Flyte Bros Logo

Last year, I joined Popdose‘s Jeff Giles and Robert Cass for a column called “‘Face Time,” in which we discussed essential (and some non-essential) cuts in the catalog of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, one of the most prolific singer/songwriters of the ’80s and ’90s. ‘Face and his partner Antonio “L.A.” Reid were one of the big 3 production teams that ruled pop and R&B during that era. There was also Teddy Riley and his New Jack Swing camp, and perhaps most notably, Minneapolis’s James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis. The former members of Prince offshoot band The Time turned out to be legends in their own right, composing and producing hits for a who’s-who of the music industry and proving to be as (if not more) influential than their purple-clad benefactor.

So in 2014, Jeff and I (along two new team members, fellow Popdose editor/Popblerd podcast co-host Michael Parr, along with badass co-conspirator Dr. Z) are back to talk all things Flyte Tyme.

Jordan Knight “Close My Eyes” (1999) | Buy On Amazon Mp3

Written by: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jordan Knight & Robin Thicke | Produced by: Jam & Lewis

MJ: I love this song. Fuck y’all.

Jeff Giles: Well, you’ve got to love anything that puts money in Kerry Livgren’s pocket, right? I never would have guessed that Jam & Lewis were Kansas fans.

MJ: They have sampled some weird shit in the past.

Plus…remember…they’re from Minnesota and they came up in cover bands during the Seventies. I’m sure they’ve PLAYED “Dust In The Wind” a ton of times in their day.

JG: I love imagining Jam cueing up “Dust in the Wind” and Lewis rolling his eyes and saying, “Yo, remember that time we played that wedding in March of 1977?”

MJ: A) That is a thing that probably happened.

B) On the same album, Jam and Lewis sampled Sugarloaf’s “Green-Eyed Lady.”

JG: On the subject of Jordan Knight: I know this record did fairly well for him, but given everything that was happening with boy bands in 1999, it should have been a bigger hit — and led to more of a solo career.

MJ: I think this album was excellent…definitely exceeded my expectations.

He’s acknowledged that he had a drinking problem following the release of this album, so that may have played a part.

JG: If he and Joey McIntyre had teamed up, maybe they could have gone platinum! Like a baby Hall and Oates.

I purposely avoided both of those records at the time and I’m hearing this song for the first time now, but I bought all that shit when it came out, because my sister was 14 in ’99 and heavy into the New Pop Sound. B*Witched, Jordan Knight, Britney Spears…I paid for it all. I even watched Spice World in the theater.

Michael Parr: I have sisters that are 9 and 12 years younger than I am, so I lived through both New Kids on the Block, and (early) N*Sync fandom. As it goes, things … seep, you know?

Jordan Knight always seemed like a talented cat who didn’t always hitch his cart to the right horse. I recall enjoying Joey McIntyre’s single from—in my head—approximately the same time a bit more than Mr. Knight’s. In retrospect, I’ll still listen to a track from the latter from time to time.
MJ: That first Jordan Knight solo album is near-excellent. Not a “teen-pop” album at all (aside from the first two cuts.) Jam & Lewis did the production on half the songs, Robin Thicke co-wrote and co-produced almost every track. It’s as good as any Boyz II Men or Mariah (or Luther) album that came out during the same period. I was supremely frustrated that he couldn’t follow it up. If this album was released in a post-Justin and Thicke (the artist) world, it would have been huge.
Plus, killer slow-jam remake of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man.”

MP: Baby Hall and Oates!
Be Sociable, Share!