Definition of Sound

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This article is about the UK dance-music group. For the definition of sound, see wikt:en:sound. For the topic of sound, see sound.

Definition of Sound was a London-based dance-music group, consisting of Kevin Clark and Don Weekes, working with musicians Rex Brough (aka The Red King) and latterly, Mike Spencer. Their second and fourth singles, "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" (1991) and "Moira Jane's Café" (1992) were in the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. The group also had several songs enter the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, including "Moira Jane's Café," which hit No. 1 in 1992.

Career[edit]

The group released two songs, "Naturally" and "Straight From the Soul", on the Dance Yard record label and then signed to Alan Pell at Phonogram for the single " My Thing/Surprise" which featured "First Cut Is The Deepest" vocalist PP Arnold[1] After a period of development and continued live shows, the band signed to Circa/Virgin Records (with releases distributed by Cathy Jacobson's Cardiac records and then Phil Quartero Charisma Records) by A&R executive Ashley Newton (Neneh Cherry, Pharrel Williams), where they recorded Love and Life: A Journey With the Chameleons, featuring the singles "Now Is Tomorrow" which showcased the vocal talent of Elaine Vassell and subsequently was covered by Mick Jones from "The Clash" new band "Big Audio Dynamite" whilst on tour with U2, "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" A title cheekily borrowed from sixties hipster Donovan and a groove re-worked from American garage rock band "The Hombres", "Moira Jane's Cafe" which featured a video by Mark Romanek and a sample from Van Morrisons an Them's "Gloria" becoming the first UK rap record to be played on daytime radio 1 by Dj Gary Davis, the last single "Dream Girl" featured for the time a visual created by director Pedro Romhyani.[1]

The album was well received by critics and placed the band as the forerunners[according to whom?] to other eclectic hip hop performers Urban Species, PM Dawn, The Stereo Mc's The Fugees and Outkast but their second album lacking any focused AnR input saw the band lose their earlier drive and promise consequently suffering a creative meltdown the album did not perform as expected .[1] After a year of reflection the band bought their own studio and slowly found the spark that was missing in the painful second album with renewed purpose they were the signed to Fontana/Mercury Records by revered AnR executive Dave Bates (Tears for Fears, LLoyd Cole and The Commotions) their third album, Experience (1996) saw them work with seminal rock producer Chris Hughes (Adam and the Ants, Page and Plant, Tears for Fears) and release the self produced single "Pass The Vibes" which became an international hit particularly in France where the group saw continued success.

The album was applauded and featured collaborations with "Oleta Adams" and Italian star "Jovanotti"[1] According to the NME it was "like the delayed hit of a powerful drug."[1] Due to internal politics at Fontana/Mercury and the eventual dismissal of Dave Bates, "Experience" saw its marketing budget stopped leaving the band yet again in need of a new label home.

Although they had no Billboard Hot 100 entries, the song "Now Is Tomorrow" (a No. 10 dance hit) climbed to No. 68 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart in 1991, whilst "Moira Jane's Cafe" became the first UK Rap record to become number 1 on the Billboard Dance Charts, earning the band accolades from their American peers. Vocal duties on this single and some album tracks were handled by singer, Elaine Vassel.

The band then found themselves signed again by Chairman Nick Phillips and Director of AnR Steve Wolfe recording its fourth and final album for MCA/Universal, which saw a complete change in direction with "Lunatic Calm" mixes on their promo'd single raising eyebrows and becoming a firm favourite on the progressive dance scene. The album unfortunately was not released, the band decided to stop recording.

Initially, the final members Clark, Weekes, and Spencer continued as a songwriting remix and production team, working with Beverley Knight, Charlotte,Will Smith etc.

Clark went on to a career as an A&R manager for Parlophone and eventually Universal. He has worked with Beverley Knight, Jamelia, Tracie Spencer, Freestylers, Betty Boo and Beats International, Duran Duran, The Soup Dragons, Rebel MC. His later career saw a move into music publishing with Clarkmusic a joint venture with PeerMusic where he signed Adam Argyle and Ben Thomas. Clark later sold ClarkMusic to SonyATV music publishing becoming a consultant for then Managing Director Rak Sanghvi. At SonyATV he signed the publishing rights of the following writers Jodie Henderson (Heartbroken,UK number 2)The WideBoys (Influential Garage/PoP DJ/Producers),Iain James (Emelie Sande/Professor Greene) Phrased Differently (Publishing Company),Lee Ryan ( Blue) Jamiroquai (Band Members), Rob Harris and Matt Johnson (Julian Peretta) Mike Spencer (Emelie Sande) Karman Entertainment (Shide Boss). Clark then went on to work with Julian Lennon securing Lennon a recording contract with Conehead Records,bizarrely he then became a re-occurring cast member on "The Mayor of Kentish Town" comedy radio show with Steve Furst (Little Britain/Lenny Beige) and Dominic Coleman (Miranda/Trollied) on Soho Radio. Looking for another challenge within the entertainment and media industry he then helped to place the TV show Slips (MTV) created by Rob Ryan of Deuce Films with Double Decker Media and Family Room Entertainment.

Mike Spencer went on to have a career producing, amongst others, Jamiroquai, Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sande, Newton Faulkner,Rudimental, John Newman, Ellie Goulding amongst many others.

Spencer also established a residential recording facility "The larks Tongue" set within 14 acres of Buckinghampshire pasture and warmed by the heat stored in the surrounding fields the studio has virtually no carbon footprint and also " Youthemic" a boutique publishing company designed to publish artist produced by Spencer at "The Larks Tongue". One of the first signings to Youthemic "Real Joy" by "Fono" started life as a club instrumental discovered by Clark who decided the track needed a topline lyric and felt Liz Horsman writing style and vocal would be perfect addition to the progressive instrumental. The song with arrangement and mix by Spencer was critically acclaimed and signed to "Relentless Records" "Youthemic" also have signed and developed Anna Straker, a multi-instrumentalist singer from Lincoln. At 18 years old she could already be heard singing backing vocals on three number 1 albums (Years & Years, Rudimental and John Newman). Straker is writing her debut album which will feature the song "One Lover".

Weekes, after the release of a solo album, left the music industry.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Love and Life: A Journey With the Chameleons (1991) – UK #38,[2] AUS No. 97.[3]
  • The Lick (1992)
  • Experience (1996) – UK No. 97[2]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
UK
[2]
NED SWI SWE AUS
[3]
NZ
[4]
US Dance
[5]
1990 "Now Is Tomorrow" 94 Love And Life: A Journey With The Chameleons
1991 "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" 17 38 28 34 77 28
"Now Is Tomorrow" (reissue) 46 77 85 10
"Dream Girl"
1992 "Moira Jane's Café" 34 50 1
"What Are You Under" 68 116 41 4 The Lick
"Can I Get Over" 61 106
1995 "Boom Boom" 59 Experience
"Pass The Vibes" 23 36
1996 "Child" 48
1997 "Eccentric" singles only
1998 "Lipstick on My Collar" (promo)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Music videos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Biography by Ed Hogan". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Official Charts Company: Definition of Sound". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  4. ^ "charts.org.nz > Definition of Sound – What Are You Under (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Definition of Sound – US Dance Club Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.