P.M. Dawn

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P.M. Dawn
PM Dawn.jpg
Prince Be and Doc.G
Background information
Origin Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Genres Hip hop, R&B[1]
Years active 1988–present
Labels

Gee Street, V2, Island

Spectra Music Group
Members Prince Be
Doc.G
Past members DJ Minutemix

P.M. Dawn is an American hip hop act formed in 1988 by brothers Attrell Cordes (known by his stage name Prince Be, sometimes credited as Prince Be the Nocturnal) and Jarrett Cordes (known as DJ Minutemix) in Jersey City, New Jersey.[2] They earned significant crossover success in the early 1990s with music that merged hip hop, older soul, and more pop-oriented urban R&B.[1]

After recording their debut single "Ode to a Forgetful Mind" in 1988, P.M. Dawn released their first album Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience in 1991 to critical acclaim. It achieved immediate commercial success because of its single "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss". Their 1993 follow-up The Bliss Album...? was also praised by critics and featured the hit singles "I'd Die Without You" and "Looking Through Patient Eyes". P.M. Dawn continued to receive strong reviews, but sold poorly with their subsequent albums Jesus Wept (1995) and Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad (1998).[1]

Early history[edit]

The Cordes brothers' father died of pneumonia when they were children. Further family tragedy saw their baby brother Duncan drown at the age of two. The two elder brothers were raised by their mother and their stepfather George Brown, a founding member of Kool & the Gang.[2]

Prince Be began DJing parties and composing songs in ninth grade. Within a few years, he had determined to make a demo tape of some of those pieces with the $600 he had set aside from his after school job as a security guard at a homeless shelter. By then, he and his brother were putting in studio time as P.M. Dawn.[citation needed]

They first approached Tommy Boy Records, the rap music subsidiary of Warner Brothers, with their demo, but they were told that they were too much like alternative hip-hoppers De La Soul, and not hardcore or ghetto, and were turned away.[citation needed] Eventually, Warlock, an independent record label, issued a debut single, "Ode to a Forgetful Mind", in 1989, but it went unnoticed.

The record label that released the single in the United Kingdom, Gee Street Records, found greater success. Gee Street mixed and marketed the song so that it earned considerable attention from music reviewers, and P.M. Dawn found themselves courted not just by Gee Street's head, Jon Baker, but also by most of the major UK record labels. Gee Street brought the brothers to London in 1990 to record tracks for an album; however, the label found itself facing bankruptcy during the recording. The entire Gee Street operation, along with P.M. Dawn's recording contract, was sold to the highest bidder, Island Records. Island issued a few more singles in the United Kingdom before releasing their debut album, Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience.[3]

"Set Adrift on Memory Bliss"[edit]

Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross featured the international hit "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss", which sampled the Spandau Ballet song "True", and featured a cameo by Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley in the music video of the song.[2] "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" hit #1 the week of November 30, 1991, and holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart following the introduction of Nielsen SoundScan to the chart. The song also reached #3 in the United Kingdom.[2] "Paper Doll", which was one of the early singles Island released in the United Kingdom, was released in the U.S. as a follow-up to "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," and peaked at #28 in early 1992.[2] "Paper Doll" is said well over 100 times in the song, which makes it second only to MC Hammer's "Pray" which holds the record for the most times a title is repeated in a U.S. Top 40 hit (147).[4]

With the success of their debut album, the band embarked on a world tour. During this world tour, a statement Prince Be made in Details magazine led Boogie Down Productions' KRS-One and his crew to storm the stage during a P.M. Dawn concert, forcing the group off the stage and performing three BDP classics. To warrant this reaction from KRS-One, Prince B had asked, "KRS-One wants to be a teacher, but a teacher of what?" Defending his motives to USA Today's James T. Jones IV, KRS-One remarked, "I answered his question. 'A teacher of what?' I'm a teacher of respect."[5]

In 1992, P.M. Dawn appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD Red Hot + Dance, contributing a remix, "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Richie Rich Mix)". The album, featuring George Michael and Madonna among others, was meant to raise money and awareness in support of the AIDS epidemic.

