Foster & McElroy

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Foster & McElroy
Foster McElroy Photo.jpg
Background information
Birth name Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy
Also known as
  • Fmob
Origin Oakland, California (Denzil Foster)
Oakland, California (Thomas McElroy)
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Songwriters
  • producers
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts

Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy are an American R&B record production and songwriting duo, releasing recordings under the names Foster & McElroy and Fmob.[1] They have written and produced songs for musicians such as Club Nouveau, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Alexander O'Neal, Regina Belle, Madonna, and Swing Out Sister.[2] Their music has been sampled in hit songs by the Luniz, Puff Daddy, Ashanti, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Jessica Simpson, and others. Foster & McElroy are best known as the founders of the group En Vogue,[3] listed by Billboard as one of the Top 10 Girl Groups of All Time.[4] In addition to producing music for various television shows, they are also credited for songs in numerous movie soundtracks including The Great White Hype, Lean on Me, and Who's That Girl.

Biography[edit]

Denzil Foster was born in Oakland, CA and was greatly influenced by numerous of styles of music, from The Beatles to Parliament/Funkadelic. Thomas McElroy, also born in Oakland, was influenced by his father's love for jazz music. The two musicians first met in California while attending college and decided to work together as colleagues.

Career[edit]

Signing to the independent Triangle label, they released one 12" single. Soon after, Foster & McElroy joined forces with Jay King producing Timex Social Club's hit single "Rumors" in 1986.[5] When that group disbanded, they regrouped with King to form Club Nouveau.[6] Eventually, the duo left Club Nouveau after their first album Life, Love & Pain to focus on production and songwriting.[5] In 1988, they landed a production deal with Wing Records, eventually signing the band Tony! Toni! Toné!, as well as brother and sister act Channel 2.[7]

Foster & McElroy are considered pioneers of new jack swing, a genre they helped define with the group Tony! Toni! Tone!.[5][8] The duo produced the group's first album and had success with the first single release, Little Walter, which peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] In 1990, the group released The Revival, its second album which went 2x's Platinum and had numerous #1 singles.[7] Following the success of Tony! Toni! Toné!, Foster & McElroy released their first album as a group, FM2, one of which included songs such as "Around the World in 80 Beats", "Gotta Be a Better Way", and "Dr. Soul", the latter of which was a top ten R&B hit featuring rapper MC Lyte. It earned moderate success. While working on the album, Foster & McElroy made plans to put together a girl group that would be a modern-day version of The Supremes,[9] with what eventually became the group En Vogue.[10]

After several audition calls, Foster & McElroy eventually selected Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, and Dawn Robinson to become the members of the newly titled "For You."[11] The group became a quartet after the addition of Terry Ellis and the name was changed to "Vogue."[12] After learning that another group already had that moniker, Foster & McElroy changed the name to "En Vogue."[12] The group's first album, Born to Sing, was released in 1990 and sold over one million copies with numerous singles reaching #1 on Billboard charts.[12] En Vogue's second album, Funky Divas, was released in 1992 and became the highest selling album to date and one of the top selling albums of that year with over five million copies sold worldwide.[9] With hits such as "Hold On", "Lies", "Free Your Mind", "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)", and "Don't Let Go (Love)", En Vogue has become one of the most successful girl groups in music history.[12] It was also listed as one of the Top 10 Girl Groups of All Time by Billboard.[4]

