Wipe Off The Dust: Return Of The Mack, Return Of My Private 1997 Radio Days

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ever had a song that just kind of stuck to you like a Post-It note? It was always there, reminding you of its existence, yet somehow you stored it away and kind of forgot about it. This is what happened to me with British R&B vocalist, Mark Morrison's "Return Of The Mack" from 1996. This song was a Post-It that was found yesterday. For some reason, this song randomly popped into my brain yesterday, possibly due to the fact that I got on a 90's music nostalgia trip and wanted to find something insanely obscure to give me itchy flashbacks of my unglamorous tween years. Morrison's "Return Of The Mack" was a song that I just knew part of the chorus ("You lied to me") and I could recall the funky mid-90's New Jack Swing beat it coasted on, but not much else, especially who in hell sung it and what in funkle it was about. For years, I thought Morrison said, "We'll turn up the man" instead of "return of the mack"...but this is just a classic moment of "mis-heard lyrics" gone bad, and forgive me, I was only 11 when this song was in its pristine state. Still once I pressed play on this track, I was taken back, way back to when I got my first Sony boom box, laden with stickers from Highlights magazine and how the radio was the most important asset to learning about fresh new music. You know, the Prehistoric years...before the Internet, podcasts, blogs etc. This was one of those songs that played during that time period where I was blasting my very first CDs (Spice Girls, TLC and Boyz II Men, respectively), wearing glitter butterfly clips and becoming enthralled with taping songs off the radio on unlabeled cassette tapes, making my own mix tapes. Yeah, piracy isn't anything newfangled, we were doing it back in the days of Memorex tapes.

So I was pleased that somehow this song came back to me, and I'm able to still enjoy the mess out of it...its got a great vibe, catchy flow and Morrison with his Michael Cooper sounding voice is quite the crooner, which leads me to wonder why he never blew up? Especially since he was the first Black British artist to reach the #1 spot on the UK singles chart back in '96. He even reached the #2 mark over here in the States in '97 but was trumped by Hanson's "MmmBop". Guess that's symbolic in the sense that the New Jack era was out and the Boy Band Generation came stampeding in...

Not quite sure if anyone even remembers this track (fabulous if you do!), but it'd be interesting to know what everyone else's radio memories of their childhood/tween years, so if you wanna wipe off the dust, do so in the comments. And if you missed "Return Of The Mack" in 1997, then experience it below. It's still a goodie even though its about 12 years old!


  1. This song was HUGE in the UK ... and seemed to have a bit of a resurgence about 12 months ago when it was rumoured he was making a comeback.

    I too was about 11/12 when this came out and I remember it being on every radio station, all of the time. He had a few other minor hits but this will always be the track he is most famous for!

  2. He has release this album , ROTM again in 1997.

    Then in 2002 he release Innocent Man, re-released it in 2004, and 2006, as well as 2008 in Japan. I have bought every copy.

    Heres a video link to some of my collection = HERE.

    I have also done 4 Mark Morriosn Mixtapes for free download if any1 wants them?


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