Monday, September 4, 2023

New Jack Swing: Top 50 Songs

New Jack Swing:

Top 50 Songs

New Jack Swing is a sub-genre of R&B generally traced back to Janet Jackson’s Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced Control album in 1986 and running into the ‘90s. It used some of the sampling, rhythm, and production techniques of hip-hop. Other significant producers included Babyface & L.A. Reid, Teddy Riley (who also fronted Guy and Blackstreet), and Bernard Belle. New Edition were one of the genre’s significant acts as well as former members Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant, as well as offshoot group Bell Biv DeVoe. 1991’s Dangerous album by Michael Jackson, and produced by Jackson and Riley, is the genre’s best-selling album with 30 million.

So how was this list created? As with any genre lists at Dave’s Music Database, this is an aggregate based on other sources. In this case, a dozen lists of the top new jack swing songs of all time were compiled. In response to some of the comments left on this page, you may not think a particular song falls into this genre, but enough people on the aggregated lists did think so.

Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.

1. Bobby Brown “My Prerogative” (1988)
2. Boyz II Men “Motownphilly” (1991)
3. Tony! Toni! Toné! “Feels Good” (1990)
4. Bell Biv DeVoe “Poison” (1990)
5. Keith Sweat “I Want Her” (1987)
6. Johnny Kemp “Just Got Paid” (1988)
7. Johnny Gill “Rub You the Right Way” (1990)
8. Michael Jackson “Remember the Time” (1992)
9. Guy “Groove Me” (1988)
10. Color Me Badd “I Wanna Sex You Up” (1991)

11. Joe Public “Live and Learn” (1992)
12. Janet Jackson “Miss You Much” (1989)
13. Bobby Brown “Don’t Be Cruel” (1987)
14. Guy “Teddy’s Jam” (1988)
15. New Edition “If It Isn’t Love” (1988)
16. Jade “Don’t Wallk Away” (1992)
17. Christopher Williams “I’m Dreamin’” (1991)
18. Al B. Sure! “Nite and Day” (1988)
19. Bobby Brown “Every Little Step” (1989)
20. En Vogue “Hold On” (1990)

21. SWV (Sisters with Voices) “Weak” (1993)
22. Hi-Five “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” (1991)
23. Wreckx-N-Effect “New Jack Swing” (1989)
24. TLC “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” (1992)
25. TLC “What About Your Friends” (1992)
26. Public Announcement “She’s Got That Vibe” (1992)
27. Portrait “Here We Go Again’ (1992)
28. Karyn White “The Way You Love Me” (1988)
29. Ralph Tresvant “Sensitivity” (1990)
30. Troop “Spread My Wings” (1989)

31. Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It” (1995)
32. Teddy Riley with Tammy Lucas “Is It Good to You” (1992)
33. Tony! Toni! Toné! “If I Had No Loot” (1993)
34. Hi-Five “She’s Playing Hard to Get” (1992)
35. Whitney Houston “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990)
36. Bell Biv DeVoe “Do Me!” (1990)
37. Shanice “I Love Your Smile” (1991)
38. Soul II Soul “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” (1989)
39. Timex Social Club “Rumours” (1986)
40. En Vogue “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” (1992)

41. LL Cool J “Around the Way Girl” (1990)
42. Club Nouveau “Lean on Me” (1987)
43. Heavy D & the Boyz “Now That We Found Love” (1991)
44. Janet Jackson “Love Will Never Do Witthout You” (1989)
45. Janet Jackson “Nasty” (1986)
46. Paula Abdul “Straight Up” (1988)
47. Another Bad Creation “Iesha” (1990)
48. Jodeci “Come and Talk to Me” (1991)
49. Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nationa” (1989)
50. Bobby Brown “On Our Own” (1989)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 5/16/2020; last revised 9/4/2023.


  1. hi, Listen to modern jack swing 2020 you tube

  2. About half of these songs would not be classified as New Jack Swing to ANYONE, like myself, who regularly lived the genre. For example, you chose "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D & The Boys when their song "Somebody For Me" came out before and solidifiesld their dalliance into New Jack Swing. New Jack Swing pretty much faded by 1993, so having a Montell Jordan song from 1995 is out of place. And, since that song samples Slick Rick's "Children's Story" - a Hip-Hop classic- it is more in the genre of R&B songs that sample Hip-Hop songs (there is a slew of these). Also, a little research would have revealed that it is widely known that the song considered the FIRST song identified as New Jack Swing was Keith Sweat's "I Want Her." The phrase NJS actually was attributed to Teddy Riley, who wrote the song, specifically in an article in The Villiage Voice - not Janet Jackson's "Control." That album is more the Minneapolis Sound pioneered by Prince who produced the group The Time of which Jimmy and Terry were members It is clear here that this is a genre that you didn't actively listen to or study. In those instances, when writing about musical genres that aren't ones you know a whole lot about, rather than rewriting the history, either do an in-depth research dive OR ask people for whom it was a way of life. Your work will be more accurate and respected

    1. See the explanation of how this list was created. I'm not making it my personal mission to define new jack swing. I'm simply aggregating multiple lists focused on the genre. If it makes the cut here, that means it made the cut on multiple lists.

  3. Straight Up is NOT New Jack Swing. Who made this List????

    1. I've added an explanation of how this list was created. "Straight Up" makes the list because it made enough lists focused on new jack swing that it ends up showing up here.