Boasting their “hip-hop smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop-feel-appeal to it,” Bell Biv DeVoe spun off from New Edition following the parent group’s tour in support of 1988’s Heart Break. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, all original members of New Edition, complied with the urging of that album’s producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and started fresh with a more street-oriented approach to contemporary R&B.
Bell Biv Devoe released its debut album Poison in 1990, on MCA Records. The album was credited as pioneering the “new jack swing” sound of the early 1990s, combining hip-hop, funk, soul, and pop music. This fusion of styles helped to expose them to a fan base who prefer a harder edged sound. Poison reached number 1 on Billboard‘s R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and its title track, along with its second single, “Do Me!”, both reached number 3 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart.
Poison also spawned the singles “B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?”, “When Will I See You Smile Again?” and “She’s Dope!” Poison sold over four million copies and achieved triple Platinum success.
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