Color Me Badd Biography

This US harmony and a cappella quartet, comprising Oklahoma college students, Bryan Abrams (16 November 1969, USA), Mark Calderon (b. 27 September 1970, USA), Sam Watters (b. 23 July 1970, USA) and Kevin Thornton (b. 17 June 1969, USA), triumphed on both sides of the Atlantic in 1991 with the dubious sexual slant of their breakthrough single, ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ (US number 2/UK number 1) It was while they were performing as a support band in Oklahoma that they were spotted by Robert Bell (of Kool And The Gang), who swept them off to New York. Originally arranged by Dr. Freeze, ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ was featured in the soundtrack to the movie New Jack City. Their poppy R&B harmony shared similarities with the Pasadenas, though their unshaven, adolescent hoodlum image was doubtless more contrived. The US chart-topping follow-ups, ‘I Adore Mi Amor’ and ‘All 4 Love’, were typical radio-friendly pop workouts, though the vocal harmonics were rendered with aplomb. For their second album Whitney Houston / Barbra Streisand producer David Foster was recruited, alongside the barely complementary skills of DJ Pooh, more familiar from his work with Ice Cube. The gangsta rapper himself stopped by to direct the video for the title track, which was also the first single to be lifted from the album. The single failed to break into the US Top 20, and marked the start of a commercial decline for the quartet, which weak albums such as Now And Forever and Awakening failed to remedy.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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