On this day in music history: May 8, 1990 – “The Revival”, the second album by Tony! Toni! Toné! is released. Produced by Tony! Toni! Toné!, Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, it is recorded at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA, Live Oak Studios in Berkeley, CA, J-Jam Studio in Oakland, CA, Can-Am Recorders in Tarzana, CA, Eve-Jim Studio and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, CA from Late 1989 – Early 1990. Following the success of their Gold plus debut album “Who?”, Tony! Toni! Toné! turn their attention into recording their sophomore release. Unlike their first album which was produced entirely by former Club Nouveau members Thomas McElroy and Denzil Foster, The Tonies, brothers D’Wayne and Raphael Wiggins, their cousin Timothy Christian Riley take more control over the production their second outing, writing and producing the majority of it themselves. In creating the material, the band pull from their musical influences which including 60’s and 70’s R&B and funk, as well as incorporating current sounds like New Jack Swing and Hip Hop into the mix, all while putting their own soulful, funky and humorous stamp on the songs. Released in the Spring of 1990, the album is proceeded by the horn driven first single “The Blues” (#1 R&B, #46 Pop) in March. The song which marries the Memphis soul flavor of Al Green to a down tempo stepper’s rhythm, is also accompanied by a 12" single with a remix featuring a spoken rap by R&B singer Tyler Collins (“Girls Nite Out”, “What Cha Gonna Do?”), dissing her would be suitors over not being able to provide her with the life style she’s accustomed to. It is followed by the equally funky and infectious “Feels Good” (#1 R&B, #9 Pop), which gives Tony! Toni! Toné! their third R&B chart topper, first top ten pop hit and their first Gold single. The album spins off two other singles including “Whatever You Want” (#1 R&B, #48 Pop) and “It Never Rains (In Southern California)” (#1 R&B, #34 Pop). The track “Oakland Stroke” which features label mate Vanessa Williams is issued as a single outside the US. With four more R&B chart toppers under their belts, “The Revival” spends more than a year on the charts, also further opens the door for the band with the mainstream pop audience. The Tonies second album takes them to the next level of success in their career, establishing them as one of the top R&B acts in an era, when fully self contained bands are rare commodity in a predominantly singer and producer driven music industry. “The Revival” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty four on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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