Braxton Family Singles - Toni reigns supreme and Celine makes an appearance (winner revealed!) | Page 36 | The Popjustice Forum

Braxton Family Singles - Toni reigns supreme and Celine makes an appearance (winner revealed!)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by londonrain, Feb 24, 2020.


Which of these rates should I run next?

  1. 1994-2011 Grammy nominees for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

  2. Destiny's Child solo singles (Kelly/LeToya/LaTavia/Michelle/Farrah)

  3. En Vogue singles rate

  4. Monica singles rate

  5. Whitney Houston singles rate

  1. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    Let's start on the top 30, then.

    We don't have a song at #30 because we have two songs at #29.

    Let's start with the one that a certain someone has been calling for to leave for some time now...

    29. (tie) You're Makin' Me High (T'empo Mix)

    Toni: #24 of 46

    Average: 7.569
    Highest scores: 10 x 2 (@Ana Raquel, @Oleander), 9.5 x 1 (@Trouble in Paradise)
    Lowest scores: 2 x 1 (@Euphoria), 4 x 1 (@Sprockrooster)
    My score: 8

    6 ballots: #57
    12 ballots: #37
    18 ballots: #34
    24 ballots: #36
    27 ballots: #29

    Another success story of this rate is the T'empo Mix of You're Makin' Me High, which becomes only the third of the six dance remixes in the rate to leave us.

    You're Makin' Me High, the lead single from Toni's second album Secrets, debuted a sleeker, sexier look for an artist previously more associated with heartbreak ballads. It also helped diversify Toni's commercial appeal by becoming her first single to hit #1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart, and the double A-side of You're Makin' Me High and Let It Flow became her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and her first platinum single in the US. I chose the T'empo Mix for this rate because the the international special edition of Secrets (as well as the Japanese edition and the Brazilian platinum edition) included this mix alongside the Classic Radio Mix of Un-Break My Heart and the Frankie Knuckles Radio Edit of I Don't Want To as bonus tracks, acknowledging the importance of her dance appeal.

    Toni embraced the feeling of being able to embrace her more sensuous side after all the years she spent as a preacher's daughter banned from wearing trousers, and Bille Woodruff, who directed all the videos for Secrets, encouraged her to be sexier. Toni had also recently had her breasts augmented, and the newfound confidence, combined with the success of You're Makin' Me High in 1996, enabled her to appear on the cover of Vibe in June 1997 in a photoshoot by Daniela Federici which made her look like she was practically nude (she was actually wearing panties but they were Photoshopped out).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The issue was the biggest seller of Vibe's first five years (it had launched in 1993) and featured Toni swearing off further sex until marriage while also describing the art of seduction:
    Unfortunately, bad news arrived in relation to You're Makin' Me High after Toni's second bankruptcy was settled in July 2013: on a telephone interview with a newspaper reporter, Toni was asked: "I read that you lost the publishing rights to a lot of your songs. So what's next for Toni Braxton?" This was the first Toni had heard of it.

    A couple of minutes later, Toni's manager rang, letting her know that the publishing rights for 27 of her songs (including How Many Ways and You're Makin' Me High) had been auctioned off with an option for Toni to buy them back, but when Toni's attorneys' bid of $20,000 was doubled by a surprise bidder named Ross M. Klein, the attorneys backed off as they felt it wasn't worth it to outbid him. Toni's manager explained to Toni that the rights would eventually revert to her anyway. (Un-Break My Heart wasn't one of the 27 songs whose rights were auctioned - possibly because, having been written by Diane Warren with no writing credit for Toni, Toni never had any publishing rights in that song to begin with.) All the reports about this mention How Many Ways, You're Makin' Me High and - for some reason - More Than A Woman album track Always, but don't say what the remaining 24 songs are, and the legal documents I found online don't list them.

    @Butterfly (7.75) is here for this mix: "Adds a little bit of extra oomph that the original version lacks."

