ARTIST: The Mary Jane Girls
TITLE: In My House: The Very Best of the Mary Jane Girls
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Candy Man (#101 US, #23 US R&B, #60 UK), All Night Long (#101 US, #11 US R&B, #8 US Dance, #13 UK), Boys (#102 US, #29 US R&B, #74 UK), Jealousy (#106 US, #84 US R&B), In My House (#7 US, #3 US R&B, #1 US Dance, #77 UK), Wild and Crazy Love (#42 US, #10 US R&B, #3 US Dance), Break It Up (#79 US R&B, #44 US Dance), Walk Like a Man (#41 US, #91 US R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s more than enough.
LINEUP: Joanne “Jojo” McDuffie, Candi Ghant, Maxi Wuletich. Cheri Wells was repleaced by Corvette Marine after their first album. Maxine Walters and Julia Waters actually sang most of the backups with Jojo. Rick James and his band did the music.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Rick James’ girl group had a string of hits in the 80’s, and this collects more than enough of them.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The story of the Mary Jane Girls is interesting. The eye candy on the record covers and videos weren’t the real group – the real singers (for most of the tracks) were Jojo McDuffie and the Walters sisters, who were James’ actual backup singers on album. McDuffie was the main backup vocalist on stage, and Cheri, Candi and Maxi were mostly dancers. The musicians called them The Mary Jane Girls, thanks to James’ smoking habits.
Somehow, instead of signing Jojo to a solo deal, Motown signed the backing group instead. Well, James wanted a girl group but knew only Jojo could sing, so the Walters sisters did the backups for the most part.
James wrote them some pretty decent throwaway R&B dance songs. He also wrote some ballads, which, ick. If you really want more than “In My House”, be my guest. This is the one to pick up since it picks up the singles from both albums. The filler? Double ick!
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They actually gave the ‘other’ Mary Jane Girls beside Jojo solo opportunities on their second album. No, don’t go there.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but this collection uses most of the 12” single club mixes, which actually are better than the regular mixes because the band is tight and you get to hear them jam.
GRADE: C-: Throwaway dance R&B. The ballads are glop, and the others are pretty disposable, except “In My House”.