Soul II Soul

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Soul II Soul
Origin London, England
Genres R&B, British soul, new jack swing, reggae, dance
Years active 1988–1997, 2009–present
Labels Virgin/EMI Records
Website Official website
Members Jazzie B
Caron Wheeler
Simon Law
Daddae
Nellee Hooper
Past members Rose Windross
Victoria Wilson James
Doreen Waddell (deceased)
Lamya (deceased)
Melissa Bell
Tony "Dobie" Campbell
Kym Mazelle
Aitch Bee
Jazzy Q

Soul II Soul are a British musical group formed in London in 1988. They are best known for their 1989 UK chart-topper and U.S. Top 5 hit, "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)". They have been nominated for five Brit Awards – twice for Best British Group.[1]

Career[edit]

The group initially attracted attention as a sound system, playing records at house and street parties (where their clothing style, dubbed "Funki Dred", started a line of clothing). Founded by Jazzie B and featuring a changing roster of other musicians - notably Nellee Hooper, Simon Law, Phillip 'Daddae' Harvey and Caron Wheeler - Soul II Soul's experiments in music-making of their own resulted in the dub plate "Fairplay," which secured them a recording contract with Virgin Records.

Their first singles in 1988 failed to make the UK Top 40, but the group went on to commercial success in 1989 with the singles "Keep on Movin'" and "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)", which topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks, and was the fifth best-selling single in the UK that year. Both tracks, which featured Wheeler on vocals, were taken from their debut album Club Classics Vol. One which reached number 1 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. In July 1989, the British music magazine, NME, reported that Soul II Soul had to pull out of their scheduled live appearance on BBC Television's Top of the Pops programme, following a dispute with the programme's producer.[2]

The group also had some success in the United States, where "Back To Life" reached the Top 10 and was certified platinum, and the album (renamed as Keep On Moving for the US market) reached the Top 20 and sold over two million copies. The group also won two Grammy Awards; Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Back To Life", and Best R&B Instrumental for "African Dance".

Their follow-up album, Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade, yielded two Top 10 hits, "Get a Life" and "A Dream's a Dream", the latter featuring vocals by Victoria Wilson James. This album also reached number 1, and was certified platinum by the BPI, and reached the Top 30 in the US where it was certified gold. In April 1990, Soul II Soul got three US Soul Train awards.[3] The band had one more Top 10 in 1992 with "Joy", taken from their third album Vol. III: Just Right, which itself peaked at number 3 and was certified gold by the BPI. However, by this time the band's commercial success was in decline.

Their greatest hits album, Volume IV: The Singles 88–93, was released in late 1993 and peaked at number 10. Soul II Soul reached Volume V of their series of albums for Virgin in 1995, which peaked at number 13. They then moved to Island Records and released two more albums in 1997, Volume VI Time for Change and the remix album @REMIX.or.jp, but these failed to chart. The group then virtually disbanded for some years, but reformed for various live dates in the 2000s.

In 2002, Doreen Waddell, a former singer with Soul II Soul living in Hove, died after being hit by three cars while fleeing from a shoplifting incident. The 36-year-old, who left a 4-year-old son, sang lead vocals on Feel Free and Happiness (Dub), and backing vocals on other tracks, on the album Club Classics Vol. One.

The daughter of former member Melissa Bell, Alexandra Burke, was the winner of the 2008 series of the UK television talent contest The X Factor and has since gone on to a successful music career of her own.[4] On 2 December 2008, a radio programme about Soul II Soul was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

The Soul II Soul Sound System featuring Caron Wheeler toured Australia nationally in February 2009. They played the Playground Weekender Festival near Sydney, New South Wales. Soul II Soul performed live at the Yasalam free concerts in conjunction with the 2009 Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix celebrations in October 2009.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
[5]
AUS
[6]
AUT
[7]
CAN
[8]
GER
[9]
JPN
[10]
NLD
[11]
NZ
[12]
SWE
[13]
SWI
[14]
US
[15]
US R&B
[15]
1989 Club Classics Vol. One [A]
  • First studio album
  • Release date: 10 April 1989
  • Label: 10, Virgin
1 38 11 7 13 88 16 8 8 12 14 1
  • UK: 3× Platinum[16]
  • CAN: Platinum[17]
  • US: 2× Platinum[18]
1990 Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: 21 May 1990
  • Label: 10, Virgin
1 9 15 29 15 67 9 4 12 14 21 14
1992 Volume III Just Right
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: 13 April 1992
  • Label: 10, Virgin
3 17 24 63 29 43 25 13 33 19 88 32
1995 Volume V Believe
  • Fourth studio album
  • Release date: 11 August 1995
  • Label: Virgin
13 39 77 83 78 67
1997 Time for Change
  • Fifth studio album
  • Release date: 29 August 1997
  • Label: Island
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
  • A Album was released as Keep On Movin' in Canada and the United States.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
[5]
JPN
[10]
NZ
[12]
1993 Volume IV The Classic Singles 88-93
  • First compilation album
  • Release date: 15 November 1993
  • Label: Virgin
10 97 48
2003 Classic Masters
  • Second compilation album
  • Release date: 1 April 2003
  • Label: Virgin
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[5]
AUS
[6]
AUT
[7]
BEL
[19]
CAN
[8]
GER
[9]
IRE
[20]
NLD
[11]
NZ
[12]
SWE
[13]
SWI
[14]
US
[15]
US
R&B

