Our Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs list will focus on one of music’s popular r&b singers. He got his start in music as one of the members of the popular boy band New Edition. There was backstage drama with the group, which led to his solo career. He left the group in 1985 and became a pioneer of New Jack Swing music. His biggest hits include “My Prerogative,” “Every Little Step,” “Rock Wit’cha,” “Roni,” “Don’t Be Cruel” as well as others. He sold over 50 million records as a solo artist as well as with New Edition. Let’s get to know more about Bobby Brown.
Bobby Brown was born Robert Barisford Brown on February 5, 1969. He started his career with New Edition in 1981. He left the group in 1985 after backstage turmoil with the members. He pursued a solo career in 1986. He released his debut album King of Stage in 1986. The album peaked at number 88 on the Billboard 200 charts and number 12 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Girlfriend” and “Girl Next Door.” “Girlfriend” was an r&b hit for Brown. The album didn’t perform that well on the charts. He didn’t find success until he released his second album.
Brown released Don’t Be Cruel in 1988. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 charts as well as on the r&b charts. It spent 11 weeks at number one on the charts. The album spawned five top 10 hits. It features the singles “Don’t Be Cruel,” “My Prerogative,” “Roni,” “Every Little Step” and “Rock Wit’cha.” Brown won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Every Little Step.” Don’t Be Cruel was one of the best-selling albums of 1989. The album sold over 12 million copies.
The pressure was on Bobby Brown to recreate the magic of Don’t Be Cruel. He recorded two singles for the movie Ghostbusters II in 1989. “On Our Own” was a top 10 hit single. He also had a small role in the movie. In 1992, he released Bobby. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 charts and number one on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Humpin’ Around,” “Good Enough,” “Get Away,” “That’s the Way Love Is,” “Something In Common” and “Two Can Play That Game.” The album sold over two million copies. It didn’t match the success of his previous album, but it sold a lot of copies.
Brown released his next album Forever in 1997. The album peaked at number 61 on the Billboard 200 charts and number 15 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Feelin’ Inside” and “Nobody Does It Better.” The album wasn’t promoted that much so it didn’t achieve the commercial success of his previous work. Brown took a long hiatus from his solo work before releasing new music. In 2012, he released The Masterpiece. The album peaked at number 41 on the r&b charts. The album didn’t have any singles.
In addition to singing, Bobby Brown appeared in a couple of movies. In 1996, Brown appeared in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. In 2001, he appeared in Two Can Play That Game. In 2005, Brown appeared in a reality show called Being Bobby Brown with his then wife superstar Whitney Houston. The show was about their lives together. Brown also rejoined New Edition on and off throughout the years.
Bobby Brown had a lot of personal issues that tend to overshadow the fact that he was a successful singer. During the height of his career, he spawned a lot of hit singles. He competed with New Edition, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure, Babyface as well as other r&b acts for attention and managed to get it. This list was a challenge to compile because almost everything could have been number one on it. This Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs list will feature his best songs.
# 10 – Humpin’ Around
The first song on our Top 10 Bobby Brown’s Songs list is “Humpin’ Around” from the Bobby album. The song has a New Jack Swing sound. The accusatory song is about someone accusing him of having an affair. He’s responding to the accusation by letting the woman know he’s not cheating. This is La Reid, Babyface and Darryl Simmons attempt at New Jack Swing. They wanted to create a sound similar to the one Teddy Riley created for Brown. The song was released on the same day he married superstar Whitney Houston.
There were reports that the song was about their relationship. With that said, the song has an excellent dance beat. Reid, Babyface and Simmons managed to create a new sound without straying too far away from their own music. It’s impossible to sit still listening to the song. It has a banging drumbeat. The synthesizer is fire. The rest of the musical arrangement is amazing. The song has a catchy hook. Many of Brown’s fans can relate to this song if they have ever been accused of an affair. Brown sings the song with grit in his voice at points. He sounds very passionate and convincing as he tells the woman he loves that he’s not “humpin around.”
# 9 – Good Enough
The next song on our Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs list is “Good Enough” from the Bobby album. The song has an r&b and pop sound. The slick song is about Brown proving that he can do better for the woman he loves. He wants to prove that he would do anything to make her see that he’s “good enough” for her. This song was perfect for Bobby Brown because people thought he wasn’t “good enough” for Whitney Houston They were together when he recorded the song.
