‘Motownphilly’ back again
In the digital age, where most listeners purchase single songs online for $1.29, does it really make sense to re-record your hits and package them with new songs? If you’re Boyz II Men, it’s not just about trying to entice people to buy your entire album at the local retail outlet, says singer Nathan Morris.
“When you’re signed to a major record label, they sign you for a certain time and after it’s passed, you’re allowed to re-record songs,” he explains. “One of the reasons we thought it would be cool is that now we can re-record our songs and we can physically own the masters ourselves and we can license them to whoever we want to license them to versus Universal having all the power and control over our songs.”
Both the new songs and the newer versions of the hits on the group’s recently released “Twenty” are in keeping with the spirit of the originals that made them one of the most successful R&B groups ever. And yes, their new album is called “Twenty” because they’ve been together for two decades. Morris says this milestone anniversary was very much present in their minds when they went into the studio.
“It was cool. The fact that we were able to perform all of these songs with the original producers is a good thing,” he says. “It wasn’t tedious at all. We perform these songs a lot on stage, and the fact is that we did those songs 20 years ago, and performing them now is different because now we have a whole different outlook on the songs.”
A few quick ?uestions
You and the Roots and ?uestlove go way back.
Yeah, we actually shared the same homeroom in high school. We come from the same everything, he graduated with me.
He’s even in the “Motownphilly” video, right?
Yeah he’s in there playing drums.
I almost didn’t recognize him because he doesn’t have the trademark afro.
Yeah, he has the dreads. That was the early years.