When a 17-year-old Johnny Gill debuted in 1983, the skinny kid with the Jheri curl and the older-than-his-years voice drew instant comparisons to veterans like Luther Vandross. Unfortunately, Gill didn't make much of an immediate impact; but in 1987 he joined R&B supergroup New Edition, becoming co-lead with established main vocalist Ralph Tresvant.
Of course, that boost set the stage for Johnny to reinvent his solo career. In the 1990s, Gill would work with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, L.A. Reid & Babyface and other hitmaking producers; as fans finally got to hear Johnny sang. Yes, that's sang. Johnny Gill digs deep to unleash waves of notes that can be gruff 'n growly and sometimes sweet falsettos.
So, let's talk about that.
If you're a fan of New Edition and Johnny Gill (or LSG or his duets with Staci Lattisaw), you know Johnny can really get into his singin.' Some might even say, the legendary Mr. Gill is an "over-singer." Not that we agree or anything, but there is an argument to be made there. So we decided to take a closer look. Just to get to the bottom of things.
Here's a look at Johnny Gill's 10 most oversangin-est songs.
"In 1990, Johnny Gill re-emerged with a reinvigorated solo career. His first single was this New Jack Swing smash produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis--and Johnny's trademark growl is in rare form. When he sings "Stroke! Applied with ten-dah-ness!" you believe him. You also kinda fear for your life."
Easily one of Gill's most recognizable songs to date, "My, My, My" epitomizes Johnny's ability to "over sang" with the best of them.
Leave it to J.G. to take a song with a one-word chorus and stretch it out to "My-my-my, muh-muh-my, muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-mwuyyyyy-myyy-myyyyyyyy!"
In this 93 cut, a passionate Johnny doesn't hold back when it comes to pining for the woman he wants to keep warm at night or providing fans with his (ahem) overzealous vocals.
Johnny had no choice but to come out sangin' when he recorded "There You Go." It's a quiet storm classic, and once again, Johnny goes full Johnny: he tries to keep it sensual, but in the end explodes into aggression and growling. It's what he does.
Johnny's sixth studio album was all about getting "the mood right." And once again, Johnny does that combo of smooth before going into a fit.
It's Johnny, why not let loose with
a few a lot of powerful riffs for the fans? 6
"Love in an Elevator" is self-explanatory. Johnny knows what he wants and he goes after it. However, like the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.
"In the Mood" was the first single from Johnny's 2011 comeback album Still Winning and it let fans know that Johnny still had it. J.G. still goes for the gusto as only he can. He didn't have to adjust his vocal style at all--considering he already sounded like a vet when he was 17 years old.
By 1993, all of the New Edition members were struggling with lackluster follow-up to their blockbuster albums. Johnny was no exception. "The Floor" was clearly an attempt to recreate the high energy of "Rub You the Right Way" but it just comes off uber-aggressive, with Johnny sounding like an R&B aerobics instructor.
1990 was Johnny Gill's year. His (second) eponymous album yielded several big hits, including "Fairweather Friend," which featured Gill pledging to "ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS" be right there for his lady. We believe you, bro. Trust.
"Wrap My Body Tight" was a banger from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and it's another one of Johnny's best songs. He sticks to his smoother vocal style for most of the song--but this is Johnny Gill. So by the time he's yelling "I need a woman right here next to me!" you know what's coming.