    @Holly Something (9) disagrees but hands out a higher score: "Not as good as the original."

    @Sprockrooster (4) is on the same page: "How they sucked the life out such a perfect track. I..."

    @Angeleyes (8) recommends a different mix instead: "You know I'm a sucker for '90s house mixes. But I think I prefer the Morales one."

    @WowWowWowWow (5) has a bone to pick: "Whose idea was this? They should be tried at the Hague. "Let's take a great song and strip all the good parts out of it oh and also totally change the tune" is not a recipe for success."

    (Well, you can blame Andrew Clough, Colin Thorpe and Tim Lennow for this one.)

    Finally, @pop3blow2 (8) makes a comparison to one of the queens of nineties remixes: "This is giving me Mariah remix or interlude vibes."

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
  2. I thought this was the original at first and was about to start throwing hands.
  3. Was the other guy Gary Gourdan in the video for "Again"?
    "Again" was released in October 1993 "How Many Ways" in June of 1994. Maybe that's a stretch.

    Janet Jackson - Again

    Shameless excuse to post this beauty.
    invertedbutterfly, vague and Maria like this.
  4. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    As I assume it was a joke, Shemar may have just made the whole thing up, but sure, why not?
    vague likes this.
  5. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    The other song tied with the T’empo Mix of You're Makin' Me High is...

    ...another song from the same era.

    Squeaking into the top 30 is:

    29. (tie) I Love Me Some Him

    Toni: #24 of 46

    Average: 7.569
    Highest scores: 10 x 1 (@Damita Jo), 9.5 x 2 (@Oleander, @Robsolete)
    Lowest scores: 5 x 2 (@Epic Chocolat, @A&E), 6 x 1 (@abael)
    My score: 7

    6 ballots: #25
    12 ballots: #29
    18 ballots: #24
    24 ballots: #35
    27 ballots: #29

    Jumping into the top 30 at the last minute is I Love Me Some Him, which was part of a double A-side single in the US with I Don't Want To, the track that precedes it on Secrets. The album version was the mix included on CD singles, with no single mix or remixes created, and no music video was shot, but it was considered part of a double A-side (rather than a B-side) and was included on her later greatest-hits albums Ultimate Toni Braxton and The Essential Toni Braxton. Because it wasn't released internationally, I don't think I was even aware that this was a single until relatively recently... and I don't really understand why this was picked. There are no bad songs on the album, and I do like I Love Me Some Him, but There's No Me Without You was right there and deserved the single treatment.

    I Love Me Some Him was written by Andrea Martin (who I've mentioned before) and Gloria Stewart, along with Soulshock & Karlin, who also produced the song. Soulshock & Karlin (aka Carsten Schack and Kenneth Karlin) have written and produced some classics together, including JoJo's Leave (Get Out), Jamelia's DJ, Fantasia's Truth Is, Tracie Spencer's It's All About You (Not About Me), Alesha Dixon's Breathe Slow, Solange's Sandcastle Disco, Whitney Houston's Heartbreak Hotel, the single edit of Brandy's Brokenhearted, JLS's One Shot and my personal favourite of them all, Monica's Before You Walk Out Of My Life:

    Soulshock has also worked on songs without Karlin, including Queen Latifah's Fly Girl and Jamelia's singles Thank You and Something About You (both currently still in the running in the Jamelia rate). His partnership with Kenneth Karlin began after he emigrated from Denmark to the US in 1992 and started looking for a keyboard player. He also went on to marry singer Charmayne "Maxee" Maxwell of the R&B group Brownstone, probably best known for their Grammy-nominated US and UK top ten hit If You Love Me:

    Carsten, who had worked with the group on both of their albums, also went on to have a son, Nicolaj Hojer, with Maxee. In 2015, while at home, Maxee tripped and fell backward at the doorway to the house's back patio. Unfortunately, she was holding a wine glass, which shattered on the ground behind her head, and shards of glass punctured the back of her neck in two places. Paramedics took her to Cedars-Sinai Hospital but she had lost too much blood and died. She was 46.