[15]
US
Dan

[15]
1988 "Fairplay" 63 Club Classics Vol. One
"Feel Free" 64
1989 "Keep On Movin'" 5 87 18 20 15 13 10 9 14 18 11 1 1
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" 1 45 13 4 11 4 6 1 4 3 2 4 1 1
"Jazzie's Groove" 6 3
"Get a Life" 3 38 8 9 84 6 6 2 5 7 12 54 5 9 Vol. II: 1990 - A New Decade
1990 "A Dream's a Dream" 6 27 16 14 15 12 6 8 19 14 85 19 3
"People" 13 46 17 49 44 3
"Missing You" 22 24 74 29 39
1992 "Joy" 4 41 24 21 11 19 18 29 21 14 Volume III Just Right
"Move Me No Mountain" 31 62 40 33 29
"Just Right" 38
1993 "Wish" 24 27 35 Volume IV The Classic Singles 88-93
1995 "Love Enuff" 12 74 61 35 Volume V Believe
"I Care" 17
1996 "Keep on Movin'" (remix) 31 Non-album song
1997 "Represent" 39 Time for Change
"Pleasure Dome" 51
2011 "Back to Life" (re-release) 119 Non-album song
2012 "Back to Life" (re-release) 146
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
1991 "Kiss the Girl" Simply Mad About the Mouse
1998 "Free Again" How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Awards and nominations[edit]

American Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1990 Soul II Soul Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group Nominated
"Keep On Movin'" Favorite Soul/R&B Single Nominated
Soul II Soul Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist Nominated
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" Favorite Dance Single Nominated
Soul II Soul Favorite Dance New Artist Nominated

BRIT Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1990 Club Classics Vol. One Best British Album Nominated
Soul II Soul Best British Group Nominated
Soul II Soul Best British Newcomer Nominated
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" Best British Single Nominated
1991 Soul II Soul Best British Group Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1990 Soul II Soul Best New Artist Nominated
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Won
"African Dance" Best R&B Instrumental Performance Won
1993 "Mood" Best R&B Instrumental Performance Nominated

Juno Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1991 "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" Best International Single of the Year Nominated

Soul Train Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1990 "Keep On Movin'" Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Song of the Year Won
Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Single, Group, Band, or Duo Won
Keep On Movin' Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Album, Group, Band, or Duo Won
Soul II Soul Best R&B/Urban Contemporary New Artist Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Soul II Soul BRITS Profile. BRIT Awards Ltd. Retrieved 26 January 2013
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 458. CN 5585. 
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 469. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ BBC.co.uk News.bbc.co.uk
  5. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Soul II Soul". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  6. ^ a b "AUS Charts > Soul II Soul". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  7. ^ a b "AUT Charts > Soul II Soul". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  8. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Soul II Soul". RPM. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  9. ^ a b "GER Charts > Soul II Soul". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  10. ^ a b "JPN Charts > Soul II Soul". Oricon. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  11. ^ a b "NLD Charts > Soul II Soul". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  12. ^ a b c "NZ Charts > Soul II Soul". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  13. ^ a b "SWE Charts > Soul II Soul". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  14. ^ a b "SWI Charts > Soul II Soul". Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Soul II Soul". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "UK Certified Awards Search > Soul II Soul". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  17. ^ a b c "CAN Certifications > Soul II Soul". Music Canada. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  18. ^ a b c d "US Certifications > Soul II Soul". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  19. ^ "BEL Charts > Soul II Soul". VRT Top 30. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  20. ^ "IRE Charts Search > Soul II Soul". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 

External links[edit]