The funky, dance-oriented R&B act Club Nouveau stormed onto the musical scene in late 1986 with Life, Love, & Pain. Half the songs on this eight-title set received some form of airplay, but none matched the success of their lighthearted, reggae/hip-hop remake of the Bill Withers classic "Lean on Me," which topped the American pop charts for two weeks in 1987. The follow-up, "Why You Treat Me So Bad," only peaked at number 39 on the pop charts (but fared much better on the R&B charts), yet has enjoyed an equally long (if not longer) shelf life. By the end of the '90s, "Why You Treat Me So Bad" had already been sampled into two of the decade's biggest hip-hop hits: "I Got Five on It" by Luniz and "Satisfy You" by Puff Daddy and R. Kelly. The album also featured "Jealousy," which was a remake/answer song to Timex Social Club's 1986 Top Ten hit "Rumours," and the R&B hit "Situation #9." The album closes with "Pump It Up," which is a reprise of "Lean on Me." Club Nouveau never again came close to matching the success of this album or its singles. There are a few compilations on Club Nouveau, but to capture the spirit of the band at their best, go with Life, Love, & Pain.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis