Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Soul II Soul

Artist:Soul II Soul f/Caron Wheeler
Song:Back To Life
Album:Vol. IV: The Classic Singles 1988-1993

Back To Life was the biggest hit for the British soul group Soul II Soul in 1989. One of the problems with Soul II Soul was they weren't a group in the traditional sense which I think hurt them commercially. They came out of the London house music scene led by DJ Jazzie B (Beresford Romeo) along with DJ Nellee Hooper, keyboard player Simon Law and guitarist Philip "Daddae" Harvey. Buzz about Soul II Soul in the London club scene led to a contract with Virgin Records. Their first two singles didn't catch on. But then the third single Keep On Movin' reached #5 on the British Singles chart in 1989. The song featured lead singer Caron Wheeler who before Soul II Soul was mainly a backup singer. Virgin told Jazzie B they wanted another single featuring Caron. The problem was she wasn't a regular member of Soul II Soul and had only recorded one other song. Back To Life was to be on the Soul II Soul album Club Classics Vol. 1 in an a capella version. Jazzie B remixed the song and that's the version that was released as a single. It isn't on the album but you can get it on this comp. The song topped the British Singles chart and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Keep On Movin' was released in the US afterwards and reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Caron Wheeler went on to a brief solo career and never recorded with Soul II Soul again though she did tour with them in 2009. They continued to have some success in England but faded and disbanded in 1997. Jazzie B and Nellee Hooper have both gone on to significant record producing careers. Jazzie B owns a clothing company and hosts a weekly radio show on BBC. It almost seems like music fans wanted to hear Caron Wheeler and Soul II Soul together because separately neither was very successful. Here's the video for Back To Life by Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler.

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