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Tony! Toni! Toné!
The band photographed in 1988. D'Wayne Wiggins (left), Timothy Christian Riley (top right), and Raphael Saadiq (bottom).
|Origin||Oakland, California, U.S.|
|Labels||Grass Roots Entertainment|
Wing, Mercury Records
|Associated acts||Lucy Pearl, Joi|
|Past members|| D'wayne Wiggins |
Timothy Christian Riley
Tony! Toni! Toné! was an American soul/R&B group from Oakland, California, popular during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. During the band's heyday, it was composed of D'wayne Wiggins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins) on lead vocals and bass, and their cousin Timothy Christian Riley on drums and keyboards. Originally, the band went by "Tony, Toni, Toné" as a joke, until they realized it "had a nice ring to it".
After their debut album Who?in 1988 followed by The Revival in 1990, the group achieved their greatest commercial success with the double platinum certified Sons of Soul in 1993. Tony! Toni! Toné! disbanded after the release of their fourth album House of Music (1996), which critics cite as their best work.
Their first album, Who? , produced and co-written by Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, was released in 1988. The album went gold and had several hit singles. The first of these, "Little Walter" went to #1 on the R&B charts. The next three singles, "Born Not to Know", "Baby Doll" and "For the Love of You" were all Top 10 R&B singles. Who? was a modest success.It charted for 44 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Albums, peaking at number 69, and produced four singles, including the R&B hit "Little Walter". On December 5, 1989, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States. As of August 1993, it has sold over 700,000 copies in the US.
Inspired by live instrumentation, turntablism, and classic soul music, Tony! Toni! Toné! recorded and produced their second album, The Revival , mostly themselves and released it in 1990 to commercial success.Released on May 8, 1990, by Wing Records, The Revival charted for 64 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Albums, peaking at number 34 on the chart. The group's second album The Revival was released in 1990 and reached platinum status. The album spawned several #1 R&B hits with "It Never Rains (In Southern California)", "Feels Good", "The Blues", and "Whatever You Want" all topping the R&B charts. "Feels Good" was the group's first single to breach the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and went gold. The album's second single "Feels Good" was released on June 19 and certified gold on November 13 after it had shipped 500,000 copies. The single topped the R&B chart for two weeks and reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1990, going on to sell over one million copies. In late 1990, the album's fourth single "It Never Rains (In Southern California)" became a number-one R&B hit and also peaked at number 34 on the Hot 100.
The Revival broadened the group's exposure to fans beyond their initial R&B audience.However, they became ambivalent about their newfound mainstream success and their music being labeled "retro" by critics. In an interview for People magazine, lead singer and bassist Raphael Wiggins expressed his dissatisfaction with the music industry, saying that "every record company wants to get a group and put 'em in a Benz with a car phone and a beeper, show them dressing in three different outfits, put them in a video shot on a beach with lots of swinging bikinis. You won't ever see us on a beach. We're just down-to-earth, funky, like-to-play guys." Before considering a follow-up album, the band recorded several songs for film soundtracks, including "Me and You" for Boyz n the Hood (1991), "House Party (I Don't Know What You Come to Do)" for House Party 2 (1991), and "Waiting on You" for Poetic Justice (1993).
Having fulfilled their creative intentions with The Revival, Tony! Toni! Toné! wanted to pay homage to their musical influences with Sons of Soul. ... paying homage to our past, but creating in a contemporary environment."In a 1993 interview for The New York Times , Wiggins elaborated on their direction for the album, stating "We're paying homage to a lot of older artists who paved the way for us artists like the Temptations, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire. They're the people who inspired us when we were growing up, people like Aretha Franklin, James Brown. We feel we're the sons of everything and all those people who came before us." He also explained the album's title as a declaration of them being descendants of those artists, "not in a grandiose sense, but from the standpoint that we really are the musical offspring of all that's come before us
Tony! Toni! Toné! took a hiatus as a group after the commercial and critical success of Sons of Soul. According to vocalist and bassist Raphael Wiggins, each member had pursued individual music projects, and "the group was trying to figure out where everybody's time, space and head was at."He, D'wayne Wiggins, and Timothy Christian Riley worked on songwriting and production for other recording artists during the band's hiatus, including D'Angelo, En Vogue, Karyn White, Tevin Campbell, and A Tribe Called Quest. Raphael Wiggins adopted the surname "Saadiq" for his professional name in 1994—"man of his word" in Arabic—and released his solo single "Ask of You" in 1995. Their work outside the band led to rumors of a break-up during the time between albums. Tony! Toni! Toné! eventually regrouped and began recording House of Music in September 1995.
