In 1989 Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds founded LaFace records, the record company responsible for Usher, OutKast, TLC, Pink, and Toni Braxton, among others.
Back in 1985, though, they were sporting bright pink satin dress shirts and impressive jheri curls with the rest of the boys in the Deele, yet another funk and R&B outfit from Ohio.
While their 1983 debut album Street Beat included the hit song “Body Talk” and was technically more successful than the 1985 followup Material Thangz, I will always have a soft spot for the latter album. For one thing, the title track is nothing short of a jam. Material Thangz was also produced by L.A. Reid himself, and contained the riveting Babyface power ballad “Sweet November,” which became a hit nearly a decade later when it was covered by Troop. But it is “Stimulate,” the second track on the album, that just needed to be featured in Jheri Curl June.
First of all, “Stimulate” was clearly made to put wet stains–jheri curl grease and otherwise derived–all over the satin sheets. Singer Darnell “Dee” Bristol’s fruity little vocal embellishments at the end of every line really make this song. But then we get to the part about three minutes in, after the brief guitar solo, when the Deele in unison begin chanting, “Stimulate… Oh… Stimulate… OH!” This is the stuff of nightmares. Just picture five shiny, jheri-curled dudes in bright pink plaid blazers advancing at you like a gang of limp-wristed velociraptors, and you’ll lose that libido in a hurry.
If you think you can handle it, check out “Stimulate” on the playlist below: