Jody Watley

Jody Watley, 1987

Released: February 23, 1987

Label: MCA

Genre: Pop • R&B


2022 marks 45 years that Jody Watley embarked on her professional career. Getting her start on the Black television musical variety show Soul Train, Jody was one of the most popular dancers on the platform and was a trendsetter for her style and dance moves.

Jody, fellow Soul Train dancer Jeffrey Daniel and Gary Mumford were selected to be the original members of the band Shalamar, and were signed to SOLAR ( formerly known as Soul Train Records).

The classic lineup of Jody, Jeffrey and Howard Hewett went to become one of the most influential & successful trios of all time, having a string of hits such as The Second Time Around, Make That Move, This Is for The Lover in You, A Night to Remember, Dead Giveaway, Friends and many more. Jody left the group in 1983 before the release of the group’s seventh album, but it is important to give Jody her flowers in regards to contributing so much to the group’s success.

Jody moved to England after leaving Shalamar, and recorded a guest vocal with the group Musical Youth and released two singles there titled Where the Boys Are & Girls Night Out.

After her two years in England, Jody returned to America to establish her own identity, and secured a recording deal with MCA Records. Her debut solo album was titled Jody Watley, and it was released February 23, 1987.

Jody Watley is truly one of the best albums that I’ve ever heard in my life. Jody collaborated with André Cymone, David Z ( proteges of the iconic Prince) Patrick Leonard (known for his work with Madonna) & Bernard Edwards (co-founder and member of the iconic disco band Chic) to create this masterpiece. With elements of dance, soul, funk, tlatin freestyle, pop & R&B, the Jody Watley album unpacks themes of the ups and downs of love.

The album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number ten on the Billboard 200 charts respectively. The Jody Watley album had a huge impact on pop culture, making Jody a cultural style icon in the world of contemporary R&B, pop and dance music.

Jody Watley was a huge success in 1987, producing three top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and selling over two million copies in the United States alone. The album has since been certified platinum by the RIAA, and has sold over four million copies worldwide. Jody won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, beating artists like Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Swing Out Sister & Terence Trent D’Arby (now Sananda Maitreya).

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you Jody Watley’s Jody Watley.

Side one:

Looking for a New Love

Written by Jody Watley • André Cymone

But now you’re like the rest, unworthy of my best. Hasta la vista, baby!

Jody Watley, 1987

The album begins with the amazing and timeless Looking for a New Love. From a lyrical perspective, the song is about overcoming a difficult and sour breakup, and searching for a better love to treat you right. The production on Looking for a New Love is completely superb (shoutout to Cymone and David Z) and the lyrics are truly remarkable of course.

Looking for a New Love was released as the first single, and was one of the biggest pop & R&B singles of the year of 1987, peaking at number one and two on the R&B & pop charts respectively. It was a huge blockbuster hit for the singer, establishing her OWN identity outside of the group she was in and cementing her stature as one of the biggest singers in the world of contemporary R&B and pop culture period.

The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, the Soul Train Music Award nominations for Single of the Year (Female) and Best Music Video & the American Music Award nomination for Favorite Soul/R&B Single.

Jody’s phrase on the record “Hasta la vista, baby” would become very popular in pop culture. The saying was on answering machines everywhere, used in Tone Loc’s Wild Thing” and was utilized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The song was sampled by KMD for the song What a N***a Know.

Still a Thrill

Written by Jody Watley • André Cymone

One of my favorite records on the album definitely goes to Still a Thrill. The first time I listened to the song, I was truly fascinated by Jody’s usage of her vocal tone in a deeper register. & even T-Boz from the legendary group TLC agrees! She stated that Still a Thrill was one of her favorite songs when she was a teenager and served as an inspiration for her to feel some type of normalcy singing in a deeper tone. I loved everything about this video Jody posted to her YouTube channel!

From a lyrical perspective, the uptempo soul and funk inspired song is about how it still moves the singer how holding her brings her so much joy and how she is so enamored by him overall.

The song was another hit for Jody, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number eight on the Billboard Dance Charts respectively.

Some Kind of Lover

Written by Jody Watley • André Cymone

We love a bop about a great lover! The uptempo dance record Some Kind of Lover was yet another hit from the album. Released as the fourth single, Some Kind of Lover peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Jody her third top 10 pop single, third number one on the Billboard Dance chart and number three on the Billboard R&B charts respectively.

For the Girls

Written by Jody Watley • André Cymone

For The Girls is exactly what the title entails: a record about hitting the town with the ladies, while also telling her lover to treat her like a lady.

Side two:

Love Injection

Written by David Paul Bryant • Paul Gurvitz

Love Injection has the singer wanting some loving chile! From a lyrical perspective, the song isn’t that subtle lol, but yes she’s interested in a man and wants to see what he’s all about.

Don’t You Want Me

Written by Jody Watley • David Paul Bryant • Franne Golde

Don’t You Want Me is my song okay! With elements of R&B, dance & Latin freestyle, it was the perfect crossover hit for Watley, giving her another number one record on the Billboard dance club songs chart, number three on the R&B chart & another top ten hit on the pop charts..peaking at number six.

From a lyrical standpoint, the song is about the singer being frustrated with the mixed signals that her lover interest is giving her. I am positive that we can all relate because whew chile the men sure can be confusing.

Do It To The Beat

Written by Jody Watley • André Cymone

Do It to the Beat is exactly for the dance floors! It’s a feel good record when you want to let loose!

Most of All

Written by Gardner Cole • Patrick Leonard

No one wins when the love is lost. You turned your back on me when I needed you most of all!

Jody Watley, 1987.

I love Most of All! A pop record that deserved to go number one, Most of All is lyrically about the singer discussing how her lover left her at a time she really needed him there for her. That feeling absolutely sucks, so you know this song definitely hits home. The song gave Jody a hit record on the US R&B & dance charts, peaking at number eleven and eight respectively.

Learn to Say No (Duet with George Michael

Written by Richard “Dimples” Fields • George Michael

We love a duet! Jody collaborated with the late and great George Michael on the final song on the album, which is Learn to Say No. From a lyrical standpoint, Learn to Say No has the pair singing about fighting the urges to say no to a partner that they’re still attracted to. I wish it was a single! The song contains a sample of I’ve Got to Learn to Say No by Richard “Dimples” Fields.

Jody Watley’s influence in the music industry cannot be denied. Her debut solo album proved that she was more than a member of her former group. That she was a superstar. Jody Watley is one of my favorite artists and to even be able to had the exposure to such an artist that I’ve had is truly a honor. -MW.

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