Cutting through the sharper-edged gangsta rap and smooth R&B sounds of the mid-90s, Mark Morrison’s debut album, Return Of The Mack, mixed R&B, New Jack Swing and hip-hop while bringing a distinct UK perspective to an otherwise US-dominated scene. With his unique vocal style and confident swagger, Mark Morrison’s biggest contribution to pop music epitomises the mid-90s sound while also standing as an enduring classic that shows no signs of losing its touch.
Listen to Return Of The Mack here.
A world-class chorus and a universal message
With its opening track, Home Pt.1 (Interlude), Morrison sets up Return Of The Mack as a loose concept album. Creating smooth transitions between each song and musical themes that pulse throughout, Morrison ensures there’s never a break in his creative flow.
Opening with background chatter, a fake record scratch and an alarm bell to signal his arrival, the album’s title track creates a party vibe from the off. Pulling from a variety of sources to build his masterpiece, Morrison sampled the drums from Tom Tom Club’s Genius Of Love, plus a live version of Cerrone’s Rocket In The Pocket, to sit beneath such regret-filled lyrics as “You lied to me/All those times I said that I loved you”. But while Morrison wore his broken heart on his sleeve, the track’s simple, repetitive melody served as the perfect recipe for an earworm single destined to make its mark. Hitched to a world-class chorus and a universal message of overcoming obstacles, Return Of The Mack soared to No.2 in the US (where it went platinum) and No.1 in the UK, while also climbing the charts across Europe and Australia.