Mint Condition is an R&B band from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Formed
in the late 1980s, its original members were lead singer (and in-studio
drummer/percussionist) Stokley Williams, bassist Ricky Kinchen, guitarist
Homer O'Dell, pianist Larry Waddell, keyboardist Keri Lewis, and keyboardist/saxophonist
Jeffrey Allen. Currently, this line-up remains intact, with the exception
of Lewis, who left the group to produce for other artists. The group
is well known for its highly diverse musical style (able to play anything
from traditional jazz stylings to mainstream R&B and rock-based
music to funk grooves and even Latin and Jamaican-based rhythms) and
also its captivating live performances. The band is also well known
for their well written and produced R&B ballads, mainly in the
Mint Condition has been together since they were students at Central
High School in Saint Paul.
 1989-1991: Meant to be Mint
Discovered and originally signed to Perspective Records by music
producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in 1989 (after being heard at
a performance at a club in downtown Minneapolis called First Avenue),
their debut album was entitled Meant To Be Mint (released in 1991).
Despite their musical versatility the band attempted to attract New
Jack Swing listeners with their dance cut "Are You Free",
but it wasn't successful (the song hit #55 on the R&B charts).
However, they did enjoy major success with the ballad "Breakin'
My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)". The song stayed on the charts
for 34 weeks, hitting the R&B top 5 (#3), and the Pop Top 10
(#6) and was certified gold by the RIAA. The third single "Forever
In Your Eyes" was also a successful Top 10 R&B hit (#7 R&B).
 1993-1994: From the Mint Factory
Two years later they released their 2nd platinum album, From The
Mint Factory (1993). They enjoyed success with the single "U
Send Me Swingin'" which peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop
Songs Chart for four weeks straight in the spring of 1994. The song
was also a smash on the Rhythmic Top 40 charts where it reached #14.
The bands next two singles "Someone to Love" and "So
Fine" were Billboard Top 30 R&B hits hitting the #28, and
#29 spots respectively.
 1996-1997: Definition of a Band
In September 1996 saw the release of Definition of a Band which
would be the bands most successful period in their career. The album
peaked the R&B Top 15. The first successful single on this album
was the Billboard R&B smash hit single "What Kind Of Man
Would I Be?" which was about remaining faithful in a relationship
(#2 R&B, #17 Pop). The single crept up to the number 2 spot on
the Billboard R&B charts in a matter of weeks and received a
Gold certification by the RIAA that December. "What Kind Of
Man Would I Be?" was so popular that it stayed on the Billboard
R&B Charts for a total of 41 weeks before it finally fell off. "You
Don't Have to Hurt No More" was the second single released from
Definition of a Band and it was also a Top 10 R&B hit. (#10 R&B,
#32 pop). With the success of these two singles along with the positive
reviews that the album received allowed Definition of a Band to reach
Gold status as well. Two years later, The Collection: 1991-1998,
a greatest hits compilation, was issued.
 1999-2000: Life's Aquarium
After Perspective Records/A&M folded, the group signed with
Elektra Records in 1999, releasing their fourth full-length album,
Life's Aquarium which also debuted in the Top 10 (#7 R&B). Its
main single, "If You Love Me", hit the R&B Top 5 while
appearing on the R&B Charts for 31 weeks. The second single "Is
This Pain Our Pleasure", peaked at #42, while also peaking at
#34 on the R&B Airplay Charts.
 2000s: Livin' The Luxury Brown and E-Life
After a six year hiatus, the group resurfaced as a quintet due to
former member and keyboard player Keri Lewis leaving the group to
produce for other artists, such as his wife, singer Toni Braxton.
In 2005, they released Livin' The Luxury Brown on their independent
label Caged Bird Records. The album hit #1 on the Independent Album
Charts. Live From The 9:30 Club, a performance of a concert at the
9:30 club in Washington DC, was issued in 2006.
In 2008 they released a new album entitled E-Life which debuted
at #8 on the Billboard R&B album chart, and spawned two singles, "Baby
Boy, Baby Girl" and "Nothing Left To Say." The second
single "Nothing Left To Say" became the band's first Top
30 R&B single in almost a decade (#27 R&B) and also a Top
5 Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary hit peaking at #3.
 2010-Present: 7..., Tour with Prince, TV appearances
The new Mint Condition album 7... will be released on April 5, 2011[dated
info] on Shanachie Records. It features their new hit single "Caught
My Eye" as well as their collaboration with Kelly Price, "Not
My Daddy", also a hit. The album is reportedly called 7... because
it is the seventh studio album of their career. The songs run the
gamut from their signature love ballads through funk and soul tracks
with touches of jazz and rock. And, responding to longstanding requests
from their fans, there's even an instrumental track. A special limited
edition of the album featuring five bonus tracks not available elsewhere
(three new songs and two live recordings) is being made available
exclusively at Best Buy stores.
Beginning in December 2010, Mint Condition joined pop legend Prince
and an ensemble cast of R&B and Jazz musicians for his Welcome
2 America tour.
They appeared as the house band for TV One's program Way Black When
every night during February 2011.
This year, Mint Condition is celebrating their 20th anniversary
as a band.
Further information: Mint Condition discography
Meant to Be Mint (1991)
From the Mint Factory (1993)
Definition of a Band (1996)
Life's Aquarium (1999)
Livin' the Luxury Brown (2005)
 Awards and nominations
 Soul Train Music Award
Nominated: Best R&B/Soul Album by a Duo or Group for Livin'
the Luxury Brown (2005)
Nominated: Best R&B/Soul Album by a Group, Band or Duo for Definition of
a Band (1997)
Nominated: Best R&B/Soul Single by a Group, Band or Duo for What Kind Of
Man Would I Be (1997)
 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards
Winners: Album of the Year Mint Condition - e-Life* (2008)
Winners: Duo or Group of the Year - Mint Condition* (2008)