    But back to the song we're eliminating. What did you all have to say?

    @Angeleyes (6.5) gives commentary that I would have thought warranted a higher score: "That R&B bassline! I don't think I knew this was a single."

    @Holly Something (8.5) is a fan: "So smooth."

    @Music Is Life (7) comes for the songwriting: "This is cute but…muffy sis…the title...the clunky ass lyric…"

    @WowWowWowWow (7.5) blames poor Carsten: "Did somebody Swedish write this song? "I love me some him" is giving me major Swenglish vibes. Oh, some of the writers were Danish. Well, there we have it."

    Actually, @WowWowWowWow, I think you'll find "I love me some X" is a uniquely American expression. Here's a 24-page article from Empirical Issues in Syntax & Semantics on the subject entitled "'I Love Me Some Him': The Landscape Of Non-Argument Datives." Go read that while you're listening to this song. (Anyway, it was Andrea Martin and Gloria Stewart who did the lyrics, with Soulshock & Karlin only doing the music, if Discogs is to be believed.)

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  6. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    The fact that it contains a whole section on this specific song, though...

  7. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    We've been cutting nineties tracks for the last few eliminations, so let's switch decades for a bit.

    Here's one of those songs whose producer I recognised just from the riff.

    28. Trippin' (That's The Way Love Works)

    Toni: #23 of 46

    Average: 7.672
    Highest scores: 10 x 2 (@Robsolete, @Oleander), 9.5 x 3 (@Sprockrooster, @A&E, @londonrain)
    Lowest scores: 4 x 1 (@Euphoria), 5.5 x 2 (@RainOnFire, @Angeleyes)
    My score: 9.5

    6 ballots: #15
    12 ballots: #24
    18 ballots: #35
    24 ballots: #28
    27 ballots: #28

    The third track from Toni's 2005 album Libra to fall is Trippin' (That's The Way Love Works), leaving only Suddenly and Please standing. I'm very pleasantly surprised by how well this did, as it feels like one of the underrated gems of Toni's discography. Like Just Be A Man About It, Trippin' (That's The Way Love Works) was co-written by Toni with Bryan-Michael Cox and Johntá Austin, with Kendrick Dean (aka WyldCard) replacing Teddy Bishop in the writing team for this one. WyldCard also took up additional production duties on this one, with Toni's husband Keri Lewis listed as a co-producer and the main production credit going to Bryan-Michael Cox, whose production skills and distinctive midtempo piano riffs I've already discussed in the elimination for Pieces. Johntá Austin, whose own writing discography I mentioned in the elimination for Just Be A Man About It, also provides background vocals, alongside Tamar Braxton and Toni herself.

    Trippin' is one of the three songs Toni mentions in her memoir as being her favourites on Libra - the other two being lead single Please and album track Shadowless. Trippin' is actually one of only three songs on Libra that Toni co-wrote - the other two being the album tracks What's Good and Stupid.

    Stupid was actually written by Toni with Keri Lewis and Cory Rooney for the soundtrack of the Tyler Perry film Diary of a Mad Black Woman, a screening of which Tyler had invited Toni to in 2004. After the screening, Tyler pulled Toni aside and asked her to be on the film's soundtrack, so Toni, Keri and Cory wrote Stupid and Toni sent it to Tyler. Tyler was keen on it - especially the line "Stupid is as stupid does", inspired by Forrest Gump - and Toni got the go-ahead from Barry Hankerson, her former manager and the head of her label, Blackground Records, to include it on the soundtrack. Toni later suggested that the whole of Libra should be the soundtrack to the film, in the same way that Stevie Wonder did a whole album for the soundtrack to The Woman In Red, but Barry was not keen on the inevitable cut his profits would take by having Toni's album be a film soundtrack.

