Less than 10 years ago, British R&B was as strong as it had ever been, with great groups making great songs and having chart success with them. With the huge buzz that JLS are currently generating, I can't help but be nostalgic for the days when we had a world-class R&B group in the form of Damage. With that in mind, let's reminisce on just how good our R&B stars used to be.
Damage - Rumours
Damage - Ghetto Romance
Fierce - Dayz Like That
Craig David - Fill Me In (Acoustic)
Beverley Knight - Made It Back '99
The Reelists - Freak Mode (Big up Sef!)
Kele Le Roc - My Love
Aaron Soul - Ring, Ring Ring
I guess more than anything this is a study of wasted potential. Of the artists featured, only Craig David still holds any real mainstream sway (Beverley Knight maybe). I know Kele Le Roc has a new track out, and Bev is always around, but our R&B scene never evolved the way that it should have. Damage had nine Top 40 singles, four of which were Top 10 and seven of which were Top 20. They actually deserve to be legends in the scene but they don't get half of the respect that their achievements demand. Vocally and performance-wise they wiped the floor with man like JLS. We had a polished group that were ready to represent in the form of Fundamental, but having hit a brick wall in their attempts to blow up over here, they've fucked off to America. The scene is desperate for a group of artists to dominate - maybe Jay Sean, Craig David and Lemar all dropping singles in the same quarter might be the way to do it, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.