The Eagles recorded a song in 1979 called “I Can’t Tell You Why,” which was a soft rock hit featuring guitar licks and Timothy Schmit on lead vocals. And while it was a top ten hit for the band, it wasn’t a memorable one for me.
Nope, it wasn’t until R&B group Brownstone covered the song that it became one that I couldn’t live without hearing over and over. It was their version, with guitar licks being replaced by ad libs, that stood out on the group’s 1995 debut album From The Bottom Up. And yes, they had major hits with “If You Love Me” and “Grapevyne,” but it was their version of “Why” that I kept on repeat. Go figure.
The ladies of Brownstone–Nichole Gilbert, Monica Doby and Charmayne Maxwell–took the track all the way to #22 on the Billboard R&B charts, with the ladies trading verses effortlessly, taking the song’s bridge to another level.
Even with its positioning on the charts, I always felt the cover never got the recognition it deserved. Never felt that people liked it as much as I did. I did my part, though… placing it on every mix tape I made for folks, giving them the not so subtle hint that they should appreciate the ladies’ version. Heh.
Regardless, it’s still the one version that I love to this day. One that takes me back to the 90s, and a time when Brownstone stood out as one of the best girl groups of their era.
After the jump is the video for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.