MINT CONDITION PERFORMING ON STAGE (Photos by J. L. Martello)
While many rhythm and blues groups of the 1980s and 1990s have faded into oblivion, Mint Condition keeps on kicking.
“When we first started we concentrated on longevity,” explained guitarist Homer O’Dell. “We watched groups like Aerosmith and we wanted to be the best group we could be. We’ve seen a lot of groups that came out with one album and went away. We didn’t want to be that. We keep putting out music and thankfully the fans stayed with us.”
Mint Condition was formed in the early 1980s in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. Its current members are lead singer Stokley Williams, O’Dell, keyboardist Larry Wadell, bassist Ricky Kinchen, and saxophone and keyboard player Jeffery Allen.
The group was discovered by super producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Mint Condition’s debut album, 1991’s “Meant to be Mint,” produced the mega hit “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” which spent 34 weeks on the charts and reached No. 3 on the R&B Top 5 and No. 6 on the Pop Top 10 charts.
The album’s next single, “Forever in Your Eyes,” reached No. 7 on the R&B Top 10.
These classic ballads quickly solidified Mint Condition as a solid group of top-notch musicians and entertainers. The group still enjoys performing the songs and includes them in their tour repertoire.
“‘Pretty Brown Eyes’ is one of our favorite songs that we love to perform because we see how the fans react to it and we like to touch our fans live and direct and it’s just one of those songs that we love,” said Kinchen.