Searching For A Destiny That’s Mine

Today’s title is the first line of the first song I have featured for today’s Morning Groove. Actually, you could call today’s post the Morning Grooves. I have lined up four songs for your listening pleasure based on four of the gentlemen featured in last Thursday’s Morning Groove. Need a reminder of that song? You can click this link to refresh your memory.

Each of the gentlemen I’m talking about (Leee John of Imagination, Carl McIntosh of Loose Ends, Junior (Giscombe) and Omar (Lye-Fook)) were hitmakers in years gone by. So I decided to take one famous song from each of their discographies and put them in a post together.

Leee John and his high falsetto voice became familiar to R&B fans back in 1981, when Imagination’s album Body Talk was released here. Though the only song to make the R&B chart from the album was “Burnin’ Up,” an instrumental that featured a few vocal runs from John, several songs from the album were played on the radio. “In And Out Of Love” and “So Good So Right” were certainly heard when I was growing up. The following year, Imagination released their biggest U.S. hit, “Just An Illusion.” It just so happens to be my favorite song of theirs, and has one of the great synth bass lines ever recorded.  Take a listen and see for yourself.

I’ve previously written about Loose Ends in this post, particularly about how much I miss them. From about 1985 through 1988, they were one of the best groups in R&B, stateside or otherwise. Two number one hits and several top tens helped pave the way for groups like Soul II Soul to come to the States and hit big. Carl McIntosh was a co-lead vocalist with Jane Eugene in the group in those days, and today I bring both of them (with keyboard player Steve Nichol) to the post with their first single (and first #1 song) “Hangin’ On A String (Contemplating). That groove still isn’t old, even over thirty years after its release.

Junior was actually the first of the four of these gentlemen to actually get a song on the Billboard R&B charts. His “Mama Used To Say” went all the way to #2 in 1982, just a few months before Imagination’s “Just An Illusion” was released. To say this song came from out of nowhere to become a big hit is a big understatement.

Last but not least, we get to Omar. Omar has been called “the father of British Neo-Soul,” mainly because he came to fame around the time that D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Maxwell and others created what would be called Neo-Soul on this side of the Atlantic. While Omar has only charted one song over here: his debut single, “There’s Nothing Like This” back in 1996, he’s steadily released music both under his own name, and on projects with the group Reel People, among many other artists. For Omar, rather than choose his debut, I went with a duet with Kele LeRoc from his album Best By Far. The song I’ve chosen is “Come On.” It has a synth bass line that is so good, this jam could have been used on Funky Friday.

So here’s my British R&B four-pack. I hope you enjoy the tunes. As always, thanks for listening and reading.

16 Replies to “Searching For A Destiny That’s Mine”

  1. TWIN!!!
    You need to freaking stop your madness!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ok, so I am now on a journey to the UK-even if it is in my freaking mind! And even if it is 26 years or more years ago. No worries, I still have Miss Time Machine!
    I think we discussed the fact that in the 1990’s The UK progressed forward into soul while we were over here F-ing ’round with “New Jack Swing.”
    We took the wrong damn turn in Albuquerque!
    I just can’t!
    I really just cannot!
    It hurts my soul to even think about that. I mean I knew about the ones that crossed over like Brand New Heavies, Terence Trent D’Arby, Loose ends…
    Anyway…
    As for the videos
    “Illusion”—Leee John? Just stop it T!!! That was the jam!
    “Hanging on a String?”—Carl McIntosh was partying in those videos and I had a major crush on the redbone from the group –The shit….YAAASSSSS!
    “Mama used to say”—Junior? Whaaaaaa? ICONIC!!!
    “Come On”-Omar?—You introduced me to him and I thank you. I have been visiting some of his stuff. Digging: “This is not a love song”
    Also his jam with the 1960’s sounding psychedelic reggae fusion thing going on:
    I want it to be:

    You da bomb T!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Twin! Sometimes I can’t help myself! The tunes just have to come out!

      All that said, you are right about the 90s. Once New jack swing faded, I started listening to a lot of neo-soul from both sides of the Atlantic.

      Glad you dug the tunes. I’ll say a little more about “Come On” in the reply to your other comment…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh hell yeah! I really haven’t found anything that I haven’t liked by Omar–the instruments are so on point on all of his stuff.
        Do you have separate plans for Don-E? Because I love his stuff too.
        By the way, weren’t these brothers from the UK too?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes they were! I think that one even predates Junior’s song. An amazing song!

        That Omar video you put in your earlier comment is fairly recent, I think. Like from earlier this year. Love it too!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think it does predate Junior –but not by much.
        I used to love it.
        I’ll bump it like it came out yesterday. LOL!!!
        But that said, going over to the UK does allow me to explore new stuff that I can really dig without having to go back in time. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we have a neo-soul artists here, but they don’t get much airplay.
        When you get a second, go peep this quick post I did that features a neo-soul jam from 2014 from this side of the pond.
        https://seekthebestblog.com/2016/10/22/lady-g-quickie-on-the-move/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. T. Wayne – Great post! The 80’s were the 2nd British invasion. I appreciate the introduction to some of the featured artists. I remember Junior. This also put me in the mind of Sinchitta and Yazz. Thanks for the way back trip. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Susan, and you are right about the 80’s being the second British Invasion. Not just on the pop charts, but in R&B as well. And I know you wrote the correct name in the comment below, but Sinitta is a name I haven’t heard for a long, long time. Yaz either for that matter, though I do have “Situation” lurking on the blog somewhere. I am assuming we are talking about this group:

      At least I hope so. I wrote this post about that song: https://joyfulprocessblog.com/2016/03/09/dont-make-a-sound-just-move-out/

      Thanks so much Susan for your comments, and for stopping by! I’ve been watching you and my “Twin,” Lady G go on and on about Billie Holiday…I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While I love Yazoo, this was Yazz who had a hit with The Only Way is Up back in 88. Lady Day, has been a favorite of mine forever. I love your posts, T.Wayne. They are a little ray of sunshine in this crazy climate. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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