In 1996, the group released their final studio album to date, House of Music . The album lacked the strong singles of earlier entries, only getting "Thinking Of You" & "Let's Get Down" into the top 10 on the R&B charts, with "Thinking Of You" hitting #22 on the Hot 100, though it eventually reached platinum status.
House of Music expanded on Tony! Toni! Toné!'s previous traditional R&B-influenced work by emphasizing live instrumentation and ballads.In the opinion of Daily Herald writer Dan Kening, the album continued the band's mix of contemporary R&B and old-fashioned soul, deeming it "half a tribute to their '60s and '70s soul music roots and half a masterful blend of modern smooth balladeering and danceable funk." Released on November 19, 1996, House of Music reached number 32 on the Billboard 200 and spent 31 weeks on the chart. In its first eight weeks, the album sold 318,502 copies in the US. Tony! Toni! Toné! inaugurated its release with a satellite press conference and in-store performance at a small retail outlet in the San Francisco Bay Area. They also embarked on a tour of historically black colleges and Black Independent Coalition record shops after "Let's Get Down" had been sent to R&B and crossover radio on October 28 as the album's lead single; its music video was released to outlets such as BET, The Box, and MTV. Tony! Toni! Toné! performed the song on the sketch comedy show All That ; on the music variety program Soul Train , they performed "Let's Get Down" and "Annie May". "Thinking of You" was released as the second single on March 11, 1997, by which time House of Music had sold 514,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. On August 6, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The single "Me & You" appears on the soundtrack to the motion picture Boyz n the Hood . Following the release of Sons of Soul , the group was a part of the R&B supergroup Black Men United, along with Silk and H-Town. The song "U Will Know" appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Jason's Lyric .
Raphael Saadiq released his first solo effort, the Top 20 Billboard hit "Ask of You" for the Higher Learning soundtrack, in 1995. Around the same time, Saadiq became a much-sought-after R&B producer, scoring hits for D'Angelo, Total, The Roots, and others. Later in the 2000s, he started a solo career, releasing two albums: Instant Vintage (2002) and Ray Ray (2004). Regarding changing his surname to 'Saadiq' for a solo career, in February 2009 Raphael stated to writer Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul: "I just wanted to have my own identity".
Lucy Pearl was an R&B supergroup formed in 1999 as the brainchild of Raphael Saadiq. The other members of Lucy Pearl were Dawn Robinson (En Vogue) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest). They released their self-titled debut album in 2000. After two singles, "Dance Tonight" and "Don't Mess with My Man", Dawn Robinson left and was replaced by Joi. The new line-up released the track "Without You". The group split up shortly after, releasing no other material.
In 2005, D'wayne Wiggins became the bandleader for the Weekends at the D.L. television show hosted by comedian D. L. Hughley, which aired on the Comedy Central cable network until 2006. D'wayne Wiggins solo album, Eyes Never Lie, sold approximately 150,000 units.
In 2003, members of Tony! Toni! Toné!, except for Saadiq, were invited by Alicia Keys to be guest artists on her album The Diary of Alicia Keys . The song that resulted from that session was called "Diary." Released as a single in the fall of 2004, it gave them their first Top 10 US hit in eleven years and a nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
Raphael Saadiq is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He rose to fame as a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! In addition to his solo and group career, he has also produced songs for such artists as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, Joss Stone, D'Angelo, TLC, En Vogue, Kelis, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Whitney Houston, Solange Knowles and John Legend. Music critic Robert Christgau has called Saadiq the "preeminent R&B artist of the '90s".
Lucy Pearl was an American R&B group formed in 1999. The group was composed of Raphael Saadiq, Dawn Robinson, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
Jason's Lyric is the soundtrack to Doug McHenry's 1994 film Jason's Lyric. It was released on September 27, 1994 via Mercury Records. It spawned three singles: "If You Think You're Lonely Now", a cover of the Bobby Womack hit by Jodeci lead singer K-Ci, "Crazy Love" by Brian McKnight, and "U Will Know", a major collaboration from male R&B singers comprising Black Men United (BMU), written by future neo soul artist D'Angelo.
"Whatever You Want" is the title of a number-one R&B single written by Tony! Toni! Tone! member Dwayne Wiggins and also performed by the group. It was the fourth and final single released from their second album, The Revival. The song spent two weeks at number one on the US R&B chart and peaked at number forty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100. It is their first single that did not feature Raphael on lead vocals.
