with his sexy speaking voice. He practically seduces you with his voice. Once he’s finished talking he starts singing in his tenor voice. He sounds good on this gem. He makes you want to sing along with him. He doesn’t hold any notes or belts, but none of that was needed. The song may not have been as big of a hit as the singles on his debut album, but it’s worth a listen.
# 9 – Hotel California
The next song on our Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs list is “Hotel California” from the Private Times…and the Whole 9! album. The song has r&b beat. The social song is about corruption and greed in the music industry. He talks about the dangers of being involved in the music industry. In case you were wondering, this is a remake of The Eagles’ song. It’s that time to ask the questions when an artist covers a known song. Should he have taken the risk and covered their song? Did he make the song his own? The answer to the first question is that he probably shouldn’t have covered one of The Eagles biggest hits. The answer to the second question is that he did make it his own.
His version isn’t as well known as the original version. It won’t make you forget the original version, but he did a magnificent cover. He kept the essence of the song the same as their version. The melody of the music is different from their version. The Eagles’ version is soft rock while his version is r&b music. Al B. Sure! sings the lyrics with more soul than Don Henley (this is a subjective opinion). Fans of r&b music will most likely appreciate Al B. Sure’s! version just as much as the original one. Fans of soft rock music will probably prefer The Eagles’ version. Both versions are worth checking out.
# 8 – If I’m Not Your Lover
The perplexing song is from the In Effect Mode album. It has a New Jack Swing sound. The mystifying song is about a woman who can’t decide if she wants to be friends or lovers with him. He has to keep questioning if she wants him or not. The lyrics are different. This subject is usually taken from a woman’s point of view. Women tend to question whether guys want to be friends or lovers. It was nice to hear this taken from a male’s point of view. It’s good to know women aren’t the only ones who don’t want to be playthings.
He continues to ask her what she wants from the relationship. He wants a woman who will commit to being with him. The lyrics don’t sound like he’s desperate for love. He seems passionate about the woman in the song. This is one of the songs from his monster debut album. It has the classic late 80s New Jack Swing sound. It sounds like something Guy or Keith Sweat would have performed. The midtempo jam is upbeat and will have you out of your seat as soon as the beat drops.
The music is a little dated, but it was perfect for it’s time. Al B. Sure! sounds a little different on this track. He doesn’t sing the song in falsetto, but he doesn’t sing it in his normal voice. He sings it in a lower key. His vocals are stacked in the song. He sings in time with the beat. It’s hard to believe the song is from his debut album. He sounds like he was singing for a long time.
# 7 – Off On Your Own (Girl)
The heart pounding song is from the In Effect Mode album. It has a New Jack Swing and r&b sound. The pleading song is about a man who wants a woman who isn’t interested in being with him. At one point in the song, they are together because he mentions how she wants him back in her life. The lyrics are written as if they are telling a story about a turbulent relationship. He talks about a woman who doesn’t want him, but he also talks about their relationship. If you listen to the lyrics carefully, you will notice that he’s describing two different things about the woman. The song has the classic New Jack Swing sound. It’s a great song for dancing or exercising.
The bass line is tight and cool. The synth comes at you out of nowhere. He showed his versatile side by singing in falsetto as well as rapping. He was initially a rapper when he worked on his debut album. He had to train himself to be a singer. This track gave him a chance to return to his rapping style. He’s not the best rapper in music by any means, but his rhymes were decent. He made the right decision to switch to a singer. His vocals were up and down throughout the song. He should have stayed committed to one pitch in the song, but it doesn’t hurt it at all. His voice was smooth when he sang in his normal tone.
# 6 – Rescue Me
The yearning song is also from the In Effect Mode album. The song has a New Jack Swing beat to it. The lustful song is about him wanting to be with the girl of his dreams. He wants her to “rescue” him. The song has a vigorous dance beat to it. The beat is fast paced. It will have you out of your seat and on the dance floor. The melody is similar to his other song “Off on Your Own (Girl).” The drumbeat is fast and bouncy. The music blends a little bit of Hip Hop to please fans of r&b and Hip Hop music.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy. He practically asked the listeners to get up and dance to the catchy beat. He sounds like he’s using a double while he’s singing. He sounds deeper in the lead vocals and higher in the double. It’s a great touch because it gives the listeners a chance to hear his sexy tone coming through. He sounds like he’s channeling his inner Michael Jackson on this song. He loved Michael Jackson and wanted to sing like him. He tried to sing the verses like him. The chorus is simple and easy to remember. He repeats the same line over again. This earworm will stay in your head after it’s done.
# 5 – Right Now
The next song on our Top 10 Al B. Sure’s! Songs list is “Right Now” from the Sexy Verses album. The song has an r&b and New Jack Swing beat. The sensual song is about him wanting to make love to his woman. This is the first sexy ballad to appear on our list. He describes making love to his woman without being too vulgar. He makes it sound sensual and romantic. He doesn’t describe it in a graphic way so it will be appealing to women and men. This is a slow jam that would be great for the bedroom. The music is hypnotic and infectious. The drums add tempo to the song. There is a saxophone solo that makes the song sound sexier.
