I just learned a couple of years ago that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote the Force MDs biggest hit “Tender Love.”
The Force M.D.s (originally The Force MCs; M.D. being an initialism for “Musical Diversity”) is a doo wop group that was formed in 1981 in Staten Island, New York. Though they weren’t quite always as recognizable as other New York R&B acts when they first started out, the Force M.D.s were among the first R&B vocal groups to intermix doo wop-affected consonances with hip-hop beats.
Once known as the L.D.s, they began performing on Greenwich Village street corners and the Staten Island ferry. The group consisted of brothers Stevie D. and Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy (d. January 21, 1998), their uncle, Jessie Lee Daniels, and friends Trisco Pearson and Charles “Mercury” Nelson (December 19, 1964â€“March 9, 1995). After they connected with DJ Dr. Rock, they also performed as Dr. Rock & the M.C.s and played at hip hop shows.
By the time the Force M.D.s made a record deal, signing with Tommy Boy Records in 1984, they had already developed into a pure quiet storm/urban R&B group, with their top-ten R&B hit “Tears” from the Love Letters album and signified by their street attitude. They produced a collection of R&B hits throughout the ’80s, but their sole pop hit was the Top Ten Jimmy Jam- and Terry Lewis-penned love song “Tender Love” from both their second album Chillinâ€™ (1985) and the 1985 feature film and soundtrack Krush Groove. With the exception of their first album, the group was also the first act on Tommy Boy to have major-label distribution through its then-parent Warner Bros. Records.
The Force M.D.s’ finally scored their first R&B #1 hit in 1987, “Love Is A House”, from their third album Touch and Go. However, their popularity began to fade the next year, before a fourth album Step to Me released in 1990 and featuring production by Full Force, Marley Marl, Monte Moir (of the Time) and others. Mercury and Trisco then left and were replaced by Rodney “Khalil” Lundy and Shawn Waters. The group released the album Moments in Time in 1994.
Tragedy struck the group three times with the passing of three of its members: Charles “Mercury” Nelson suffered a fatal heart attack in 1995, Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1998 and DJ Dr. Rock died under unknown circumstances. The Remaining MDs returned with a comeback album “The Reunion” in 2000.