Thursday, August 17, 2017

The S.O.S. Band – Just The Way You Like It

The S.O.S. Band – Just The Way You Like It (Long Version) (Tabu Records)

‘Just The Way You Like It’, a title that most likely says it all for those who fell into the synth funk driven sound that was around in the first half of the 80’s. On the heels of the memorable ‘Just Be Good To Me’ with production work by the then new production team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. It most definitely contributed to put their sound on the map. Blending electronic sounds with Funk and eventually Rock. Therefore confirming the presence of Minneapolis, MN among the capitals of R&B at the time, with activists such as Prince, Jesse Johnson and Morris Day to name but a few.

Overview
The S.O.S. Band (the abbreviation of Sounds Of Success and sometimes written SOS Band) saw the light in Atlanta back in 1977. Initially called Santa Monica, their line-up comprised Willie ‘Sonny’ Killebrew (saxophone), Billy Ellis (flute) and Jason ‘T.C.’ Bryant (keyboards). But also Bruno Speight (guitar), John Simpson (bass), James Earl Jones III (drums) and Mary Davis (lead vocals, keyboards). With trumpeter, vocalist and percussionist Abdul Ra’oof joinin’ them while they were on a world tour.

They changed their name when signing on Clarence Avant‘s Tabu Records. Coming straight to fame with their debut-single, ‘Take Your Time (Do It Right)’. A cut which sold more than 2 million copies, with production work by the likes of Sigidi Bashir Abdullah and arrangements courtesy of Fred Wesley.

The band joined forces with then-new production team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis in 1983. This resulting in an impressive string of hits for the band. From ‘Just Be Good To Me’ to ‘Tell Me If You Still Care’ and ‘Just The Way You Like It’. No to mention ‘The Finest’,’Tell Me If You Still Care’ and ‘Borrowed Love’. If not ‘Weekend Girl’ to a lesser extend.

Lead vocalist Mary Davis left the band to pursue a solo career back in 1987. With Chandra Curreley takin’ on where Davis left from then on. Therefore contributing to what would be the two last studio albums for the group.

The S.O.S. Band recorded a total of 8 albums between 1980 and 1991. They eventually resurfaced during the Summer 2014. Releasing the firing ‘Just Get Ready’ along with producer Wirlie Morris and regularly tour since. More on their Facebook page.

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