Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Next up? TGJ favorite Monica‘s 1998 sophomore smash ‘The Boy Is Mine’:
In 1995 Atlantan songbird Monica Arnold burst onto the scene with her declarative debut album ‘Miss Thang’. The award winning album not only garnered the songstress a triple platinum certification, but also set high expectations for its follow-up.
Preceded by 1997’s Diane Warren-penned ‘For You I Will’ (‘Space Jam’ soundtrack), it was safe to say that those expectations would be met and exceeded. As ‘Will’ saw its launch greeted by critical and commercial acclaim, the tune’s top 10 perching acted as indication the public was ready for more Mo.
The assembly of an all-star cast of producers including Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, and more led to the creation of the singer’s sophomore album. Titled after its colossal lead single ‘The Boy Is Mine’ (with then alleged rival Brandy)…
‘The Boy Is Mine’
The number, which saw the two teen vocal titans battle vocally and conceptually over a Jerkins-produced track, became a massive success – spending 13 weeks at number 1. Not only landing the then-budding divas their first #1 singles on Billboard, but also becoming the year’s best selling single, third best-selling duet of all time, and entering history books as one of the longest running reigns atop charts of all time.
Putting an end to rumors the two were feuding, Mo and Brandy welcomed a host of award nominations – including Grammy, Billboard, and MTV Awards where the ladies joined for a highly anticipated live showing of the hit.
Capitalizing on ‘Boy’, the summer of 1998 brought with it the singer’s album of the same name. Soaring to the chart’s top 10, the album was greeted by favorable reviews from fans and critics. Bringing Mo’s brand of sass and soul, standout tracks (and eventual singles) included ‘Misty Blue’, ‘Angel of Mine’ and ‘First Night’ (which both hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100), and Richard Marx remake ‘Right Here Waiting‘.
‘Angel of Mine’
‘The First Night’
Amidst the uprise of the late 90’s “teen pop” movement spearheaded by Britney Spears, N’Sync, and The Backstreet Boys, R&B and hip hop still made considerable moves on the charts front. ‘The Boy Is Mine’s (the album) performance on charts stood as evidence of such – besting the sales of Mo’s predecessor ‘Miss Thang’ and also joining the ‘triple platinum’ club.
Also, like her teen pop counterparts – ‘Boy’ saw Arnold venture into glossier/choreography-laden music videos. The first of which being ‘The First Night’ and its successor ‘Street Symphony’. The latter proved to be a moderate hit.
Despite her younger offerings proving she was developed well beyond her years, her 2000s pieces ‘After the Storm’, ‘Makings of Me’, ‘Still Standing’, and ‘New Life’ have still showcased an artistic and vocal growth unknown to many-her-contemporary. While we anxiously await her newest album (rumored to be due in 2014), we will continue to spin our favorite jams from ‘The Boy Is Mine’….