Calling All Candy Girls: New Edition Is Back
Thirty-six years later, the band out of Roxbury returns with a reunion tour and plans for a new EP.
Before there were Blockheads, there were Candy Girls. The band New Edition, which formed in Boston in 1978, first got their big break in ’83 with their debut album, Candy Girl. At the time, the band comprised Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant. Johny Gill joined in ’88.
New Edition fans today have plenty to look forward to from the group. Aside from embarking on a reunion tour—they will perform at Agganis Arena at BU Friday night—the group is also working on a new EP. The working title is “#AllSix.”
The name “New Edition” came from the idea that the group was a new edition of the Jackson 5, and it was Maurice Starr who gave the band their first big break after they competed in a talent competition at the Strand Theatre. Starr and his company Streetwise Records produced Candy Girl, a huge success, and sent the band on tour. Then after the tour, the New Edition members found themselves right back where they came from, Orchard Park housing projects, with a paltry $1.87 for their time. They sued, and they won.
New Edition then signed with MCA. Meanwhile, Maurice Starr helped put together New Kids on the Block.
But that’s all history now. New Edition continued their stellar careeers with MCA and later Sean Combs’ (a.k.a. P. Diddy’s) Bad Boy Records.
Like other bands, New Edition took time off throughout their 36-year history, pursuing solo and other group projects. Perhaps the most popular offshoot was Bell, Bivins, and DeVoe’s trio, Bell Biv DeVoe.
Also like other bands, New Edition has reunited and stayed true to their Boston roots. The 25th anniversary edition of Candy Girl came out in 2008 (their last studio album was One Love in 2004). Bell Biv Devoe were surprise guests at last year’s Boston Strong concert at TD Garden. And last Sunday, Bivins hosted the seventh annual edition of the Biv20K Blacktop Classic at Ramsay Park, a basketball event that promotes nonviolence in the neighborhood.
Their reunion tour stop in Boston promises fans all the classics. Care for a teaser? Watch New Edition performing a medley of hits on The View earlier this week:
New Edition performs Friday, June 27, 8 p.m., at Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, agganisarena.com.