The Bliss Album…?[edit]

Before releasing their follow-up album, The Bliss Album…? (Vibrations of Love and Anger and the Ponderance of Life and Existence), P.M. Dawn contributed the single "I'd Die Without You" to the 1992 Eddie Murphy comedy Boomerang and its soundtrack. This #2 pop hit was also included on The Bliss Album…?, as was the Billboard #2 pop hit "Looking Through Patient Eyes".[2]

"Looking Through Patient Eyes" featured backing vocals by Cathy Dennis and sampled George Michael's hit "Father Figure". The music video for the song was shot in a church, and featured Christian images throughout — most notably, Prince Be wore a T-shirt with "Thank you, Jesus" written across it in black lettering.

The Bliss Album…? featured the Boy George duet "More Than Likely" and a cover of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)".[2] The album also included "So On and So On," which led to a 1999 sampling lawsuit. In the lawsuit Batiste v. Island Records, Inc., Paul and Michael Batiste claimed that P.M. Dawn's song "So On and So On" used unauthorized samples from David Batiste & The Gladiators' "Funky Soul". The fifth Circuit Federal Appellate Court found that the Batistes point to no evidence in the record demonstrating that consumers were confused or deceived by either the use of a digital sample of "Funky Soul" in "So On and So On", or the attribution to David Batiste as a co-author of the track. The Batistes' claim that Paul and Michael Batiste were improperly excluded from the liner notes accompanying the album also failed to suggest that consumers were confused, especially because the liner notes do credit the name of the band in which both Paul and Michael Batiste performed.[6]

Jesus Wept to present[edit]

P.M. Dawn contributed a cover of "You Got Me Floatin'" to the 1993 compilation album Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Artists ranging from Pat Metheny to Eric Clapton to Ice-T's Body Count were included.

Their 1995 album Jesus Wept was unable to attain the success of their first two albums. The album's highest charting single was "Downtown Venus", which contained a sample of Deep Purple's "Hush", and reached #48 on the Billboard chart.[2] Also, in 1995, P.M. Dawn was credited with the remix of White Zombie's "Blood, Milk and Sky" (Miss September Mix) on the Supersexy Swingin' Sounds compilation album. In 1996, P.M. Dawn contributed "Non-Fiction Burning" to the AIDS-Benefit Album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1998, Prince Be contributed the tracks "Perfect for You" and "Gotta Be...Movin' on Up" to the Marlon Wayans and David Spade comedy Senseless, followed later in the year by P.M. Dawn's fourth album, Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad. It was less successful again, with the album's single, "Being So Not For You (I Had No Right)" being only a minor chart hit. In 2000, they released the compilation, The Best of P.M. Dawn.

Prince Be suffered a massive stroke in early 2005 that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. Undeterred, P.M. Dawn appeared on NBC's Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, performing "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss", and covered Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry". Despite the fact that Prince Be was still suffering the effects of this stroke, they beat Animotion, Missing Persons, Juice Newton and Shannon to claim the $20,000 charitable prize, which they contributed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as Prince Be is a diabetic.

Following their appearance on Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, Minutemix decided to leave P.M. Dawn to pursue an interest in a solo career. This led to the introduction of The Doc Of The Dawn-Doc.G, also known as 'Dr.Giggles' or 'Blissboy #2', who is the Cordes brothers' paternal first cousin.[citation needed]

In June 2006, P.M. Dawn commenced a summer tour called "Summer of Bliss, 2006", playing venues across the United States in an effort to promote a new album planned for release in 2007, with a live album also expected to be recorded that year. P.M. Dawn Greatest Hits Live was finally released in early 2010. The Doc Of The Dawn-Doc.G released a new single on May 20, 2011 called "99 Bottle (The Stripe & Goose Song)" on iTunes, Amazon, and other mp3 websites. On May 24, 2011 The Doc Of The Dawn-Doc.G released his first solo album titled The Purr-Script-Shun

