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Thread started 03/01/15 6:16am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Grade the S.O.S. Band discography

The S.O.S. seem to be quite unsung in the music world and even on here despite being the launching pad for a successful career for Jam and Lewis, helping to lay the blueprit for contemporary R&B, and just making some great R&B/ funk/ post-disco music. I've never seen this done for the group on here so I took the liberty of making this topic myself. Hopefully this leads to some discussion about the S.O.S. as well.

Now for the grades:

S.O.S.: A-

Too: B-

III: B+

On the Rise: A

Just the Way You Like It: B

Sands of Time: C

Diamonds in the Raw: N/A (never heard)

One of Many Nights: N/A (never heard)

Since I didn't get really into the band until late last year, I was unable to hear their final 2 albums since they aren't available on Google Play or iTunes while the other albums are so if there's people here who have (as I'm sure there are), please feel free to expound on these 2.
[Edited 3/1/15 14:12pm]
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Reply #1 posted 03/01/15 2:10pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Any S.O.S. fans out there?

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Reply #2 posted 03/02/15 1:24am

funkaholic1972

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Yeah, here is a SOS Band fan! I don't know many of their albums but I know and very much love most of their hits. Can't rate the albums, but I agree they are one of Jam and Lewis's finest projects. I rate them highly!

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #3 posted 03/02/15 6:10am

kitbradley

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I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #4 posted 03/02/15 6:10am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Check em out man! You'll be impressed with their cuts.
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Reply #5 posted 03/02/15 6:25am

Scorp

S. O. S. Band is arguably the greatest unsung musical act of all time, or at least in the past 35 years

they serve as a perfect example of an R&B presented as 2nd tier, a secondary act but really proved to be a major force throughout the entire msuic scene as many of the leading producers who followed their presence developed their sound from S.O.S.'s musical arrangements

and artists represented the full gamut of music from Spice 1, to Maxwell, to Scarface, to 2Pac, to Mariah Carey, to Da Brat, to Rakim, to 50 cent, to Dr. Dre, to Master P, to Destiny's Child, to Madonna, to Will I Am, to Camron, to Amerie, to Kanye West, to Compton's Most Wanted, to Snoop Dogg, to Foxy Brown, to New Edition,

almost 50 acts alone sampled S.O.S. classic "No One's Gonna love You" alone......

all time example of authenticity being tapped into to create sound

w/out the authentic framework, the way the industry has operated over the past quarter century, the industry would not exist today.......

this is how real R&B got destroyed, everyone tapped into it during a time where the impression was given they weren't...

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Reply #6 posted 03/02/15 7:18am

Graycap23

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Scorp said:

S. O. S. Band is arguably the greatest unsung musical act of all time, or at least in the past 35 years

There are plenty of people in that boat:

Mint Condition

The Family Stand

Sandra St. Vincent

Living Colour

Rashan Patterson..........2 name a few.

[Edited 3/2/15 7:37am]

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #7 posted 03/02/15 7:20am

Musicslave

Speaking of their discography, has anyone ever noticed the sad point-of-view that Mary Davis sung from. Although the grooves stand the test of time, I doubt any singer today would make it with lyrics like, "Just Be Good To Me."

-

"...I don't care about those other girls

Just be good to me."

-

I got a feeling today's women would have a problem with their lyrical content. Ladies am I wrong?

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Reply #8 posted 03/02/15 7:38am

Scorp

Graycap23 said:

Scorp said:

S. O. S. Band is arguably the greatest unsung musical act of all time, or at least in the past 35 years

There are plenty of people in that boat:

Mint Condition

The Family Stand

Sandra St. Vincent

Living Colour

Rashan Patterson..........2 name a few.

[Edited 3/2/15 7:37am]

there music was not as prolific or borrowed as S.O.S Band.....

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Reply #9 posted 03/02/15 7:41am

Graycap23

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Scorp said:

Graycap23 said:

There are plenty of people in that boat:

Mint Condition

The Family Stand

Sandra St. Vincent

Living Colour

Rashan Patterson..........2 name a few.

[Edited 3/2/15 7:37am]

there music was not as prolific or borrowed as S.O.S Band.....

Says u.............not my ears.

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #10 posted 03/02/15 7:59am

lowkey

i've never listened to a complete album but i am a fan of their singles.

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Reply #11 posted 03/02/15 7:59am

Linn4days

My brother had most of their Vinyls..

I have their Greatest Hits..

But, they are a fixture in heavy-rotation on Old-School R&B Radio formats..

I hoep they are being paid (including Jam & Lewis and some of their other producers) form people posting thier music on Youtube.

I can't find The System's 2000 CD online anywhere either.. Maybe, recent independent releases--may have to be found by contacting the artist's websites..

