Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.
This issue we will cover "Cool It Now" by New Edition. This was the first single released in 1984 from the group's second studio album. The song received considerable radio airplay and hit #1 on the Billboard R&B chart in November of 1984 while crossing over to the pop chart peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of 1985. I was a fan of New Edition ever since I first heard "Candy Girl", but "Cool It Now" really locked it in. This was one of the first commercial R&B hits I remember that featured a rap interlude (there are actually two of them). Ronnie DeVoe and Mike Bivins get one, but most people remember lead singer Ralph Tresvant's rap in which he calls out the other guys names, " Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike. If I like the girl who cares who you like."
The music video for "Cool It Now" was directed by Jay Dubin. He went on to direct a couple other of New Edition's other videos from that time including "Mr. Telephone Man" and "Count Me Out". Previously he had directed several hit music videos for Daryl Hall & John Oates, REO Speedwagon and Billy Joel. For Hall & Oates, Dubin directed "You Make My Dreams", "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go For That, No Can Do". For REO, he directed "Take It on the Run" and "Time For Me to Fly". For Billy Joel, he directed "Uptown Girl", "Tell Her About It", "For the Longest Time" and "Goodnight Saigon". That is some pretty impressive work between 1981-1984 or so. Dubin also directed some television including specials like 1989's Tiffany at Disney World and The Diceman Cometh comedy special among other TV work carrying into the '90s.
The music video follows the story of the song. Ralph is pining for a girl and his boys are telling him not to fall in love too fast. You get to see some of the guy's personalities as well as a Boston basketball court and neighborhood. In the end, all five guys (not just Ralph) are paired up with a girl. Here is the music video for "Cool It Now" by New Edition...
I especially love New Edition's music as they evolved and matured into later work, but the early stuff still holds a special place for me as well and it really started back with this album and song for me. I am proud to say that I still consider myself NE4LIFE.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!