Afrodiziak

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This article is about the 1980s vocal group. For the 1998 song "Afrodiziak", see Bran Van 3000.
Afrodiziak
Origin United Kingdom
Years active 1982 (1982)–1988 (1988)
Associated acts The Jam, Elvis Costello, Heaven 17, Special AKA, Howard Jones, Madness, Soul II Soul
Past members

Afrodiziak was a British singing group composed of Caron Wheeler, Claudia Fontaine, and later Naomi Thompson, that was active in the 1980s.[1][2] As a duo, Wheeler and Fontaine were best known for performing backing vocals on The Jam's final single "Beat Surrender" in 1982 (with whom they also performed on their final tour) and Elvis Costello's 1983 album Punch the Clock, especially its single, the international hit "Everyday I Write the Book".[3] After the addition of a third member, Naomi Thompson, they went on to sing for acts such as Heaven 17 and Howard Jones.[4] Afrodiziak performed backing vocals on the hit single Free Nelson Mandela, including the a capella intro, staging it at The Tube (Channel4) in March 1984. Heaven 17's 1984 album, How Men Are, featured them prominently, especially on the singles "Sunset Now" and "And That's No Lie". In 1984 and 1985 they performed on Madness's albums Keep Moving and Mad Not Mad respectively, also appearing in the video for the Madness single "Sweetest Girl" . Also in 1985, they performed backing vocals on the first two songs on Howard Jones' second album, Dream Into Action, both of which ("Things Can Only Get Better" and "Life in One Day")[5] became worldwide hit singles; later that year, they went on tour as part of Jones' band. Other acts the group sang backup for include Japan, Ian Gillan, Aztec Camera, Maxi Priest, Aswad, Sam Brown, and Julia Fordham.[6] Besides The Tube, Afrodiziak also appeared on Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Solid Gold, and American Bandstand.[6] They performed live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Live Aid Japan, Red Nose Day of Charity, and the first Free Nelson Mandela Concert.[6]

Wheeler went on to fame as a featured vocalist in the dance-R&B collective Soul II Soul (she was the lead vocalist on the group's two biggest hits, "Keep on Movin'" and "Back to Life") and had a brief career as a solo artist. Fontaine continued working as a backing vocalist on albums by EMF, Neneh Cherry and Hothouse Flowers, among others. She also appeared as a main vocalist with the British house music group The Beatmasters. Fontaine was featured among The Beatmasters' high-profile, often changing vocalists, in particular on the 1989–90 dance club and pop chart success "Warm Love" (from the album Anywayawanna), and on "Deeper into Harmony" (from the 1991 album Life and Soul).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Biography: Caron Wheeler". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Afrodiziak - Credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Brian, Eleam. "Appreciating Afrodiziac". Linear Tracking Lives. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Afrodiziak discography at Discogs
  5. ^ "Howard Jones - Dream into Action". discogs.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Naomi Thompson - Biography". isemusic.org. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Claudia Fontaine - Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 November 2014.