When you think of R&B in the 80s, you have to discuss The S.O.S Band. An abbreviation for Sound Of Success, the band incorporated genres like jazz & electro-funk to create some of the most memorable music during this time period.
Their music has been appreciated & sampled over the years by numerous artists like Maxwell, New Edition, Janet Jackson, Tevin Campbell, Monica, Deborah Cox & Mariah Carey.
Monica covered S.O.S. Band’s Tell Me If You Still Care for her debut album “Miss Thang.” When I tell you, that her microphone was ON! 😩🙌🏾
The band started in 1977 when Jason Bryant, Billy Ellis, Mary Davis, Willie “Sonny” Killebrew, Bruno Speight, John Alexander Simpson, James Earl Jones III formed the group’s first name Santa Monica.
Eventually the name was changed the S.O.S. Band after signing with Clarence Avant’s Tabu Records. The rest is history.
Favorites: Take Your Time (Do It Right,) S.O.S. (Dit Dit Dit Dash Dash Dash Dit Dit Dit,) Open Letter, I’m In Love, Take Love Where You Find It, What’s Wrong with Our Love Affair?
Our favorite group’s debut album became an instant classic. Take Your Time (Do It Right) became a huge hit on the R&B & pop charts. Every song on this record is solid. You want your debut to be solid and set the foundation for what’s to come!
Favorites: Do It Now, Stay, Unborn Child, You, There Is No Limit, For The Brothers That Ain’t Here, It’s A Long Way to the Top, Are You Ready?
Too is one of their albums that are often forgot about because some felt it was their sophomore slump record. It isn’t a bad record to me! I love songs Like Unborn Child, Do You Know Where Your Children Are, For The Brothers That Ain’t Here, etc.
Favorites: High Hopes, Good & Plenty, You Shake Me Up, Can’t Get Enough, Have It Your Way, Looking For You, Groovin’ (That’s What We’re Doin’)
Significantly better than their sophomore record, III is that GIRL! Songs Like Groovin’, High Hopes & Have It Your Way are some of their best.
This album also is memorable because High Hopes is the first song legendary producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis worked with them on. Eventually it’ll be a match made in heaven.
On The Rise (1983):
Favorites: Tell Me If You Still Care, Just Be Good To Me, If You Want My Love, Steppin’ the Stones, For Your Love, On The Rise, I’m Not Runnin’.
On The Rise is where the group were back on top, with the guidance of Jimmy Jam & Terry. They gave them the sound that we have known to love and appreciate. The greatness of Just Be Good To Me & Tell Me If You Still Care is just..essentially timeless. Their cover of Johnny Taylor’s Who Making Love is greatness as well. Don’t sleep!
Just the Way You Like It (1984):
Favorites: Weekend Girl, Break Up, Body Break, No One’s Gonna Love You, Just the Way You Like It, Feeling, I Don’t Want Nobody Else.
Just The Way You Like It is essential 80s Soul. Songs like Weekend Girl, the title track & No One’s Gonna Love You are phenomenal Records you should have on any R&B and 80s playlist you have!
Sands of Time (1986):
Favorites: The Finest, No Lies, Even When You Sleep, Sands of Time, Borrowed Love, Nothing But the Best, Two Time Lover, Do You Still Want To?
Sands Of Time was the band’s last album with lead singer Mary Davis going solo the following year. The Finest was their most successful single from the record, with background vocals from bandmates Alexander O’Neal & Cherrelle.
Diamonds in the Raw (1989):
Favorites: I’m Still Missing Your Love, Goldmine, Men Don’t Cry, Hold Out, Secret Wish, One Lover, Get Out My Life.
After the heartbreaking death of saxophonist Billy Ellis, the group released the album dedicated to him. Fredi Grace & Chandra Currelley (she’s a regular in Tyler Perry’s plays for you young folks,) were lead vocalists, & did the THANG!
The band did not lose its style with songs like Goldmine, Hold Out, One Love, Get Out Of My Life are good to the collection.
One of Many Nights (1991):
Favorites: Are You Ready, Can’t Explain, I Wanna Be The One, Get Hyped On This, One Of Many Nights, Sometimes I Wonder, Broken Promises, Someone I Can Love.
Being the last album from the group, it features Chandra as the lead singer & the album is not as memorable as the albums from the 80s decade, but shines with songs like How Can We Ever Get Back Together, Broken Promises & Get Hyped On This.
The S.O.S Band will always be remembered for their classic hits and helping the sound of the 80s be as funky and soulful as it can be. The legends still tour to this day, & we’re patiently waiting for them to drop a new album..so they can show the kids how to really do it! 💙 -MJ
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