Listen: Pebbles – Giving You the Benefit

Aside from my brother, my family isn’t much to collect music. They consume it, certainly, but they don’t possess my level of … compulsion.

My sister would sometimes buy CDs, but when the allure of a particular album wore off, it would eventually find its way onto my shelf. One such inheritance was Always by Pebbles.

This album was a big R&B hit back in the early ’90s, right around the time ’80s college rock began its transformation into alternative music. I viewed Always with a fair degree of condescension back then, and I kept hold of the album as an inspiration of what not to do with songwriting. I’m so glad I’m over that phase of my life.

The truth is, Always is gloriously dated. If there’s one thing I admire about the commercial music of the era was an attempt to play up the strengths of the analog technology of the times. Those "brass" sounds could never be mistaken for real brass, but as they are, they do a great job of emphasizing rhythm.

Pebbles went on to form a production company, Pebbitone, which produced TLC. You know how that story turned out.

According to Wikipedia, Pebbles is now known as Sister Perri Reid and heads a Christian ministry for women.

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