And the next cut, making it to #28 and the winner of the tie against PCD is..........
Here we go with another 90s cut and may I say – you are seriously getting them out of order? Hold On by En Vogue never truly broke into the top 10 of this rate, only ever making the low top 20 on a couple of occasions before falling back to this position, however I feel this song is easily a stronger showcase of the band's talent than with a few tracks of their contemporaries still in the race.
Hold On is one of two entries with such a title on the list and although my preference is for En Vogue’s, I can see why the other one ended up beating it with its more polished sound. Hold On is sumptuous in giving a preview of what the girls are capable of (vocals that answer the question of how it would sound to have the likes of Whitney or Aretha in a girl band, harmonising skills that are second to none, a uniform great look for the members, classy vocals over an R&B or Hip Hop beat); and as a preview should – it gives you a little bit of each and leaves you salivating for more.
I certainly will not sit here and tell you Hold On is the best thing En Vogue have ever done, as their career will show time and again how much growth and talent they would gain over time. Hold On works, however in helping what Salt-N-Pepa started with Push It and taking Hip Hop into a more mainstream stage. I really can’t imagine TLC or Destiny’s Child would have achieved their initial success without the former two paving the way for it. The great thing that Hold On does to bring the two together is that intro of the Motown Standard –Who’s Loving You, bringing the classic to the modern age against the very experimental sounds of Hold On (once the song kicks in after the intro) for its time of release, with the dramatic vocals over a minimal hip hop beat. It was all about the vocals from the beginning with these incredibly talented ladies!
En Vogue came together when producing and song writing duo Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy wanted to create a modern-day girl group in the tradition of The Supremes or The Ronettes flourishing back in the 50s-60s. Thousands auditioned and we ended up with the gorgeous four we see in Hold On and would continue as such during their imperial phase. Many line-up changes came up during their time including members coming back, new members joining and lawsuits over usage of the band’s name (low key influencing Sugababes & Honeyz in that aspect too). The quality never truly let up during all that as they were still vocally impressive at all points. Forward to today and En Vogue have brought out a new album this month so definitely give that a listen too!
Some of En Vogue’s legacy includes selling over 20 million records worldwide to date, being ranked #19 most successful recording artist of the 1990s, and 2nd most successful female group of the 1990s. Hold On was commercially incredibly successful for the girls too and is #23 in Billboard’s most successful girl group songs of all time. This just scratches the surface too, so quite the feat, ladies!
Zar-Unity (6) has lots of nice things to say for a 6… - Sassy and in harmony, with enough attitude to take the pop world in style. Tech: 4 Taste: 2 = 6 points. Kermit_The_Frog (10) backs up the compliments with a high score - For many years I didn’t even know that the intro was from a Jackson 5 song. Anyway, a seminal En Vogue single and one that’s as fresh now as when it was released. Not every girl-group has that. Further Listening: Free Your Mind
Filippa (8) is equally impressed, then not! - What an intro! The song itself is too much R&B for me but respect! The ladies got it! Trouble In Paradise (8) sees God, then not! - The opening is so, so, so, so good but the rest of the song is pretty unimaginative 90’s RnB. Empty Shoebox (3) does not see anything good - The intro reminded me of 'Shout' by Lulu, which is terrifying. Nobody should have to experience that. I really don't like the arrangement, and the vocals just do not move me.
Londonrain (9.5) bestows high praise and will hopefully give something to use for his section - Vocally amazing as always (and I enjoy the little bit of Who’s Lovin’ You that you get as an intro on the album). This couldn’t be more different from the other Hold On and yet they were both in the US top ten simultaneously! DominoDancing (4) never saw God here - The a capella opening makes me want to strangle everyone involved in the recording. I mean, why do this if you can't pull it off? The rest of the song is a pretty non-descript jam. They'd produce a lot better later on.
Unnameable (10) responds well to the look also – They were more stylish than any other R&B at the time. DJHazey (6) ends us as the R&B lover of the group! ;) - Okay so this intro is testing my limits, dear Lord. Oh wait a minute I vaguely remember the rest of the song and it's a huge improvement but I can't support them the way I did with "My Lovin".