[Edited 3/2/15 8:02am]

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Reply #12 posted 03/02/15 8:05am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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kitbradley said:

I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.

Their debut album is great and I haven't heard their final 2 releases.

Their weakest album production-wise (from what I've heard) is Too. It felt like they had no idea what they were going for with that one; it has a very sloppy, scatterbrained vibe and doesn't have the unity or timelessness of S.O.S.

Even so, I still enjoy it. Many of its compositions are interesting, at least.

On The Rise is not only their strongest album from Jam and Lewis but the strongest album in their discography. It was truly ahead of its time in 1983 and stood out with its slick futuristic production. I know a lot like Just the Way You Like It and Sands of Time and I want to like them too but I just couldn't get into them nearly as much as I could their first 4 albums when I first listened to them. The production is tight and smooth and the music is good but those albums (especially SoT) stray on the slow side a bit too much for my liking and the songs drag. It also doesn't help that I listened to both albums on the same day, which caused the sounds to homogenize. They still deserve a fair chance from me but listening to both albums back to back really lightened their impact for me, particularly SoT. It felt like more of the same.

[Edited 3/2/15 9:09am]

[Edited 4/9/15 13:06pm]

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Reply #13 posted 03/02/15 8:11am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Also for those who have listened to their albums and are familiar with their work, don't forget to grade them!
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Reply #14 posted 03/02/15 8:46am

Dancelot

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I bought all their albums starting from the debut in 1980 or so, except for III, so let's see....

- S.O.S: back then I thought "Take your Time" was the biggest fucking single in the universe (well, I was 15 or so) so I rushed out to get that album lol great set, still love it!

- Too: back then I felt this was a bit of a let down, and it collected dust on the shelves for quite some time, but looking back at it years later I appreciate it much more

- III: missed that, and still didn't get it

- On The Rise: freaking great. the dawning of a new era in music

- Just The Way You Like It: mostly a facsimile of OTR, but falling behind just a little bit
- Sands Of Time: loved it to DEATH when it came out, and still do. I'd rate it equal to OTR

- Diamonds In The Raw: when released it was kinda meeeeh.... I didn't have the urge to listen to it that often, so I'm probably not in a position to rate it...
- One Of Many Nights: similar to DITR... heared it only a few of times back in the day so....

[Edited 3/2/15 8:49am]

Vanglorious... this is protected by the red, the black, and the green. With a key... sissy!
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Reply #15 posted 03/02/15 4:34pm

JamFanHot

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Graycap23 said:

Scorp said:

S. O. S. Band is arguably the greatest unsung musical act of all time, or at least in the past 35 years

There are plenty of people in that boat:

Mint Condition

The Family Stand

Sandra St. Vincent

Living Colour

Rashan Patterson..........2 name a few.

[Edited 3/2/15 7:37am]

Co-Sign! But S.O.S was hugely slept on by the musical masses in their day, fasho.

Funk Is It's Own Reward
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Reply #16 posted 03/02/15 5:02pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Even back in the day they were under the radar?
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Reply #17 posted 03/02/15 5:42pm

JamFanHot

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MotownSubdivision said:

Even back in the day they were under the radar?

Round here anyway, yeah. Pop radio spun them NOT (except "Take Your Time" which crossed over. It wasn't that that was odd, really. They largely ignored a 100 hooky R & B outfits back in the day). Clubs? Distracted with so much else....

It was the black pop / soul / R&B / Funk audience that really "got them" for most of their career, I think.

And as I remember, when the first one came out (1980, mind you)....even WE didn't know for SURE what they "were". That was the disco transition time & there were some elements of that on the first one. Great stuff in any case tho

Funk Is It's Own Reward
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Reply #18 posted 03/02/15 6:31pm

getxxxx

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the greatest SOS Band CDS of all time!!!

[Edited 3/2/15 18:32pm]

Nick Ashford was someone I greatly admired, had the honor of knowing, and was the real-life inspiration for Cowboy Curtis' hair. RIP Nick. - Pee Wee Herman
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Reply #19 posted 03/02/15 6:53pm

UnderMySun

MotownSubdivision said:

Even back in the day they were under the radar?

I think the thing to keep in mind is that back then funk bands like the S.O.S. Band were by and large ignored by pop radio and audiences. Groups like them could be a staple at Black radio stations for years and never receive any airplay at pop radio stations other than the occasional crossover hit like Take Your Time (Do It Right). Cameo would be another excellent example of this. Think of all the songs/albums they released through the years and got plenty of airplay on r&b stations before Word Up ever came out.

