Thursday, Jun. 18, 2009

1. Don't Be Cruel by Bobby Brown

Originally released in 1988, Bobby Brown's sophomore album was the best selling of 1989, eventually going eight times Platinum. And just as Control did for Janet Jackson, Don't Be Cruel allowed Brown to discard his rather innocent image, making him a real player on the R&B scene. The eponymous title track, as well as "My Prerogative" and "Every Little Step", were all huge hits.

TIME's Take: "The fresh mix of funky, hiphop beats and bright, soulful melodies set a widely influential musical style, fitting perfectly around Brown's slim vocal talents."