This song is overshadowed by his hits from the Don’t Be Cruel album, but this song is worth checking out. The music is infectious and will have you on the dance floor. The drumbeat and keys are sensual and romantic. It sounds like baby making music, which is appropriate because one of the creators of baby making music helped write the song. Babyface, La Reid and Darryl Simmons teamed up to create this masterpiece for Bobby Brown. They proved they could write more hits for him besides the work on his previous album. This song is just as good as his other hits. Bobby Brown sounds good on this track. The music caters to his voice perfectly. He belts towards the end of it and pulls it off. It could have been a disaster, but he pulled it off well.
# 8 – On Our Own
This inspirational song is from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack. It has a New Jack Swing sound to it. This self-reliant song is about doing things on your own. He wants people to learn to do things without relying on other people to get it done. This message is perfect for anyone who wants to try to do things without any help. This song doesn’t have to just be for the movie. It could be about life in general. The production on the song is energetic and invigorating. You can’t help getting hooked as soon as you hear the keyboard. It sets the tone for the rest of the instrumentation. Everything about the music works. The drumbeat is thumping and will definitely have you moving around to it. The song is very entertaining. Brown’s vocals aren’t necessarily the greatest on this track, but he knew how to turn this into a great song. His performance of the song is what makes it the gem that it is. The music definitely plays a big part in the enjoyment of the song. The chorus is infectious and also makes the song sound incredible.
# 7 – Something in Common ft. Whitney Houston
This opposites attract song is from the Bobby album. It has a New Jack Swing and soul beat. This pleasant song is about two different people who get together and find “something in common” with each other. This touching song is clearly to the couple’s naysayers. Brown and Whitney Houston were married when the song was released. People didn’t think they had much in common so they wanted to let the world know they made their relationship work despite their differences. They tell the story about their relationship and how they make it even though people wanted to see them fail. Teddy Riley wrote this song with the former couple and it makes the song more authentic.
They put their hearts and souls in the song as they convincingly give the world a look into their personal lives. Brown had to make sure his vocals were on point because he was singing a duet with the incredible Whitney Houston. Brown did what he could up against Whitney Houston, but she won the vocal battle. Her vocals are breathtaking on this track. She never misses a beat while she’s singing. She managed to belt in the song. Brown also belts in the song and it turned out well. They did an amazing job on the song.
# 6 – Get Away
This bitter song is from the Bobby album. The song has a New Jack Swing and r&b sound to it. The angry song is about him getting away from all of the negativity that was surrounding him. As most of Brown’s fans know, he was trashed heavily in the tabloids for one reason or another. He recorded a song to get out his frustrations at the world. The song is another version of “My Prerogative” from his Don’t Be Cruel album. The themes are similar because it’s about people being in his business. This underrated track is just as good as the other version of it. It tends to get overshadowed because the single wasn’t as successful as the other songs.
The song’s a Top 40 hit, but it’s not one of his signature songs. The music is perfect for the theme of the track. The song features a sample from Funkadelic’s “(Not Just) Knee Deep.” The sample works very well with the song. It gives the song something extra. The sample gives the song a funky beat. It’s another song by Brown that will get you up and out of your seat. Brown chose to sing the song in his lower register. It was a good choice because his voice sounds pretty good in this tone. His voice blends with the thumping beat. He does manage to go up an octave in the bridge. It could have been a bad decision, but he was able to control his voice.
# 5 – Don’t Be Cruel
The next song on our Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs list is “Don’t Be Cruel” from the album of the same name. It has an r&b and New Jack Swing beat to it. The anthemic song is about him telling the woman he loves not to treat him the way she does. He lets her know he wouldn’t treat her the way she treats him. This is the first single off the hugely successful album of the same name. This is the song that let the world know that Bobby Brown was ready to become the “King of R&B.” The song was an instant hit for the singer and it’s easy to see why that was the case. The music will grab you the second you hear it. Once you hear the sound effects, you already know the song will get you. There’s no way this song won’t get you on the dance floor.
