Lost but not least! Imagination – Instinctual (David Morales Mix) (RCA)
From the very first note, you can feel you’re in front of something special. If not ‘Instinctual’, in an environment quite different in terms of arrangements. Of course, this is still Imagination lyrically speakin’. But there’s like an impression of floating around. From the lazy beat to the fascinating rounded bassline. Not to mention some stellar keys courtesy of a then very young Josh Milan who was to evolve under the Blaze banner soon after. All in all creating like a deep and rough syncopation. With Arthur Baker in charge of the production. And last but not least David Morales delivering the remix.
Hard to rate it as Deep House unless on a lazy tip. If not some slightly boosted R&B/Soul. Just the way the latter did along with Frankie Knuckles on Miles Jaye‘s ‘Heaven’. Or, to a different extend, what Tony Humpries did on The O’Jays‘ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’
Singer/keyboardist Leee John came to meet guitarist/bassist Ashley Ingram when he was working as a backing singer for The Delfonics. They formed a songwriting partnership, briefly evolving under the banner of Fizz. They met drummer Jamaica-born Errol Kennedy while auditioning for another transient band named Midnight Express. The latter being a member of TFB (later known as Central Line) before co-founding Midnight Express.
The threesome formed Imagination in early 1981. They teamed up with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, creating a unique sound which won them a huge following during the early 80’s.
‘Body Talk’, their debut-single, opened a consistant string of classics. From ‘Flashback’ to ‘Just An Illusion’. But also ‘Music & Lights’ or ‘Burning Out’ among others. As many hits which established them among the most successful acts in the UK back then.
Like many British acts at the time, they tried to reach the US market with a more Americanized approach. Taken from their 1987 released ‘Closer’ album which marked their debut on RCA, they teamed up with NYC-based producer Arthur Baker. ‘Instinctual’ eventually receiving the Housey remix treatment by the likes of Def Mix famous David Morales with Josh Milan on keyboards.
By the end of that year, Kennedy left the band. John Kept forward with new members, Nat Augustin and Peter Royer, and recorded a last album, ‘The Fascination Of The Physical’, in 1990. The band split 2 years after.
John went to acting, and eventually re-surfaced as a singer in the reality television show, ‘Reborn In The USA’. Meanwhile Ingram enjoyed success as a songwriter for Des’ree.