Mercedes Boy

Album: Pebbles (1987)
Charted: 42 2

Songfacts®:

  • Pebbles, who proved to be far more than a standard pop star, wrote this song herself. It's about a real guy she fell in love with. In high school, they were in separate relationships and would make friendly eye contact but never really connect even though they were "always on the scene." After about five years, they finally got together, with Pebbles writing the song while she was deeply in love with him.
  • Both Pebbles and the guy she wrote this song about drove Mercedes, so he was her "Mercedes Boy." She takes a very aggressive stand in the song, offering him a ride instead of trying to get into his car.
  • Her hit "Girlfriend" was released first, but "Mercedes Boy" was the song that got Pebbles a record deal. When she put her demo tape together, she went the extra step of including a video she made of her performing the song - not common practice in 1987 since it meant shopping around your VHS tapes as well. The gambit worked, and she got a deal with MCA Records.
  • This was produced by Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band.
  • With a blistering guitar solo that wouldn't be out of place in a Def Leppard song, and a fetching video that made rotation on MTV, VH1 and BET, this became a huge crossover hit, going to #1 on the R&B charts and just missing the top spot on the Hot 100. Pebbles would chart two more songs in the Top 40: "Giving You The Benefit" (#4, 1990) and "Love Makes Things Happen" (#13, 1991).
  • In the 1980s, the Mercedes-Benz line of automobiles came to be associated with upwardly mobile and well-to-do Yuppies. Another line of cars with the same reputation was BMW, but that brand doesn't fit as well into song lyrics. It seemed like every car in the parking lot of an Ivy League university was one of these two, and it was a status symbol of the times.
  • Pebbles' real first name is Perri - her godfather gave her the nickname because of her resemblance to a character in the Flintstones cartoon franchise (no word yet on a rapper named Bam-Bam). After finding success as a solo artist, she made a quick transition into production and artist management which was helped along by her marriage to Antonio "L.A." Reid, whom she met when he did production work on her first album. She formed a production company called Pebbitone Inc., and signed the group TLC, bringing them to her husband's record company, LaFace. TLC was crazysexysuccessful, but they ended up in bankruptcy and blamed Pebbles for mismanagement. In 1995, Pebbles and Reid divorced, and TLC sued her for $10 million. Pebbles became much more religious around this time, and said, "The Lord moved away everybody from me that wasn't spiritual, and replaced them with people that are spiritual."

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 28, 1988, Pebbles performed "Mercedes Boy" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV network Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #34 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and working it's way up; six weeks later it would peak at #2* {for 2 weeks} and it spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    On the same 'Bandstand' show she also performed "Girlfriend", it was at #53 and working it's way down the chart; five weeks earlier it had peaked at #5 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the Top 100 for 20 weeks...
    And both songs peaked at #1 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart; "Girlfriend" for 2 weeks on April 14th, 1988 and "Mercedes Boy" for 1 week on May 15th, 1988...
    Pebbles, born Perri Arlette McKissack, will celebrate her 53rd birthday in three months on August 29th {2017}...
    * The two weeks "Mercedes Boy" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "The Flame" by Cheap Trick.
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