    Two days before Diary of a Mad Black Woman debuted in theatres on February 5, 2005, the film's distributors contacted Barry, who asked them to take Stupid off the soundtrack. Of course, the film had already gone out to theatres with the song included, and Barry ultimately had to agree that it couldn't be changed because there were letters of intent that proved he okayed the deal, but Stupid was not included on the soundtrack, leaving Toni to apologise to Tyler and insist that she had always intended to be part of the soundtrack. The final soundtrack did, however, include contributions from Heather Headley, Patti LaBelle, India.Arie, Monica and Tamia, so Tyler didn't do too badly.

    After the failure of Libra's lead single, Please, to chart on the Hot 100, there was some pressure for Trippin' (That's The Way Love Works) to rescue the era. Unfortunately it flopped even harder than Please, missing even the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and managing only a lowly #67 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #19 on Adult R&B Songs - a considerable decline from Please, which managed #36 and #7 respectively on those charts. Toni would not return to the top ten of the Adult R&B Songs chart until Hands Tied went to #6 in 2010.

    I quite like the song's laid-back vibe and narrative style, talking about how love is proved in the tough times and not in bliss, and the production elevates it to one of the best among Toni's singles. Some of you disagreed, though.

    @Euphoria (4) was definitely one of those people: "Boring & formulaic."

    @WowWowWowWow (7) has a complex opinion: "The opposite experience to 'Please' for me -- I definitely remembered this song and I definitely remembered it being a little more enjoyable for me than it ended up being. But it's not 'Baby You Can Do It' which at this point is basically a perfect compliment..."

    Of course, @Sprockrooster (9.5) stans the guitar solo: "I would have loved if Toni used her pipes against that guitar a bit more. Outscream them girl!"

  8. He's trippin'
    She's trippin'
    They all be trippin'

    And that's the way lack of taste works sometimes.
  9. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    On the plus side, this is only your second 10 to leave (after If You Don't Wanna Love Me). Not everybody has that.
    vague, Robsolete and berserkboi like this.
  10. I've caught up and realized this is the part of the rate that is going to hurt...
    vague and londonrain like this.
  11. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    The fact that this page had three eliminations on it before we were even halfway down the page because only four of the twenty-seven voters in this rate have commented since last Friday...

  12. RainOnFire

    RainOnFire Staff Member

    I'd never seen the artwork for Trippin', that's such a beautiful shot of her.

    I always kinda hated the shot they used for the album cover, it looks a little cheap for the lack of a better word. Same goes for More Than a Woman.
  13. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    It's the photo from the back of the CD. Blackground really did the least with this single dddd.
    vague and RainOnFire like this.
  14. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    No elimination tonight as I've spent several hours fighting with my crashed phone and have just spent the better part of an hour chatting with Timedra from Apple Support.

    I'm entertaining myself in the meanwhile by starting my scores for the Dua Lipa rate @Joe. is running, so if you have some free time and want to listen to some pop girl bops, go do that. It's only 41 songs so should be easy to zip through.
  15. Barry Hankerson is obviously trash but Toni wanting Libra to be the soundtrack for a Madea movie... talk about a dodged bullet. I need to check out the actual soundtrack though, because that's a great line-up.

    Trippin' is cute, this feels like a suitable placing.
    Euphoria, vague and londonrain like this.
  16. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    I was actually surprised to find that the soundtrack spent 27 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at #6.

    Libra peaked at #4 but only spent 15 weeks on the chart.

    However, Libra has a gold certification and the Diary of a Mad Black Woman soundtrack doesn't, so...

  17. Enjoyed the all the stats & facts on this page & the last few write-ups @londonrain

    I can't say that I've been too pressed about any of these last few elims, though. A couple of fine songs, but nothing that feels 'top 25 to me. Of course, I realize I just jinxed that by putting it out there.
    Euphoria, vague and londonrain like this.
  18. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    Well, the next song to leave seemed like a sure thing for the top ten for a while, so there’s that...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.