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Reply #20 posted 03/03/15 2:43am

funkaholic1972

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I am from The Netherlands and back in the early eighties we wouldn't hear a lot of funk and RnB on mainstream radio either, it was all rock and new wave and thowaway pop music. I would listen to pirate radio stations for funk, italo and RnB, and once a week we had The Soul Show on Thursday evenings on the mainstream radio that played a lot of 'underground' black music. Tha's how I've learnt to know and love bands like SOS band. It is a shame that mainstreamradiostations didn't give that type of music more of a chance, it was often catchy and hook-laden and would have done pretty well as commercial music in my opinion.

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time!
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Reply #21 posted 03/03/15 1:16pm

whitechocolate
brotha

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getxxxx said:

the greatest SOS Band CDS of all time!!!

[Edited 3/2/15 18:32pm]

<3!!! A+ on BOTH!!!

S.O.S.

B+

TOO

C

III

B

ON THE RISE

A

JUST THE WAY YOU LIKE IT

A+

SANDS OF TIME

A+

I lost interest when Queen Mary left the band to go solo in 1987. No other vocalist on EARTH could EVER replace Mary Davis!!!!! My heart was broken the day I went to meet them in person in Boston and was greeted by Pennye Ford! I was like, "This ain't my sweet MARY!" Got her autograph ANYWAY tho, but it wasn't the same. sad

SEPARATE WAYS (MARY' S SOLO ALBUM)

B+

[Edited 3/3/15 13:17pm]

[Edited 3/3/15 13:19pm]

Hungry? Just look in the mirror and get fed up.
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Reply #22 posted 04/09/15 1:21pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Musicslave said:

Speaking of their discography, has anyone ever noticed the sad point-of-view that Mary Davis sung from. Although the grooves stand the test of time, I doubt any singer today would make it with lyrics like, "Just Be Good To Me."


-


"...I don't care about those other girls


Just be good to me."


-


I got a feeling today's women would have a problem with their lyrical content. Ladies am I wrong?

I guess lyrics like those are a little too real for today's female pop stars though T Swift probably comes the closest to having lyrics akin to those in "Just be Good to Me".
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Reply #23 posted 04/09/15 1:41pm

kitbradley

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MotownSubdivision said:

kitbradley said:

I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.

Their debut album is great and I haven't heard their final 2 releases.

Their weakest album production-wise (from what I've heard) is Too. It felt like they had no idea what they were going for with that one; it has a very sloppy, scatterbrained vibe and doesn't have the unity or timelessness of S.O.S.

Even so, I still enjoy it. Many of its compositions are interesting, at least.

On The Rise is not only their strongest album from Jam and Lewis but the strongest album in their discography. It was truly ahead of its time in 1983 and stood out with its slick futuristic production. I know a lot like Just the Way You Like It and Sands of Time and I want to like them too but I just couldn't get into them nearly as much as I could their first 4 albums when I first listened to them. The production is tight and smooth and the music is good but those albums (especially SoT) stray on the slow side a bit too much for my liking and the songs drag. It also doesn't help that I listened to both albums on the same day, which caused the sounds to homogenize. They still deserve a fair chance from me but listening to both albums back to back really lightened their impact for me, particularly SoT. It felt like more of the same.

[Edited 3/2/15 9:09am]

[Edited 4/9/15 13:06pm]

I agree with you about the "Too" album. I first heard it when it was reissued on CD some years ago. I thought it was really quite messy. I ended up getting rid of my copy on ebay shortly thereafter.

I really can't say that I feel The SOS Band had a definative album that was solid all the way through. The closest they ever came was "On The Rise", and even that one had several forgettable moments.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #24 posted 04/09/15 2:20pm

MotownSubdivis
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kitbradley said:



MotownSubdivision said:




kitbradley said:


I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.



Their debut album is great and I haven't heard their final 2 releases.


/p>


Their weakest album production-wise (from what I've heard) is Too. It felt like they had no idea what they were going for with that one; it has a very sloppy, scatterbrained vibe and doesn't have the unity or timelessness of S.O.S.




Even so, I still enjoy it. Many of its compositions are interesting, at least.




On The Rise is not only their strongest album from Jam and Lewis but the strongest album in their discography. It was truly ahead of its time in 1983 and stood out with its slick futuristic production. I know a lot like Just the Way You Like It and Sands of Time and I want to like them too but I just couldn't get into them nearly as much as I could their first 4 albums when I first listened to them. The production is tight and smooth and the music is good but those albums (especially SoT) stray on the slow side a bit too much for my liking and the songs drag. It also doesn't help that I listened to both albums on the same day, which caused the sounds to homogenize. They still deserve a fair chance from me but listening to both albums back to back really lightened their impact for me, particularly SoT. It felt like more of the same.


[Edited 3/2/15 9:09am]


[Edited 4/9/15 13:06pm]



I agree with you about the "Too" album. I first heard it when it was reissued on CD some years ago. I thought it was really quite messy. I ended up getting rid of my copy on ebay shortly thereafter.