Bobby Brown’s range was a great accompaniment to the hypnotic music. His vocals are strong on this track. He sings with passion, attitude and swag. He showed that he had rhyming skills. He raps in a couple of parts in the song. He’s not known for rapping so it was a treat to hear him give it a try. He sounds similar to Babyface when he sings the song. His vocals are a little deeper than Babyface’s, but he sounds enough like him to notice it. It’s not a surprise this song was successful for Brown because it hits all the right notes. The song is flawless.
# 4 – Every Little Step
The bouncy song is from the Don’t Be Cruel album. The song has an r&b and New Jack Swing beat. This feel good song is about falling for the woman he loves. Here is some trivia about the song. La Reid wrote some of the song about his then girlfriend Pebbles. He was dating Pebbles when he wrote the song with Babyface. She was the inspiration for the song. Also, the song was not intended for Brown. Babyface wanted to give the song to Midnight Star. When Brown heard the song he wanted to sing it himself. This was an excellent choice because it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Brown singing this song. It is tailor-made for Brown.
The rhythmic music is absolutely perfect. You can find yourself dancing right along with Brown while listening to it. Brown sounds like he’s using AutoTune for the verses, but it doesn’t hurt the song. There was controversy about whether he’s singing all of the lyrics, but we won’t get into that since it wasn’t proven that he didn’t sing the lyrics. He holds notes towards the end of the song. The chorus is dynamite. It’s an earworm that will stay in your head. Brown, as well as the background singers, sell the chorus. It’s one of the best things about the song.
# 3 – My Prerogative
This anthemic song is from the Don’t Be Cruel album. The song has a New Jack Swing sound to it. This rebellious song is about the backlash he faced when he left New Edition. He wanted everyone to know that he didn’t care about what the world thought about the decisions he made. This became one of Brown’s signature songs. It has a thumping street beat as well as energetic melodies. It features a fantastic bassline that is not to be missed. The percussion on this track is absolutely incredible.
Brown sings the song with a lot of attitude and swag. He is confident and proud while he’s singing the song. You need confidence to pull off a song like this one. He does it in a way that doesn’t come off too egotistical and arrogant. He sounds proud that he can make decisions without worrying about critics. You might have thought this song was going to be number one on our list, but it was a coin toss for the top spot.
# 2 – Rock Wit’cha
This sensual song is from the Don’t Be Cruel album. The song has an r&b, pop and soul sound to it. The seductive song is about wanting to be with his woman all night long. It’s a metaphor for making love all night. He was one of the originators of New Jack Swing, but he proved he could take on a sensual ballad. Here is some trivia about the song. Bobby Brown was a huge Michael Jackson fan so he wanted to do his own take on his classic song with a similar title. The two songs don’t sound the same, but they have a similar theme. Jackson’s is more subtle while Brown’s is more aggressive.
Brown wants his listeners to know exactly what he wants to do with the woman. The song has a melodic hook that will stay in your head long after you have heard it. Brown’s vocals blend well with the music. He sings the song with a lot of soul and passion. He belts in just the right spots of the song. He holds notes that could have been cringe worthy, but they turned out to be pretty good. Everything about this song works and it’s not a surprise that it was a big hit for Brown. This song could have also been number one, but it didn’t win the coin toss.
# 1 – Roni
The number one song on our Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs list is “Roni” from the Don’t Be Cruel album. It has an r&b and New Jack Swing sound. The seductive song is about him falling in love with his tender “Roni.” Babyface borrowed a phrase from Michael Jackson’s “PYT” when he created the title of the song. He shortened the line “tenderoni” to “Roni” It was a very creative trick and dedication to the King of Pop. The harmonies are stacked and reel you in like a fisherman catching fish. The chorus is phenomenal and rhythmic. The chorus is the best part of this magnificent song. Brown sings with the right amount of seduction to pull off the song.
He makes it sound romantic and not graphic. The background singers do an incredible job supporting Brown. Everyone get an “A” for their vocals on the song. Brown shows excellent control when he does a rushed verse after the bridge. He sings the verse without taking a breath. He also holds a note at the end of the verse. It’s too bad he didn’t do that enough in his future songs. This song is flawless and deserves to be in the number one spot on our list.
Top 10 Bobby Brown Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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