The melody of the song is similar to Tevin Campbell’s “Alone with You.” Al B. Sure! worked on that song too so it’s not a surprise they sound similar. His vocals are on point with this track. He sings in time with the music. He never misses a beat. His smooth vocals will set your heart on fire. He sings the song in a way that will put you in an intimate mood. He proved he could sing ballads in addition to the dance songs. He didn’t have to just stick to dance music. His sensuous voice is good for ballads as well.
# 4 – Oooh This Love Is So
The mesmerizing song is from the In Effect Mode album. The song has an r&b sound. This is another ballad on our Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs list. The sultry song is about him being with his woman. Similar to “Right Now” he managed to romanticize making love to the woman he loves. The poetic lyrics will make any woman’s heart melt. This is a great track to play when you are in a romantic mood. This song is the perfect definition of grown and sexy because it will make you want to do grown and sexy things. The music is soft and intimate.
He took a break from New Jack Swing to create an r&b jam. It was the right decision to make because the music is infectious. He was known for incorporating swift beats into his tracks, but he slowed things down for this song. The music will put you in a trance. The music is simple. It contains the keyboard and guitar. He snaps his fingers after each line he sings. He does it in time with the music. Al B. Sure’s! vocals are unique on this track. He sings the song in different pitches. He sings one half of the song in a deeper pitch and the other in a higher one. There is a woman in the background of the song. She sounds seductive and sexy. She works well with him. They both sing in time with the music.
# 3 – No Matter What You Do ft. Diana Ross
The romantic song is from the Private Time…and the Whole 9! album. The song has an r&b sound. The enchanting song is about an unconditional love. They talk about loving each other regardless of what they do to each other. This is the only duet to appear on our list. Al B. Sure! and Diana Ross seem like an unlikely duo. They don’t sing the same type of music so it’s not a match that their fans would have expected. They manage to make it work.
Diana Ross is outside of her wheelhouse with this song. She’s not really known for singing songs as sensual as this track. Al B. Sure! is right at home with this song. He opens the song by talking with his sexy voice. He starts singing after the intro. He sings the song in his normal tone and it’s pleasant to the ear. His vocals are smooth like butter. Diana Ross sings in a deeper tone than she does on her other songs. She’s probably trying to sound sensual. Here is some trivia about the song. There were rumors that they were dating when they recorded the track.
It explains why they sound like they were a couple on the song. Their voices blended well together. They harmonize well together especially in the chorus. They have a vocal battle at the end of the song. They vocally challenge each other just before the song ends. The chorus will stay in your head long after it’s done. The only complaint is that there is a lot of needless talking towards the end of the song.
# 2 – Killing Me Softly
The sincere song is from the In Effect Mode album. It has an r&b beat. The sparkling song is about him being in love with a singer in a club. He hears her sing a song that’s relatable to his life. This is a cover of Lori Lieberman’s song. He covered Roberta Flack’s version of it. The song was made famous by Roberta Flack as well as The Fugees. Al B. Sure’s! version is taken from a male’s point of view. He changed the lyrics from a female’s perspective to a male’s perspective.
The song has the same meaning so the changes didn’t hurt it at all. He took a chance covering a track that was so heavily linked to Roberta Flack at the time. He managed to make the song his own. The music is slightly different from hers. Roberta Flack’s version is stripped down and sounds acoustic. The beat is also a little slower than his version. His version includes a thumping drumbeat that gives the song some tempo. He basically kept the song the same with the exception of minor changes. He sings the song in a higher pitch than Roberta Flack. He also shows versatility by holding notes in the song. He harmonizes with himself at the end of the track.
His vocals are stacked in the chorus which was a great touch. His version may not be as popular as Roberta Flack’s or The Fugees, but his version is just as good. This is one of his best tracks. It should have been a bigger hit. This song could have easily been number one on our list if it weren’t for the one we chose.
# 1 – Nite And Day
The number one song on our Top 10 Al B. Sure Songs list is “Nite and Day.” The song has a New Jack Swing and r&b sound. The melodic song is about how he feels about his woman. He talks how he feels about his woman. The lyrics are similar to The Deele’s hit song “Two Occasions.” He said he would tell the person how he feels night and day. This is the track that put Al B. Sure! on the map. The song was an instant smash hit. It’s his signature song and it’s easy to tell why that’s the case.
Everything about the song works. The music is excellent and will have you on the dance floor. The bass is hard hitting and thumping. The synth is magical. There aren’t enough words to describe the infectious music. He opens the song with the hypnotic chorus. There’s no way this chorus won’t stick in your head long after the song is done. He sings the verses in falsetto. You may need the lyrics because he’s a little hard to understand. He sings the chorus in his normal tone which is better. He sounds much better when he doesn’t sing in falsetto too much. He harmonizes with himself when he sings the chorus after the bridge. This song deserves to be a big hit for him and number one on our list.
Top 10 Al B. Sure! Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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