Instant Vintage is the 2002 debut album by American R&B singer and record producer Raphael Saadiq. It was his first full-length solo album after spending much of his post-Tony! Toni! Toné! career as a session player and producer. The record was a critical success but underperformed commercially, leading to Saadiq's departure from Universal Records.
Who? is the debut album by American R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné! It was released on April 18, 1988, by Wing Records and produced by Foster & McElroy, friends of the band from their hometown of Oakland, California. The album was recorded at Moon Studios in Sacramento.
The Revival is the second studio album by American R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné!, released on May 8, 1990, by Wing Records. It was produced and arranged primarily by the band, although they were assisted on a few songs by the production duo Foster & McElroy, who had produced their first album, Who? (1988). The band recorded at several studios in California with the assistance of the Synclavier, an early music workstation.
Sons of Soul is the third album by American R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné!, released on June 22, 1993, by Wing Records and Mercury Records. It follows the success of their 1990 album The Revival, which had extended their popularity beyond R&B audiences and into the mainstream.
House of Music is the fourth and final album by American R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné!, released on November 19, 1996, by Mercury Records. It follows the success of the band's 1993 album Sons of Soul and a hiatus during which each member pursued individual musical projects.
The Way I See It is the third album by American R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq. It was released on September 16, 2008, by Columbia Records, his first for the label.
Ray Ray is the second studio album by American R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq. It was released October 5, 2004, by his record label, Pookie Entertainment. After being dropped from Universal Records, Saadiq formed the label and recorded the album. He pursued a 1970s-inspired musical direction that was looser than his 2002 debut album, Instant Vintage, and produced Ray Ray with Michael Angelo, Jake and the Phatman, and Kelvin Wooten.
D'wayne Wiggins is an American musician, blues guitarist, producer, composer, and community activist, best known as the founding member of the 1990s soul/R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!.
Stone Rollin' is the fourth studio album by American R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Raphael Saadiq. It was released on March 25, 2011, by Columbia Records.
"If I Had No Loot" is a song by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! It was released on June 1, 1993, as the lead single from their 1993 album Sons of Soul. The song was produced by Tony! Toni! Toné! and co-written by group member Raphael Wiggins, who said that it is about fair-weather friends. It has a new jack swing beat, pronounced guitar licks, and vocal samples from Boogie Down Productions' 1987 song "Remix for P Is Free" and Ice Cube's 1991 song "The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit".
"Anniversary" is a song by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!. It was released on September 14, 1993, as the second single from their studio album Sons of Soul (1993). The song was produced by Tony! Toni! Toné! and written by group member Raphael Wiggins and keyboardist Carl Wheeler. The bolero-like slow jam features lush strings and moody violin, and is about a mature, lasting love, with lyrics that bestow warmth and respect upon a female subject.
"(Lay Your Head on My) Pillow" is a song by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!. It was released by Mercury and Polygram Records on January 11, 1994, as the third single from their 1993 album Sons of Soul. The midtempo love ballad was written and produced by the group and recorded at Paradise Recording Studio in Sacramento, California.
"Leavin'" is a song by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! It was released on April 12, 1994, as the fourth single from their 1993 album Sons of Soul. The optimistic, upbeat song features turntable scratches and a sample of A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 song "If the Papes Come". Music critics found the song's style and group member Raphael Wiggins' singing reminiscent of Smokey Robinson.
"Slow Wine" is a song by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!, released on July 19, 1994, by Mercury Records and Polygram Records as the fifth and final single from their 1993 album Sons of Soul. It was recorded in 1993 at Caribbean Sound Basin in Trinidad, and the group drew on the local music scene and their recreational activities there. "Slow Wine" is a sensual R&B song that describes a Trinidadian slow grind dance.
"Let's Get Down" is a song recorded by American R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! for their fourth studio album House of Music (1996). It was written by Raphael Saadiq, DJ Quik, and George Archie. The song was produced by Saadiq with DJ Quik and G-One. "Let's Get Down" was released as the lead single from House of Music and was sent to R&B and crossover radio on October 28, 1996.
"House Party II " is a song performed by Tony! Toni! Toné!, issued as the title track from the soundtrack to the film House Party 2. The song was written by band members Raphael Saadiq and Dwayne Wiggins; and it peaked at #19 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1991.