Classics: Soul II Soul – A Dream’s A Dream (12 inch Remix) (10 Records)
“Are you dreaming wishing on a star. A dream’s a dream and so a star. So through the darkness, show me who you are…” Not only The Creator, but more widely those who create have a dream. And I suppose if Soul II Soul‘s dream was to ever make themselves a name in the maturation of music, history should recall them as those who, along with Loose Ends, gave shape to the Brit-Soul.
On the heels of their 1989 debut-album, its follow-up , ‘Soul II Soul – Vol. II (1990 – A New Decade’. An effort that spanned no less than 4 singles. From ‘Get A Life’ to ‘People’ and ‘Missing You’. Not to mention ‘A Dream’s A Dream’. A smoothie which Simon ‘The Funky Ginger’ Law co-wrote along with Jazzie B OBE.
Soul II Soul remained once again true to what helped them establishing their reputation. This while takin’ once more the greatest care when choosing their vocalist for it. In other words, Victoria Wilson-James. The latter delivering a one of a kind sultry performance on this lush chord led midtempo groove. Eventually sounding like an unlikely response to Rose Royce ‘Wishing On a A Star’.
A dream’s a dream… Altough that didn’t get it from turning into reality this time. Don’t you think?
Like many acts with Jamaican origins, Soul II Soul first came to recognition as a sound system. This with an initial line_up comprising Caron Wheeler, Doreen Waddell, Rose Windross, Daddae Harvey, Aitch B, and Jazzie Q around Jazzie B.
Their debut single – ‘Fairplay’ featuring Rose Windross – only peaked at #63 position in the UK charts. And its follow-up – ‘Feel Free’ – also failed to make it. But major success would come with their third attempt – ‘Keep On Movin” – along with Caron Wheeler on lead vocals. With history repeating itself with ‘Back To Life’. Then ‘Get A Life’ with Jazzie B‘s cousin Marcia Lewis fronting the band after the departure of both Rose Windross and Doreen Waddell.
From ‘Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade’ which they recorded without Caron Wheeler who’d gone solo, one would most likely remember ‘A Dream’s A Dream’ along with Victoria Wilson-James. This in addition to ‘Get A Life’. Not to mention, although to a lesser extend, ‘People’ which Timmy Regisford happened to remix, and ‘Missing You’ featuring Kym Mazelle.
From ‘Volume III Just Right’ would most definitely come the uplfting ‘Joy’ featuring Richie Stephens with outstanding remixing work courtesy of The Brand New Heavies. With its follow ups – ‘Move Me No Mountain’ and ‘Just Right’ – achieving quite moderate success.
From then on, Soul II Soul progressively disappeared from the spotlights. Eventually disbanding in 1998 back in 1998 then resurfacing almost 10 years after for some tour activities.
In April 2013, Jazzie B and Charlotte Kelly launched the Soul II Soul ‘Classics’ Collection at Harvey Nichols in London. It features T-shirts and sweatshirts with Soul II Soul’s Funky Dred logo. And three years after, Soul II Soul released a single titled ‘A New Day’ credited to Caron Wheeler, which features production from Jazzie B and Louie Vega.
Meanwhile, on the remix front, SIIS are responsible for two killer reworks – ‘Do The Right Thing’ and ‘Ghetto Heaven’ – respectively for Redhead Kingpin And The F.B.I. and The Family Stand.
In March 2002, Doreen Waddell, who had been living in Hove following her departure, died aged 36 after being hit by three cars while fleeing from a shoplifting incident. And Melissa Bell sadly died 15 years later after suffering from kidney failure on Aug. 28, 2017.