Back to the 90’s: Tony! Toni! Toné!
The 1990’s brought us many good things, like Super Mario World, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and who could forget those bulky Nokia cellphones with the antennae. Since then, the rapid wave of technology has advanced us to Grand Theft Auto, The Walking Dead, and the ever so cherished IPhone. However, some things cannot be replaced, and we hope this 90’s R&B group will never go out of style.
With 14 singles hitting the Billboard charts, five number one hits, three top ten pop singles, one gold album, two platinum albums, one double platinum album, and over six million albums sold, we’re being modest when we say that Tony! Toni! Toné! was and still is one of the greatest R&B ensembles of our time.
Tony! Toni! Toné! was formed in 1988, with a conglomerate of eight members. Dwayne Wiggins, Raphael Saadiq, and Timothy Christian Riley enjoyed much of the spotlight on lead vocals, guitar, drums, and keyboard. Today, Wiggins and Riley are keeping the legend alive, along with Amar Khalil, as they tour across The United States as Tony! Toni! Toné! once again.
In lieu of the band’s upcoming visit to the Alive at Five stage for 90’s night, we thought we’d give you a much needed Tony! Toni! Toné! refresher, seeing how it is 2016. Here’s a shortened list of your favorite chart topping TTT hits:
1. Little Walter (1988)
Little Walter, the top single from TTT’s first album, Who?, reached number 1 on the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop chart, as well as number 47 on The Billboard Hot 100.
The popular melody was taken from “Wade in the Water”, a spiritual hymn often associated with the Underground Railroad.
The song is about a man named Walter, a guy who makes money carrying out a “certain hobby”, and lives a very lavish lifestyle. Despite his “new fancy car” and new clothes, he will not give his roommate rent money. After a fight between the roommates that “lasted half the night”, Walter doesn’t walk away in one piece.
2. Feels Good (1990)
This funky song just feels good to listen to. The Revival, Tony! Toni! Toné!’s second album went platinum, partly due to this song. Feels Good was their first single to hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, a huge accomplishment for a music group founded only two years prior. Feels Good also reached number 1 on the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
Rapping his own verse, Maurice Williams or Mopreme Shakur, assisted in the song’s success. Mopreme is Tupac Shakur’s older step brother, and was also a member of the former hip-hop group’s “Thug Life” and “The Outlawz.”
Feels Good has been featured in a variety of media including a season 2 episode of Rick and Morty and a 2011 Ford Edge commercial.
3. Anniversary (1993)
This Slow Jam, a song off the Sons of Soul album, was dubbed a gold single, reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. Anniversary was also nominated for two Grammy awards in the categories ‘Best R&B song’ and ‘Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.’
When looking for girl advice, look no further than Tony! Toni! Toné!. The lyrics of Anniversary are sweet enough to flatter any woman’s ears, “Today is a special day not just any day, cause you can have everything you want your way, tell your supervisor you're leaving early today and I'm going to pay for the rest of your day.”
4. (Lay Your Head on My) Pillow (1994)
Another hit single from the album Sons of Soul, Pillow hit number 4 on the R&B/ Hip-Hop singles chart, and number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In contrast with the gentle and sultry R&B sound, a layer of country influence is subtly blended into this single. Before TTT used the studio to record Pillow, a country band was recording, leaving behind a pedal steel guitar. Naturally, the R&B group incorporated the lonely instrument into their song spur of the moment.
Whether it’s 1990 or 2016, we think these monumental R&B anthems will always “feel good” to listen to. Now that we have your memory jogged, get ready for the ultimate 90’s experience as Tony! Toni! Toné! take the Alive at Five stage on June 23. Besides, who doesn’t love a good #tbt?
For more information on Tony! Toni! Toné! visit their website here.