Thursday, September 21, 2017

Real Thing – She’s A Groovy Freak

Classics: Real Thing – She’s A Groovy Freak (Calibre)

The bumpin’ ‘She’s A Groovy Freak’ says a lot about one of the facets or Real Thing. Going from classics Soul gems such as ‘You To Me Are Everything’ or ‘Saint Or Sinner’ to… groovier territories with the aforementioned. But also ‘Can You Feel The Force?’ or ‘Foot Tapping’.

‘She’s A Groovy Freak’ is without a single doubt a standout classic. Blending falsetto vocal parts over a stellar production courtesy of James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. A funky joint in a vein somehow bringing us to the souvenir of The Jacksons‘s ‘Can You Feel It’…

Real Thing saw the light in Liverpool by the dawn of the 70’s. Formerly known as The Sophisticated Soul Brothers, they got their name after a Coca Cola neon sign which their manager saw while waiting at a light in traffic. A fortet comprising vocalists Chris Amoo, Dave Smith, Eddie Amoo, Ray Lake and Kenny Davis, they spent their first 2 years on the cabaret circuit.

Real Thing released their debut-single – ‘Vicious Circle – back in 1972 on Bell Records. They then signed a record deal with EMI the year after. But their peak time would come after signing with Pye Records in 1975. A move which got them to work with producers Ken Gold and Mickey Denne. By that time, Eddy Amoo replaced Kenny Davis and the group eventually toured with David Essex. They scored their biggest succes the year after with the #1 hit ‘You To me Are Everything’. A song which most likely established them on the then emerging Soul/Disco scene. Other cuts worth the mention including ‘Can You Feel The Force’ back in 1978. But also ‘Saint Or Sinner’ (1979). Not to mention the James Mtume and Reggie Lucas produced ‘She’s A Groovy Freak’ after they switched to Calibre Records in 1980. Then ‘Foot Tappin” which Chris and Eddy Amoo produced in 1981.

Real Thing briefly collaborated with Johnny Bristol on ‘Love Takes Tears’ in 1982. Then with Nick Martinelli on ‘We Got Love’ after signing a record deal with RCA.
Chris and Eddie Amoo also happened to write and produce ‘In The Sky’, Loose Ends‘ debut-single, back in 1982.

Real Thing enjoyed extra recognition in 1986 with the remixing of some of their hits. From ‘You to Me Are Everything’ to ‘Can You Feel the Force?’

James Mtume, a singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentist, and Reggie Lucas (himself a guitarist and songwriter too) met during their days as members of the Miles Davis band in the early 70’s.
Together, they produced an impressive series of outstanding gems. Among their most memorable ones: ‘Back Together Again’ for Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway. ‘You Know How To Love Me’ for Phyllis Hyman. ‘What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin” and ‘Put Your Body In It’ for Stephanie Mills. But also ‘Say You Will’ for Eddie Henderson and Real Thing‘s ‘She’s A Groovy Freak’.

Ultimately they would work together on the two first albums of Mtume (‘Kiss This World Goodbye’ and ‘In Search Of The Rainbow Seekers’) before parting ways by the beginning of the 80’s.

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