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.