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Dynasty was an American R&B band, based in Los Angeles, California, created by producer and SOLAR Records label head Dick Griffey, record producer Gary Silverman and Leon Sylvers III. The band was known for their dance/pop numbers during the late 1970s and 1980s. Bassist Kevin Spencer and vocalists Nidra Beard and Linda Carriere comprised the group.
Dynasty was essentially the brainchild of Griffey and producer Sylvers, a former member of the Sylvers family group who had achieved much popularity in the early to mid-1970s. A principal architect of the SOLAR sound, Sylvers had become the in-house producer in 1978 for the label (whose name stood for "Sound Of Los Angeles Records') and it was in this capacity that he brought the members of Dynasty together. The group consisted of three young performers; vocalists Nidra Beard, Linda Carriere and bassist Kevin Spencer.
Beard and Carriere first became friends during the winter of 1972, when Carriere moved from New Orleans for college. Both were frequent visitors to 'Maverick's Flat', a popular soul/pop nightclub in Los Angeles. The owner of Maverick's Flat, John Daniels, was in the process of putting together a new group 'DeBlanc' and both young singers became members. For two years, they toured with the DeBlanc, throughout the major cities of Europe, Japan, Canada, and United States. When DeBlanc broke up in 1975, some of the original members (including Beard and Carriere) formed a new group called Starfire. For one successful year, Starfire performed essentially in the United States, with a few key dates in Finland and Iran. After the tour, the group decided to disband. Around this time Beard developed a strong relationship with Sylvers. She was, at that time, performing with Capitol recording artists, The Sylvers as a fill-in on live dates for the female Sylvers who were minors at the time. This new association proved beneficial to both Beard and Carriere, as Sylvers introduced each to Griffey. Spencer first met Sylvers when he appeared at the Sylvers' Palos Verdes home, unannounced, to audition as bass player for the Sylvers. It was that introduction coupled with Spencer's performance dates with the Sylvers that cemented what both Sylvers and Griffey needed for their new group. Work then began on Dynasty's first album.
The band's debut album Your Piece of the Rock, released in 1979, yielded the band's first R&B hit, "I Don't Want to Be a Freak (But I Can't Help Myself)". The track peaked at #20 in the UK Singles Chart in late 1979.
During the late 1970s to mid-1980s, recordings by SOLAR groups such as The Whispers, Shalamar, Midnight Star, and Dynasty, would become hits, and although Dynasty was not as successful as The Whispers or Shalamar, they did enjoy a few chart entries.
Adventures in the Land of Music, released in 1980, was Dynasty's second album. The set contained their biggest hit, "I've Just Begun to Love You" (which peaked at #6 on the US Billboard R&B chart; #87 on the US Billboard Hot 100; and #51 in the UK), as well as the songs, "Do Me Right" and "Groove Control." The three songs combined to reach number five on the US Dance chart. The title track would provide the key samples for Camp Lo's "Luchini AKA This Is It", Angie Stone's "Lovers' Ghetto", Terri Walker's "This Is My Time", Tha' Rayne's "Kiss Me", Brooke Valentine's "Long As You Come Home", Rashad's "Sweet Misery", Antiloop's "Catch Me", Jadakiss's "How I Feel", HaLo's "Follow Me", Rushden & Diamonds (music group)' "Lil' Bits", DSP's "Tisztelet a Kivételnek", and Wiz Khalifa's "Won't Land."
Sylvers joined the group in 1981, but his presence did not elevate their success. That year they released their third album, The Second Adventure. Although it did produce two top forty R&B hits, "Here I Am" and "Love in the Fast Lane", the album was largely overlooked. Sylvers and Beard were briefly married during the early 1980s.
Three more albums followed, 1982's Right Back at Cha!, 1986's Daydreamin', 1988's Out of Control. Right Back at Cha! had two US singles released; "Check It Out" and "Strokin'". Only "Check It Out" saw chart action and the album reached in the middle of the Billboard 200. In the UK the label went for two other singles; "The Only One" and "Does That Ring A Bell", where the latter entered the UK Singles Chart peaking at #53. The band returned again in 1986 with the album Daydreamin' , but by this time Carriere was no longer part of the group and Nidra Beard was using her Sylvers surname. Their final studio release was 1988's Out of Control, but hit singles had dried up. Curiously, the Out of Control album had exactly the same cover as the preceding album (Daydreamin' ) and also included several of the same tracks. The singles "Don't Waste My Time" and "Tell Me (Do You Want My Love)?" were taken off the album. Even though new SOLAR producers, L.A. Reid and Babyface, were brought in to produce the album, the group could not revive their earlier glory and disbanded soon afterwards. Although the group had disbanded, they would later appear as backing vocalists on gospel artist and label-mate Juanita G. Hines' 1994 album Jesus, My Wonderful Friend.
Beard, who had written much of Dynasty's material, continued as a songwriter. Her songs appeared on albums by Shalamar, The Whispers, 7th Wonder, 911, and LaRue[disambiguation needed]. Carriere continued as a background vocalist working with Kristine W, Loose Ends, and Randy Crawford, among others. Keyboardist-singer Spencer returned to studio work and can be heard on recordings by Carrie Lucas, Shalamar, The Whispers, Tin Harris, and Gladys Knight & the Pips. Sylvers went on to have a successful career as the producer and songwriter of such artists as Howard Hewett, Ahmad Jamal, The Brothers Johnson, Glenn Jones, Blackstreet.
- Leon Sylvers III - bass
- Kevin Spencer - Keyboard Synths/ Vocal
- William Shelby - keyboards/vocals
- Nidra Beard - vocals
- Linda Carriere - vocals
- Richard Randolph - Guitar
- Your Piece of the Rock (1979)
- Adventures in the Land of Music (1980)
- The Second Adventure (1981)
- Right Back at Cha! (1982)
- Daydreamin' (1986)
- Out of Control (1988)