Don't Be Cruel (album)

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Don't Be Cruel
Cruelalbum.jpg
Studio album by Bobby Brown
Released June 20, 1988
Recorded October 1987 – April 1988
Genre
Length 47:08
Label MCA
Producer
Bobby Brown chronology
King of Stage
(1986)
Don't Be Cruel
(1988)
Dance!...Ya Know It!
(1989)
Singles from Don't Be Cruel
  1. "Don't Be Cruel"
    Released: May 17, 1988
  2. "My Prerogative"
    Released: August 23, 1988
  3. "Roni"
    Released: December 27, 1988
  4. "Every Little Step"
    Released: January 31, 1989
  5. "Rock Wit'cha"
    Released: August 15, 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]
The Village VoiceB+[3]

Don't Be Cruel is the second studio album by American singer Bobby Brown. It was released in the United States on June 20, 1988 by MCA Records.

The album was far more successful than Brown's debut, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and spawning five top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including Brown's only number one, "My Prerogative". It spent a total of six weeks on top of the Billboard 200 and was the best-selling album of 1989 in the United States, the album also reached the top five in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Don't Be Cruel received extremely positive reviews from music critics.[1] Brown also won his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 1990 Grammy Awards for "Every Little Step".

The album has been certified 7× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of over seven million units in the United States.[4]

Development[edit]

Brown changed producers for this album, and worked extensively with hit-making songwriting and production duo Babyface and L.A. Reid. Alex Henderson of Allmusic writes

Singles[edit]

All five singles released from the album reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. "Don't Be Cruel" was released as the lead single. The second single, "My Prerogative", earned Brown his first number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "My Prerogative" was also the second-biggest single of 1989, finishing at number two on the Year-End Billboard Hot 100 Singles of 1989. Three of the singles also reached number one on Billboard's Hot R&B Songs chart.

All singles have been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[4]

Commercial performance[edit]

Don't Be Cruel debuted at number 74 on the Billboard 200 on July 23, 1988. It wasn't until six months later that the album reached number one, starting a six-week non-consecutive run at number one, from January 21, 1989 – February 4, 1989 and February 18, 1989 – March 4, 1989, its reign at number one was interrupted for one week by Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction.

The album also spent a total of 11 non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart over the course of 1988 and 1989. It spent an eight-week non-consecutive run at number one from September–November 1988, and then remarkably returned to number one four months later in March 1989.

Don't Be Cruel was the best-selling album of 1989 in the United States, and finished number one on the Billboard Year-End album chart.[6]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Cruel Prelude"
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
0:37
2."Don't Be Cruel"
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
6:48
3."My Prerogative"
  • Bobby Brown
  • Gene Griffin
  • Gene Griffin
  • Bobby Brown (co.)
4:51
4."Roni"Babyface
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
5:58
5."Rock Wit'cha"
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
4:49
6."Every Little Step"
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
3:57
7."I'll Be Good to You"
  • Bobby Brown
  • Gene Griffin
  • Gene Griffin
  • Bobby Brown (co.)
4:25
8."Take It Slow"
  • Jay Logan
  • Lee Peters
  • Larry White
Larry White5:23
9."All Day All Night"
  • Dennis Wadington
  • DeWayne Sweet
  • Larry White
  • Lee Peters
Larry White4:40
10."I Really Love You Girl"
  • Bobby Brown
  • Gordon Jones
  • Gene Griffin
  • Bobby Brown (co.)
5:10
11."Cruel Reprise"
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
  • Babyface
  • L.A. Reid
0:19
Total length:47:08

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Allmusic.[7]

  • Richard Aguon – drum fills, drums, background vocals
  • Babyface – mixing, producer, background vocals
  • Bernard Belle – background vocals
  • Ollie Bolds – background vocals
  • Bobby Brown – primary artist, producer, background vocals
  • Tommy Brown – finger snaps, production coordination
  • Emilio Conesa – guitar
  • Kirk Crumpler – bass, synthesizer, synthesizer bass
  • Michael Denten – drum technician, engineer, mixing, background vocals
  • Lee Drakeford – background vocals
  • Don Emerson – assistant engineer
  • Jon Gass – engineer, mixing, special edits
  • Mitch Gibson – engineer
  • Todd Gray – photography
  • Toni Greene – assistant engineer
  • Gene Griffin – producer
  • Portia Griffin – background vocals
  • John Guggenheim – assistant engineer
  • Aaron Hall – background vocals
  • Steve Hall – mastering
  • Fred Howard – assistant engineer
  • Ja – art direction
  • Howard Johnston – engineer
  • Gordon Jones – multi instruments, producer, background vocals
  • K2 – assistant engineer
  • Kayo – guest artist, background vocals
  • Ruben Laxamana – engineer, special effects
  • Jay Logan –
  • Melecio Magdaluyo – soprano saxophone
  • Dennis Mitchell – engineer, mixing
  • Julie Moss – design
  • Lee Peters – background vocals
  • Ben Reyes – keyboards
  • L.A. Reid – producer
  • Markell Riley – drum programming
  • Teddy Riley – keyboards, mixing, background vocals
  • Percy Scott – keyboards
  • Louil Silas, Jr. – executive producer, remixing
  • Daryl Simmons – background vocals
  • Mark Slagle – assistant engineer
  • Dewayne Sweet – drums, keyboards, synthesizer, synthesizer bass
  • Ralph Tresvant – background vocals
  • Dennis Wadington –
  • Ronnie Watkins – background vocals
  • Karyn White – guest artist, background vocals
  • Larry White – assistant engineer, bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, mixing, producer, background vocals

Chart positions[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (March 2011). "Essentials: R&B Rubs Hip-Hop the Right Way and the New Jack Swing Era Is Born". Spin. New York: 84. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Henderson, Alex (November 1, 2001). "Don't Be Cruel – Bobby Brown: Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 24, 1989). "Consumer Guide Jan. 24, 1989". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". 
  5. ^ "Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". 
  6. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 1989". 
  7. ^ "Don't Be Cruel – Bobby Brown". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  8. ^ "ARIA Albums Chart – November 26, 1989". 
  9. ^ "Dutch Albums Chart – April 15, 1989". 
  10. ^ "New Zealand Albums Chart – June 18, 1989". 
  11. ^ "Swedish Albums Chart – April 5, 1989". 
  12. ^ "UK Albums Chart – July 16, 1989". The Official Charts Company. 
  13. ^ "Billboard 200 January 21, 1989". Billboard. 
  14. ^ "Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums September 10, 1988". Billboard. 
  15. ^ "Bobby Brown US singles chart history". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  16. ^ "British album certifications – Bobby Brown – Don't Be Cruel". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Don't Be Cruel in the search field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Bobby Brown – Don't Be Cruel". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

See also[edit]