Prince Be and Doc. G continue to tour and perform P.M. Dawn classics and new material. On May 15, 2010 (Prince Be's 40th birthday), Doc.g performed at the Mall of Asia concert series in Manila, receiving a standing ovation from 50,000 fans and dedicating the performance to the memories of Guru from Gangstarr and Francis M.[7]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US
[8]
US
R&B

[8]
AUS
[9]
CAN
[9]
NZ
[10]
UK
[11]
1991 Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience 48 29 89 41 45 8
1993 The Bliss Album…?
  • Released: March 23, 1993
  • Label: Gee Street
  • Formats: CD, cassette
30 23 38 32 9
1995 Jesus Wept
  • Released: October 3, 1995
  • Label: Gee Street
  • Formats: CD, cassette, LP
119
1998 Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad
  • Released: October 27, 1998
  • Label: Gee Street/V2
  • Formats: CD, cassette
2000 F*cked Music
  • Released: 2000 (Mail order only)[2]
  • Label: Positive Plain Music
  • Formats: CD
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 2000: The Best of P.M. Dawn (V2)
  • 2008: Most Requested (Sheridan Square Records)
  • 2010: P.M. Dawn: Greatest Hits Live! (Sbcmg)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US
[15]
US R&B
[15]
US Pop
[15]
US Dan
[15]
CAN
[9]
AUS
[16]
NZ
[10]
NED BEL
(FLA)
FRA GER
[17]
AUT SWI SWE IRE UK
[11]
1989 "Ode to a Forgetful Mind" Non-album single
1991 "A Watcher's Point of View (Don't 'Cha Think)" 44 36 Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience
"Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" 1 16 6 9 7 1 4 14 17 3 9 4 7 5 3
"Paper Doll" 28 35 37 31 60 43 45 42 33 49
1992 "Reality Used to Be a Friend of Mine" 29
"I'd Die Without You" 3 16 2 10 42 38 53 85 30 The Bliss Album…?
1993 "Looking Through Patient Eyes" 6 62 2 1 20 11 63 14 11
"More Than Likely" (featuring Boy George) 40
"The Ways of the Wind" 54 21 24
"Plastic"
"Norwegian Wood"
"You Got Me Floatin'" 115 43 Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
1995 "Downtown Venus" 48 21 58 Jesus Wept
"Sometimes I Miss You So Much (Dedicated to the Christ-Consciousness)" 95 58
1998 "I Had No Right" 44 82 32 Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad
"Faith in You"
"Gotta Be...Movin' on Up" (featuring Ky-Mani) 13 23 12 18 74 33 68 Senseless soundtrack
2000 "Night in the City" 15 A Case of Joni
2002 "Amnesia" Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "P.M. Dawn". Allmusic. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 750–751. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  3. ^ "Musician Guide P.M. Dawn Biography". Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "American Top 40 with Shadoe Stevens". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2/22/92. 
  5. ^ "Musician Guide KRS-One Biography". Retrieved January 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ "United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. - 179 F.3d 217". Retrieved 1999-06-21. 
  7. ^ "A PM Dawn Experience". Pmdawnonline.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  8. ^ a b "Artist Chart History - P.M. Dawn (albums)". Billboard. 
  9. ^ a b c "Australian Charts Charts > P.M. Dawn". austrian-charts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  10. ^ a b "New Zealand Charts > P.M. Dawn". charts.org.nz Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  11. ^ a b "UK Charts > P.M. Dawn". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  12. ^ a b "The Amaerican Certifications of P.M. Dawn". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  13. ^ a b "The Canadian Certifications of P.M. Dawn". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  14. ^ a b "The British Certifications of P.M. Dawn". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Artist Chart History - P.M. Dawn (singles)". Billboard. 
  16. ^ "Australian Charts > P.M. Dawn". austrian-charts.com Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  17. ^ "German Charts > P.M. Dawn". musicline.de PhonoNet. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 

External links[edit]