They recorded a second album in 1994, a hip-hop jazz album Once in a Blue Moon, under their new name FMob.[13] The duo has also written a few television theme songs as well, including Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Roc, and BET's Video Soul.[14] They have also been credited with numerous movie soundtracks.[14]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Artist Credits Notes
2008 Blue Magic Jay Z Writers Peaked at #17 on Billboard Hot Rap Songs[15]
2000 Riddle En Vogue Writers & Producers From the album Masterpiece Theatre
1999 Satisfy You Puff Daddy Writers Peaked at #1 on Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[16]
1995 I Got 5 On It The Luniz Writers Peaked at #4 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[17]
1993 Give It Up, Turn It Loose En Vogue Writers & Producers Peaked at #10 on Mainstream Top 40 and #15 on Billboard Hot 100[18]
1993 Free Your Mind En Vogue Writers & Producers Peaked at #8 on Billboard Hot 100 and nominated for Grammy.[18]
1992 Something He Can Feel En Vogue Writers & Producers Peaked at #1 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[18]
1992 My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) En Vogue Writers & Producers Certified Gold by the RIAA and peaked at #1 on Billboard Hot R&B Singles[18]
1991 Don't Go En Vogue Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1991 Midnight Run Alexander O'Neal Writers & Producers #3 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, #49 Pop
1990 You Don't Have To Worry En Vogue Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1990 So You Like What You See Samuelle Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1990 Lies En Vogue Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1990 Hold On En Vogue Writers & Producers Platinum, #2 Pop[19]
1989 Dr. Soul Foster McElroy Writers & Producers #10 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1989 Body Talk Sharon Bryant Writers & Producers #15 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1989 For The Love Of You Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers #3 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 Baby Doll Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 Born Not To Know Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 Tell Me It's Not Too Late LIA Writers & Producers #33 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 True Obsession LIA Writers & Producers #49 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 Little Walter Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1988 Little Drummer Boy Alexander O'Neal Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1987 To Prove My Love Michael Cooper Writers & Producers #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1986 Last Time Theresa Writers & Producers #12 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
1986 Heavy On My Mind Club Nouveau Writers & Producers #7 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[20]
1986 Why You Treat Me So Bad Club Nouveau Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, #21 Pop[20]
1986 Lean On Me Club Nouveau Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, #1 Pop[20]
1986 Situation #9 Club Nouveau Writers & Producers #2 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[20]
1986 Jealousy Club Nouveau Writers & Producers #1 Dance, #8 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[20]
1986 Rumors Timex Social Club Producers 4x Platinum, #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs & #6 Pop[20]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Artist Credits Notes
2004 Soul Flower En Vogue Writers & Producers #47 on the charts for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #15 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart
2002 The Gift of Christmas En Vogue Writers & Producers
2000 Masterpiece Theatre En Vogue Writers & Producers Peaked at #33 on Billboard R&B and #67 on Billboard 200[18]
1997 EV3 En Vogue Writers & Producers Platinum
1995 Southern Gal Terry Ellis Writers & Producers Peaked at #27 on Billboard R&B/Hip-hop albums[21][22]
1995 Reachin' Back Regina Belle Writers & Producers Peaked at #18 on Billboard R&B[23]
1994 Once In A Blue Moon FMob Writers & Producers
1993 Runaway Love En Vogue Writers & Producers Peaked at #16 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[18]
1992 Funky Divas En Vogue Writers & Producers 5x Platinum, #8 Pop
1992 Forever Puff Daddy Sample tracks used from Why You Treat Me So Bad #2 on Billboard 200
1990 Born To Sing En Vogue Writers & Producers[24] Platinum, #1 R&B, #8 Pop
1990 Revival Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers 2x Platinum, #1 R&B
1990 Living in Black Paradise Samuelle Writers & Producers #37 R&B
1989 FM2 Foster & McElroy Writers, Producers, Performers
1988 Let It Be Me Robert Brookins Writers & Producers #37 R&BTop R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[25]
1988 Who? Tony! Toni! Tone! Writers & Producers Gold, #1 R&B[26]
1986 Life, Love & Pain Club Nouveau Writers & Producers 3x Platinum, #1 R&B, #2 Pop[27]

Movie soundtracks[edit]

Year Soundtrack Song(s) Credits
1996 The Great White Hype We Got It Writers & Producers
1996 Lean on Me Lean on Me Writers & Producers
1987 Who's That Girl Step by Step Writers & Producers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 208. ISBN 9780743201698. 
  2. ^ J.R. Reynolds (21 Dec 1996). "Industry Vets, City Back Y? Entertainment, Multifacedted Oakland Co. Formed By Foster & McElroy". Billboard. 
  3. ^ "Holding On". Vibe. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (5 March 2015). "Top 10 Girl Groups of All Time". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Phinney, Kevin (2005). Souled American: How Black Music Transformed White Culture. Billboard Books. ISBN 9780823084043. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Leland, John (February 1987). "Cold Busted, Timex Social Club takes a licking and stops ticking". Spin. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Gonzales, Michael A. "Family Ties". Vibe. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Williams, C.L. (6 October 2011). "How a Movement Redefined as Era". Pop Matters. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Bianco, David P. (1998). Parents aren't supposed to like it. U X L. ISBN 9780787617349. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir (2003). All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879307448. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Bogle, Donald (2007). Brown Sugar: Over One Hundred Years of America's Black Female Superstars. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780826416759. 
  12. ^ a b c d "En Vogue's Funky Divas album revisited with producers Foster & McElroy Return To The Classics". Soul Culture. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Marius, DJ (19 February 1994). "EastWest Looks For Fmob's Blend of Hip-Hop Jazz To Produce Success". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  14. ^ a b St. Croix, Stephen (1998). "Its About Time". Mix. 
  15. ^ "Billboard Chart History - Jay Z". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Billboard Chart History - Puff Daddy". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Chart History - The Luniz". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard Chart History - En Vogue". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Crouse, Richard (2000). Big Bang, Baby: Rock Trivia. Dundurn. ISBN 9781459718784. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f Whitburn, Joel (2007). Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard Top Adult Songs, 1961-2006. Record Research Incorporated. ISBN 9780898201697. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  21. ^ Reynolds, J.R. (21 October 1995). "En Vogue's Ellis Steps Out With EastWest Solo Debut". Billboard. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "Billboard Chart History - Terry Ellis". Billboard. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "Billboard Chart History - Regina Belle". Billboard. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  24. ^ Brackett, Nathan (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743201698. 
  25. ^ "Robert Brookins – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  26. ^ "No Title". Ebony Man. 1990. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  27. ^ White, Adam (1990). The Billboard book of gold & platinum records. Billboard Books. ISBN 9780823075478. Retrieved 22 June 2016.