The S.O.S. Band

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The S.O.S. Band
The SOS Band.jpg
The SOS Band, 1991. L-R: Bruno Speight, Jason Bryant, Chandra Currelley and Abdul Ra-oof.
Background information
Also known asSanta Monica
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Years active1977–1991
LabelsTabu
Associated actsJimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Alexander O'Neal
Cherrelle
Kurupt
MembersMary Davis
Abdul Ra'oof
Past membersJason Bryant
Billy Ellis (Deceased)
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," "Borrowed Love," and "The Finest."

History[edit]

The Atlanta, Georgia, band was started in 1977, when keyboardist / vocalist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis and Willie "Sonny" Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bassist John Alexander Simpson, drummer James 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, California. 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)" – which went platinum – with Harold Clayton, the song parking at number one R&B for five weeks and peaking at number three pop on Billboard's charts in spring 1980. Their eponymous debut album, "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 the summer of 1981.

On the band's third album, "III", they worked with producer Leon Sylvers III and writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Their 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.

Jam and Lewis took over the production duties on their fourth album, "On The Rise", scoring with the 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 the summer of 1983.

The formula continued to work: "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 the fall of 1984 and "Sands Of Time" (including the number two R&B hit "The Finest") went gold and hit number four R&B in the spring of 1986. Many of these releases, as well as the sound of early releases, helped to popularize the now-classic sound of the TR-808 Roland drum machine.

In late 1986, vocalist Mary Davis left The S.O.S. Band to pursue a solo career. In 1987, the band contributed a song called "It's Time To Move" to the Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol soundtrack. The band released their seventh album in 1989. For "Diamonds in the Raw" the lead vocalists were Chandra Currelley and Fredi Grace, and three producers were used (Curtis Williams, Eban Kelly & Jimi Randolph, Jason Bryant, and Sigidi). Saxophonist Billy Ellis, also one of the founder members, died during the recording of "Diamonds In The Raw", the album reaching number 43 on the R&B chart.

"One of Many Nights", with lead vocalist Chandra Currelley and produced by Curtis Williams, followed in 1991. It failed to chart.

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]
1986 The 12" Tape (Five 12" Mixes On One Cassette)
1987 1980–1987: The Hit Mixes
1989 In One Go
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
2013 Very Best Of
2014 The Tabu Anthology
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. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. 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]