The S.O.S. Band

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The S.O.S. Band
Also known as Santa Monica
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Years active 1977–1991
Labels Tabu
Associated acts Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Alexander O'Neal
Cherrelle
Kurupt
Members Mary Davis
Abdul Ra'oof
Past members Jason Bryant
Billy Ellis
James Earl Jones III
Willie "Sonny" Killebrew
John Simpson
Bruno Speight
Chandra Currelley

The S.O.S. Band (sometimes written SOS Band; abbreviation for Sounds Of Success) is an American R&B and electro-funk group who gained fame in the 1980s. They are best known for the songs "Take Your Time (Do It Right)," "Just Be Good to Me," "Tell Me If You Still Care," and "The Finest."

History[edit]

The S.O.S. Band hit with a two-million-selling single, “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” their first time out, before having several hit singles written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The Atlanta, GA-borne band was started in 1977, when keyboardist/vocalist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis and Willie “Sonny” Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bassist John Alexander Simpson, drummerJames Earl Jones III, and lead vocalist Mary Davis formed a group called Santa Monica that played at Atlanta nightclub the Regal Room.

Their manager, Bunny Jackson-Ransom sent a demo to Clarence Avant, head of Tabu Records. After signing the band to Tabu, Avant suggested that the band work with songwriter/producer Sigidi Abdullah. Abdullah was curious as to why an Atlanta-based band named itself Santa Monica. Keyboardist Jason Bryant replied that the band had an enjoyable concert in Santa Monica, CA. Abdullah then came up with a new band name, The S.O.S. Band, with S.O.S. standing for “Sounds of Success.

 Abdullah produced and co-wrote “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” with Harold Clayton, which went platinum, parking at number one R&B for five weeks and peaking at number three pop on Billboard’s charts in spring 1980. The debut LP,S.O.S., went gold, selling over 800,000 copies and holding the number two R&B spot for three weeks. While the band was on its world tour, trumpeter/vocalist/percussionist Abdul Ra’oof joined them. Their second album, Too, went to number 30 R&B in summer 1981. On the band’s third LP,S.O.S. Band III, they worked with producer Leon Sylvers III and writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The breaking single, “High Hopes,” hit number 25 R&B in the fall of 1982 while the album went to number 27 R&B in late 1982.

On their fourth LP, On the Rise, Jam and Lewis took over the production chores. Scoring with the slammin’ number two hit “Just Be Good to Me” and the number five beatbox ballad “Tell Me if You Still Care,” On the Rise became their second gold album hitting number seven R&B in summer 1983. The formula continued working: Just the Way You Like It(including the number six R&B single “Just the Way You Like It”) went to number six R&B in fall 1984 and Sands of Time(including the number two R&B hit “The Finest”) went gold and hit number four R&B in spring 1986. Many of these releases as well as the sound of early releases helped to popularize the now-classic sound of Roland drum machine the TR-808.

 In 1987, vocalist Mary Davis left The S.O.S. Band to pursue a solo career. The band recorded two more albums:Diamonds in the Raw with lead vocalist Chandra Currelley and  Fredi Grace (number 43 R&B in fall 1989), produced by Eban Kelly and Jimi Randolph, and One of Many Nights with lead vocalist Chandra Currelley produced by Curtis Williams. In August 1994, former lead vocalist Mary Davis reunited with Abdul Ra’oof and together they reconstructed a new band with the same funky S.O.S. sound, appearing on comedian Sinbad’s HBO concert specials and Rhino’s various-artists set United We Funk issued October 5,1999. 

Discography[edit]

All albums and singles listed below were issued on Tabu Records.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US
[1]
US
R&B

[1]
GER
[2]
NLD
[3]
NZ
[4]
NOR
[5]
SWE
[6]
UK
[7]
1980 S.O.S. 12 2 34
1981 Too 117 30
1982 III 172 27
1983 On the Rise 47 7 30 36
1984 Just the Way You Like It 60 6 44 33 29
1986 Sands of Time 44 4 20 38 36 35 15
1989 Diamonds in the Raw 194 43
1991 One of Many Nights
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
US
[1]
US
R&B

[1]
NLD
[3]
1987 1980–1987: The Hit Mixes
1990 The Very Best Of (1980–1990: A Decade of Dance Hits) 26
1995 The Best of the S.O.S. Band 185 27
2004 Greatest Hits 62
2011 Icon
2015 Greatest
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
US
[9]
US
R&B

[9]
US
Dan

[9]
AUS
[10]
BEL
[11]
CAN
[12]
GER
[2]
IRE
[13]
NLD
[3]
NZ
[4]
NOR
[5]
SWE
[6]
UK
[7]
1980 "Take Your Time (Do It Right) (Part 1)" 3 1 1 40 19 27 40 26 3 10 20 51
"S.O.S. (Dit Dit Dit Dash Dash Dash Dit Dit Dit)" 20 54
1981 "What's Wrong with Our Love Affair?" 87
"Do It Now (Part 1)" 15
"You" 64
1982 "High Hopes" 25 49
1983 "Have It Your Way" 57
"Groovin' (That's What We're Doin')" 47 72
"Just Be Good to Me" 55 2 3 17 29 21 22 10 13
"Tell Me If You Still Care" 65 5 39 81
1984 "For Your Love" 34 26
"Just the Way You Like It" 64 6 26 34 42 50 32
"No One's Gonna Love You" 102 15
1985 "Weekend Girl" 40 51
"Break Up"
1986 "The Finest" 44 2 8 20 26 28 34 13 17
"Borrowed Love" 14 26 25 37 22 50
"Even When You Sleep" 34
"No Lies" 43 2 83 64
1988 "The Official Bootleg Mega-Mix" 33
1989 "I'm Still Missing Your Love" 7 25
1990 "Secret Wish" 38
"Do You Love Me?"
1991 "Sometimes I Wonder" 12
"Broken Promises"
2014 "Just Get Ready"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "US Albums Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  2. ^ a b "GER Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  3. ^ a b c "NL Charts > The S.O.S. Band". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  4. ^ a b "NZ Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  5. ^ a b "NOR Charts > The S.O.S. Band". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  6. ^ a b "SWE Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  7. ^ a b "UK Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  8. ^ a b c "US Certifications > The S.O.S. Band". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  9. ^ a b c "US Singles Charts > The S.O.S. Band". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  10. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "BEL Charts > The S.O.S. Band". VRT Top 30. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  12. ^ "CAN Charts > The S.O.S. Band". RPM. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  13. ^ "IRE Charts Search > The S.O.S. Band". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 

External links[edit]