The Music of Glee: Episode 1×3 – Acafellas

Rolling it back again, we dig into Episode 3 of Season 1 for “Acafellas.” This was a weird episode with most of the songs being performed by Matthew Morrison and three other actors that barely showed up again. At least we got to see that the talent in the cast wasn’t isolated to the kids.

“This is How We Do It”
Written by Montell Jordan, Oji Pierce and Ricky Walters
Performed Most Notably by Montell Jordan
Performed on GLEE by the Acafellas

From 1995, this song personified the New Jack Swing style that was popular in the mid-nineties. It features Montell Jordan singing over a sample of Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” It was #1 on Billboard for seven weeks.

Josh Note: Let’s take a look at Acafellas: Matthew Morrison (as Will Schuester), Patrick Gallagher (as Ken Tenaka), Kent Avenido (as Howard) and John Lloyd Young (as Henri). You know the first, Gallagher’s done everything from Sideways, to “True Blood,” and Kent Avenido is a TV and Commercial pro. John Lloyd Young, though, is actually GLEE’s first TONY winner. He won Best Leading Actor in a Musical (and a ton of other awards) for playing Frankie Vallie in the original cast of Jersey Boys. On an unrelated note, I can’t hear this song without dancing like Kid ‘n Play, despite the fact that they were pretty cold by by the mid-nineties.

“Poison”
Written by Elliot Straite
Performed Most Notably by Bell Biv Devoe
Performed on GLEE by the Acafellas

Heading back a couple of years, Bell Biv Devoe went Platinum with this song in 1990. The song is another New Jack Swing classic, sampling from Kool G. Rap’s “Poison,” and “Jimmy” from Boogie Down Production. It’s been featured in dozens of movies, TV shows and video games and was named #60 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s.

Josh Note: This is also the first episode we saw Josh Groban on the show. I’ve always found Groban’s music to be pretty silly, but the man himself is world class. When he was a Guest Host on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, he said: “Kings of Leon recently refused to appear on Glee, for fear of losing integrity. I actually appears on Glee for purely artistic reasons. I made a statue of cash.”

“Mercy”
Written by Duffy and Steve Booker
Performed Most Notably by Duffy
Performed on GLEE by Vocal Adrenaline

This was Duffy’s debut single, from her album Rockferry in 2008. She fit well with the UK’s other modern soul contemporaries, like Amy Winehouse and Adele. The song was nominated for a Grammy and achieved world-wide success.

Josh Note: The song was covered by The Fratellis and Ed’s Idol’s band, OneRepublic.

“Bust Your Windows”
Written by Jazmine Sullivan and Salaam Remi
Performed Most Notably by Jazmine Sullivan
Performed on GLEE by Amber Riley

The second single for Jazmine Sullivan from her Grammy-nominated album, Fearless, Bust Your Windows was…

Josh Note: I really have nothing to say about this song. I kind of hate it.

“I Wanna Sex You Up”
Written by Dr. Freeze and Color Me Badd
Performed Most Notably by Color Me Badd
Performed on GLEE by the Acafellas

More New Jack Swing from the Acafellas brought us Color Me Badd’s giant, international hit from 1991. It was on their debut album C.M.B. and features samples of Doug E. Fresh’s “La Di Da Di,” Betty Wright’s “Tonight is the Night” and The Brothers Johnson’s “Strawberry Letter 23.” It won a Soul Train Award, and was on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s” and Blender’s “50 Worst Songs Ever.”

Josh Note: This song seemed filthy, when it came out in 1991 and I was twelve. Today, with Katy Perry on the charts singing about getting wasted and having a threesome, it’s seems downright precious.

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