“Just Be Good to Me” by The S.O.S. Band

The addressee of “Just Be Good To Me” is a man who has more than one girlfriend. And more to the point at hand, he is the romantic interest of the singer. And this isn’t one of those situations where she is shocked by the above fact or even upset condemning his lifestyle. To the contrary, she is cool with this.

However, this is not stopping her friends from constantly reminding her that he is a playa, if you will. Or as the vocalist further explains, they are convinced that she is “wasting time with” him. 

The implication behind such a belief would be that since he has a number of ladies, it’s only a matter of time before he gets tired of the singer and leaves her. Or once again due to his number of partners, he is not really vested in their relationship. 

But she does not have any issue with any of that type of gossip. Rather her primary concern, as the title suggests, is that he “just be good to” her.

And this is not to say that she is stupid or ignoring the facts. Instead she has obviously been with him for some time and believes that the feelings between the two of them are real. 

That’s because when they are together for instance, he doesn’t put her under the impression that she is one of many. Instead, she feels as if he truly belongs to her.

Life is all about taking chances

Meanwhile, she’s obviously experienced enough to know that “life is a game of chances”. Or viewed alternatively, even if she hooks up with a dude who doesn’t have any other girlfriend, that doesn’t mean he will treat her well or that their relationship will prosper. 

Meanwhile she already has somebody in her life, this selfsame addressee, with whom it has already been established that their romance is cool. And at the end of the day, it’s not like there’s a lot of compatible guys floating around anyway. 

So the singer would rather move forward with him “than to have all of nothing”, i.e. no partner at all.

Lyrics focus on Singer’s Character too

So even from her honest perspective, he may not be an ideal romantic partner. But ultimately, this song is more about her character than it is his. 

For example, she’s “not the jealous type”. Furthermore it can be hypothesized that the narrator has dealt with romantic disappointment in the past and spent some time single. She therefore now desires someone to be the recipient of her love. 

And she’s willing to give to her significant other when he ‘needs’ it, as opposed to trying to tie him down in a monogamous-marriage type of situation. 

Or put comprehensively, the vocalist comes off as being more of the independent type who doesn’t need to be around a man 24/7 or keep tabs on him when they aren’t together.

But that established, that doesn’t mean she is a pushover who doesn’t have any demands whatsoever. Yes, she can tolerate her friends laughing behind her back, if you will, due to knowledge of her man sowing his oats. 

But she is willing to accept all of the above so long as he remains ‘nice and sweet to her’. Or as the title puts it, as long as he treats her “good” she will likewise return the love.

Release Date of “Just Be Good To Me”

The official release date of this song was on 1 January 1983, having been done so by Tabu Records. And it is featured on The S.O.S. Band’s album that came out that year, “On the Rise”.

The S.O.S. Band

The S.O.S. Band is a crew from Atlanta, Georgia. Even though they are still active well into the 21st century, they are almost exclusively known for songs dropped during the band’s heyday of the 1980s. 

And their signature tune, even beyond this particular song, would be 1980’s “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”, which got as high as number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Just Be Good to Me” was another big hit, peaking at number two on Billboard’s R&B chart and number three on its Dance Club Songs ranking. 

The song also made it onto the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart. Furthermore, it appeared on other music charts in Europe and Oceania.

Back in their aforementioned heyday The S.O.S. Band was quite deep. And crew members that were active at the release of this track were:

  • vocalist Mary Davis
  • vocalist/trumpeter Abdul Ra’off
  • keyboardist Jason Bryant
  • saxophonist Billy Ellis
  • bassist John Simpson III
  • guitarist Bruno Speight
  • drummer Jerome Thomas 

As of the 21st century, the core membership of The S.O.S. Band only consists of Abdul Ra’off and Mary Davis.

Who wrote “Just Be Good To Me”?

The track was written and produced by two outside musicians, hitmakers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The pair of songwriters worked regularly with the group throughout the peak of their career.

An interesting side story concerning this song is that Jimmy & Terry worked on it while concurrently being members of a band Prince (1958-2016) formed called The Time. 

Part of the agreement was that they were not to produce songs for outside acts. And to make a long story short, when Prince found out they were in fact involved in making this song, he fired them from his entourage. 

But that move actually was a blessing in disguise as the pair went on to become one of the most-successful music-composition teams of the late 20th century.

Official cover art of “Just Be Good To Me”

“Just Be Good To Me” is a Certified Classic

This track is considered a classic in the African-American community and as such as been covered by rappers such as the Silkk the Shocker (1988) and the late Tupac Shakur (1995), as well as being referenced by others, such as MC Lyte (1991).

Also a number of artists have covered it, such as Ciara in 2016 and a touring Mariah Carey throughout the 1990s. 

And Canadian singer Deborah Cox’s version of “Just Be Good to Me” made an appearance within the top 10 of the US Dance Club Songs chart in 1996. 

And just to note, it is also featured on one of the fictional radio stations present on Grand Theft Auto IV (2008).

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