5 Albums Celebrating Milestones in 2017/Divas of ’92 Edition

So, who’s ready to musically live it up as if it’s 1967-2012 all over again?

Well, how about for the next ten weeks as Philly Mixtape is serving back up its oh, so special 5 Albums column, where we’ll get lost and get down to 50 albums celebrating all sorts of fabulous milestones in 2017.

Because in a year that’s (already) heading towards the future at a rapid pace with days laced throughout that are guaranteed to make some of us (let’s face it, all of us) feel like we have no seat belts on, these albums will make us stop, secure our seat and listen to that dear, sweet music that still makes us live today. 

Case in point, Madonna’s Erotica, En Vogue’s Funky Divas, CeCe Peniston’s Finally, Vanessa Williams The Comfort Zone and our dearly departed Whitney Houston‘s The Bodyguard soundtrack, all of which are served up and ready to flow with a kick off ‘Divas of ’92’ edition, which will get you ready for all of this TBT truth that’s headed your way over the next ten weeks.

Let’s go.

Madonna/Erotica Starting this milestones tea off with a spot of truth–and this certainly isn’t a question–Madonna’s fifth record isn’t just the most overrated, most sexualized, most honest, most right album in her bountiful bunch, but it’s her best. Complete with deep ’90s beats that still sound as bedroom/life ready as the day producer Shep Pettibone cooked them up for us, Madge delivered us straight up life (especially on “Where Life Begins” once you understand what it’s really about. Right, Colonel Sanders?), intertwined with tales about love (and that bitch on “Thief of Hearts”) and most of all…served us with a piece of art that’s still unlike anything any other music artist has ever put out since or…ever. 

Of course, all that greatness always comes with a side of shade, and that’s just what was thrown, or heaved at the Material Girl during this era due to its overt sex dish and imagery, as dually noted by every parent in pretty much the world who slammed the diva for talking about sex and all of the other (fun) things that trot along with it. A woman talking about sex and bedroom fantasies? Off with her career! ’90s bish, please…and Madonna give us more, now. 

And when it came to the accompanying Sex book? Well, let’s save breaking a mug because you know you just looked through it to see it all about five minutes ago. 

While some say that it derailed Madonna’s career (hence its softer, smoother follow-up, Bedtime Stories) but others, namely those who, like, live, say it changed their worlds and inspired them to the fiercest, baddest, dominant bitches they can be whether in our out of the bedroom. 

Isn’t that right, Ms. Dita? Yas. And “Deeper and Deeper” and “Rain” for life, of course….because respect. 

En Vogue/Funky Divas “Prejudice. Like to talk about it? Like to hear it? Here it go.” Yes, it was those still insanely relevant words that set off “Free Your Mind,” just one of the monstrous Billboard charting singles from En Vogue’s blockbuster sophomore set, Funky Divas. On a track list that also includes the James Brown sampling “My Lovin(Your Never Gonna Get It,” the gals breathless take on Ms. Franklin’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” the sassy “Love Don’t Love You” and the sensual, “Give It Up, Turn It Loose,” it was this album that not only cemented a decade that would end being full of girl power and that Ms. Beyonce should be forever thankful for. 

Because if it wasn’t for the strong, sleek, stylish (we learned how to walk for our lives from the “Free Your Mind” video) musical stylings of Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terri Ellis setting the bar for Destiny’s Child in the late ’90s or any other diva after (right, Ms. Grande?) that dared walk in those successful shoes despite it all, who knows where our music lives would be now. 

Most likely basic and just not as funky. Thank you, ladies of En Vogue.

Ce Ce Peniston/Finally If there was one genre that stormed the radio airwaves and our lives back in the early ’90s (besides, well, all of them), it was certainly those grooves from the always underrated genre of dance music. And if there was diva at the forefront of those now classic anthems who still has checkin’ our music view lens on the dance floor of life (we love you, too, Ms. Crystal Waters), it’s Ms. CeCe and her frothy freshman record.

Loaded with gusto, those grooves and that voice, it’s singles like the titular title track, “We Gotta Love Thang,” “Lifeline,” “Crazy Love,” (for baby makin..even dance divas get down) and of course, “Keep on Walkin,” which will always have us running to this record whenever we want to feel it the most. Which is mainly the weekends as CeCe’s debut still provides the perfect soundtrack for wherever your T.G.I.F. life may take you. 

Let’s dance.

Vanessa Williams/The Comfort Zone “Sometimes the snow comes down in June…sometimes the sun goes around the moon..” Oh, you know the words and still clutch those music pearls to “Save the Best for Last,” just one of the many delightful pop ditties off of the diva’s successful ’92 set.

And after you’re done listening to it (or if you hear it at the supermarket, which you will, take a moment..clutch) in all of its Billboard chart topping prowess for the hundredth time (because…life), you should also get comfy with the blissful “Just for Tonight,” the dance pop man kiss off (or 2016, for that matter) “Running Back to You,” or “Work to Do,” her busy diva cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic. Because that’s what it’ll make you do as well as any other grooves on this record provided and served up by the one-and-only, Mizz Vanessa L. Williams


The Bodyguard/Soundtrack The video for our beloved dearly departed Ms. Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” sums this world shattering soundtrack all sorts of up. And if you do need a further explanation, you’re simply not Whitney-in-’92 worthy. That and S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M for life, because it’s always quite a lovely day whenever this record takes over our lives…which is still does every damn day of the week. 


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