Back in 1977, siblings LeRoy, Eddie, Eugene, Haini, Rudy, Kathi, Elizabeth, and Moana Wolfgramm came together to form the Jets. Eight years later, they hit the big time with their self-titled debut album. For the rest of the ’80s, they continued to enjoy huge success with hits like the Grammy-nominated Rocket 2 U. Here’s our pick of the 10 best the Jets songs of all time.
10. La-La (Means I Love You)
La-La (Means I Love You) was first recorded by the Delfonics, who scored a top 10 hit with it in 1971. Since then, it’s been covered by dozens of other artists, including Alton Ellis and the Flames, who recorded a rocksteady version in 1968; Booker T. & the M.G.’s, who recorded an instrumental cover for their 1968 album, Soul Limbo; Todd Rundgren, whose version made it onto his 1973 album, A Wizard, a True Star; and The Jets, who covered the song for their 1985 self-titled debut album.
9. Sendin’ All My Love
Magic, the Jets’ multi-platinum selling third studio album, was a critical sensation, with All Music saying that it “stands apart simply because, for all of its timeless appeal, it is remindful of youth without seeming juvenile—a formula few pop artists ever seem to master.” With its punchy appeal and slick arrangments, it went down a storm in the charts, reaching number 35 on the Billboard 200 and spawning a string of hit singles. Sendin’ All My Love didn’t climb as highly on the Billboard Hot 100 as the rest of the album’s singles, but it dominated on the dance charts, becoming the group’s first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
8. You Better Dance
The Jets’ fourth studio album, Believe, only managed to make it to number 107 on the Billboard 200, but it’s still a very solid effort, with a finely tuned balance of upbeat dance floor fillers and radio-ready rock ballads. You Better Dance is a funky thriller, with the kind of deep-seated groove guaranteed to get the whole room on its feet. Released as the album’s lead single in 1989, it reached number 73 on the R&B chart, number 28 on the dance chart, and number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100.
7. Private Number
Private Number, the third single from the band’s debut album, is a great song, but it was the video that really got everyone’s attention. It opens with someone using a phone booth and ends with a shot of a falling piece of paper with the phone number 612-420-3226 written on it. In a genius piece of marketing, fans could call this “Private Number” to listen to a pre-recorded message from the band, or, if they were really lucky, even speak to members of the band in person.
6. I Do You
By the time the Jets came to release their third album, Magic, in 1989, Eugene Wolfgramm had departed the group to form Boys Club with Joe Pasquale. But even though it’s hard not to miss his vocals and his congos, the album is too good to get hung up about it. I Do You is one of its best moments, not to mention one of its most successful ones. Released as the album’s second single, it reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 19 on the R&B chart.
5. Rocket 2 U
Written and produced by Bobby Nunn and featuring a note-perfect lead vocal performance from Haini Wolfgramm, Rocket 2 U was one of the major successes of the Jets’ third studio album, Magic. Not only did it shoot to number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 on the R&B chart to become the second highest-charting single on the album, but it also earned enough positive critical praise to scoop a nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989.
4. Cross My Broken Heart
Magic shifted enough copies to eventually go multi-platinum, and Cross My Broken Heart was one of the songs that helped get it there. Released as the album’s lead single, it climbed all the way to number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. It later got a fresh flurry of attention when it was included on the soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop II.
3. Make It Real
According to Moana Wolfgramm, Make It Real was a last-minute addition to the album Magic. “Make It Real was given to us at the eleventh hour. We needed a slow ballad when we were finishing up the last tracks for the Magic album. Our manager Don Powell, Linda Mallah and Rick Kelly wrote this song and it was simple yet very catchy,” she explained. Released as a single in April 1989, it became one of their biggest hits, reaching the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 (their final single ever to do so) and hitting the number one spot on the adult contemporary chart.
2. You Got It All
When Elizabeth Wolfgramm recorded the vocals for You Got It All, she was only 11 years old. Too young to connect with the romantic nature of the lyrics, her manager told her to imagine she was singing the song to a puppy. It worked, resulting in one of the group’s earliest big hits. Released in early 1987, it peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks at the top of the adult contemporary chart.
1. Crush on You
Curiosity, the Jets’ first ever single, may have made some waves in the r&b charts, but it was their second single that really bought the attention of the world to their door. Released in March 1986 from their debut album The Jets, Crush on You climbed all the way to number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a hit on the other side of the pond, reaching number five on the UK Singles Chart.