I really can't say that I feel The SOS Band had a definative album that was solid all the way through. The closest they ever came was "On The Rise", and even that one had several forgettable moments.

I still like "Too" though. It's not congelled but it's a listenable album, I just don't think they knew how to properly follow up on what they brought to the table with their debut.

Speaking of their debut, I'd say if OTR isn't the closest thing to their definitive album (I think it is) then S.O.S. is. Though not straight fire from beginning to end, there's still plenty of heat. It's a great album that almost perfectly encapsulates the talents of the group. That and "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" is just that awesome.

OTR had no collective issues. While a few tracks stand out from the rest, they don't negate how good the other songs are in their own right. "Forgettable" is a broader term than what we give it credit for, being forgettable and being bad are 2 different things and while you may consider some of what OTR offers to be such, it's still high quality music. As for why I consider it a near-definitive album is because of what it did for Jam and Lewis. If III was them getting their feet wet then OTR is the duo dancing in the waters. It set the stage for what was to come for R&B and the group doesn't get the credit it deserves for being the vehicle that played a large role in progressing the genre.
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Reply #25 posted 04/09/15 7:05pm

mjscarousal

MotownSubdivision said:

Any S.O.S. fans out there?

YASSS lol lol lol

I love em!!! I haven't listened to all of there albums but I love them. cool

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Reply #26 posted 04/10/15 7:24am

Musicslave

MotownSubdivision said:

Musicslave said:

Speaking of their discography, has anyone ever noticed the sad point-of-view that Mary Davis sung from. Although the grooves stand the test of time, I doubt any singer today would make it with lyrics like, "Just Be Good To Me."

-

"...I don't care about those other girls

Just be good to me."

-

I got a feeling today's women would have a problem with their lyrical content. Ladies am I wrong?

I guess lyrics like those are a little too real for today's female pop stars though T Swift probably comes the closest to having lyrics akin to those in "Just be Good to Me".

-

T Swizzy really? I'm not that familiar with her lyrics. I could be wrong but I recall more than one song that had a pitiful, subservient woman's position in them.

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Reply #27 posted 04/10/15 11:00am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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Musicslave said:



MotownSubdivision said:


Musicslave said:

Speaking of their discography, has anyone ever noticed the sad point-of-view that Mary Davis sung from. Although the grooves stand the test of time, I doubt any singer today would make it with lyrics like, "Just Be Good To Me."


-


"...I don't care about those other girls


Just be good to me."


-


I got a feeling today's women would have a problem with their lyrical content. Ladies am I wrong?



I guess lyrics like those are a little too real for today's female pop stars though T Swift probably comes the closest to having lyrics akin to those in "Just be Good to Me".

-


T Swizzy really? I'm not that familiar with her lyrics. I could be wrong but I recall more than one song that had a pitiful, subservient woman's position in them.

Her lyrics aren't anything special (nor is her music) but despite the repetitive nature of her songs, she at least comes off as believable. When I hear the standard T Swift song, I believe it. Her lyrics stand out from the pack of her female peers who all touch on the same subject matters in nearly identical ways.
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Reply #28 posted 04/10/15 12:58pm

HardcoreJollie
s

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kitbradley said:

I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.

Right on, totally concur with this assessment. for me Take Your Time (Do It Right) was one of the most annoying late 1970s dance tracks. I put it "up" there with Boogie Oogie Oogie, Ring My Bell, Boogie Wonderland (EWF's utter nadir), Dance Dance Dance, Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me, Get Off, YMCA, Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now and countless other disco-pop of the late 1970s to early 1980s.

Not for the True Funk Soldiers. But I don't begrudge anyone's taste or what brings them musical joy.

Examples of similar level bands in my opinion but better overall would be Midnight Star or Rose Royce.

[Edited 4/10/15 13:02pm]

If you've got funk, you've got style.
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Reply #29 posted 04/10/15 2:46pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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HardcoreJollies said:



kitbradley said:


I only liked the albums Jam & Lewis worked on. Pre and post recordings didn't do anything for me.




Right on, totally concur with this assessment. for me Take Your Time (Do It Right) was one of the most annoying late 1970s dance tracks. I put it "up" there with Boogie Oogie Oogie, Ring My Bell, Boogie Wonderland (EWF's utter nadir), Dance Dance Dance, Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me, Get Off, YMCA, Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now and countless other disco-pop of the late 1970s to early 1980s.



Not for the True Funk Soldiers. But I don't begrudge anyone's taste or what brings them musical joy.



Examples of similar level bands in my opinion but better overall would be Midnight Star or Rose Royce.



[Edited 4/10/15 13:02pm]

How would you grade their discography?
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