- Released: October 17, 1990
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: MCA
Spin - p.84
"Over beats that matched his tricky footwork, Brown stated prerogatives, rocked tenderonis all night, and slayed anybody who tried to step in his way."
- 1.Cruel Prelude
- 2.Don't Be Cruel
- 3.My Perogative
- 5.Rock Wit'cha
- 6.Every Little Step
- 7.I'll Be Good To You
- 8.Take It Slow
- 9.All Day All Night
- 10.I Really Love You Girl
- 11.Cruel Reprise
- 12.That's The Way Love Is
- 13.She Ain't Worth It
- 14.Humpin' Around
Personnel includes: Bobby Brown (vocals); Larry White (guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, background vocals); Emilio Conesa (guitar); Melicio Magdaluyo (soprano saxophone); Dewayne Sweet (keyboard, bass synthesizer, drums); Teddy Riley (keyboard, background vocals); Percy Scott, Ben Rayes (keyboard); Kirk Crumpler (bass, bass synthesizer); Markell Riley (drum programmer); Flip Kirby (drum overdubs); Porsche Griffin, Karyn White, Kayo, Gordon Jones, Michael Denton, Ollie Bolds, Lee Peters, Ronnie Watkins, Richard Aguon, Bernard Bill, Lee Drakeford, Aaron Hall, Daryl Simmons (background vocals).
Producers: L.A. Reid, Babyface, Gene Griffin, Larry White, Gordon Jones.
Personnel: Bobby Brown (background vocals); Larry White (guitar, keyboards, drums, background vocals); Emilio Conesa (guitar); Melecio Magdaluyo (soprano saxophone); Dewayne Sweet (keyboards, synthesizer, bass synthesizer, drums); Teddy Riley (keyboards, background vocals); Ben Rayes, Percy Scott (keyboards); Kirk Crumpler (synthesizer, bass synthesizer); Richard Aguon (drums, background vocals); Markell Riley (drum programming); Daryl Simmons, Lee Peters , Ronnie Watkins, Bernard Bill, Ollie Bolds, Lee Drakeford, Aaron Hall, Karyn White, Kayo, Michael Denten, Portia Griffin, Babyface, Gordon Jones (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dennis Mitchell ; Jon Gass; Larry White; Michael Denten; Teddy Riley; Babyface.
Audio Remixer: Louis Silas, Jr.
Recording information: Axis Studios, New York, NY; Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, CA; Cochrane Studios, Studio City, CA; Different Fur Studios, San Francisco, CA; Infinite Sound Studios, Alameda, CA; Silverlake Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Todd Gray.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Daryl Simmons; Richard Aguon; Lee Peters ; Dewayne Sweet; Flip Kirby; Ronnie Watkins; Kirk Crumpler; Emilio Conesa; Bernard Bill; Ollie Bolds; Ben Rayes; Lee Drakeford; Karyn White; Kayo; L.A. Reid; Larry White; Markell Riley; Melecio Magdaluyo; Michael Denten; Percy Scott; Teddy Riley; Babyface; Gordon Jones ; Bobby Brown .
It should have come as no surprise that, after leaving behind the strictures of the classic boy band New Edition, Bobby Brown would re-emerge as a prototype of New Jack Swing sex appeal. DON'T BE CRUEL might be somewhat tame, however, as it was still a few years before the era of unabashed rumpshakers like Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison." But the hard funk slapped over melodic, synth-heavy production gives tracks like "My Perogative" and "I'll Be Good To You" a mature, club-friendly quality sorely lacking in his former group's sunshiney tunes. Still, singles like the title track and "Every Little Step" are highly effective as catchy pop hits, having been targeted for massive radio success. But what's most revealing about DON'T BE CRUEL is hearing a more youthful Bobby Brown crooning like a resurrection of teen idol Frankie Lymon on ballads like "Take It Slow." DON'T BE CRUEL is a remarkable solo debut from a singer with an insatiable combination of raw talent and unrefined charisma.