Nine-piece soul funk band
Formed in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. from the combination of members of two groups - The Montereys and The Nomads. Originally named Ohio Lakeside Express. They met [a=Frank Wilson] just before he'd quit [l=Motown] and they were signed at [l=ABC Records] and they released their debut in 1977 produced by [a=Frank Wilson]. In 1978 their manager and friend [a=Dick Griffey] founded [l=Solar] and signed the group. [a=Norman Whitfield] as well had made them an offer for [l=Whitfield Records] but [a=Lakeside] turned it down. They contributed instead to [a=Willie Hutch]' [url=]"In Tune"[/url] released in Whitfield's label. They also contributed in "Danceland" (from [a=Carrie Lucas]' third album in 1979) and produced [a=7th Wonder]'s "Stop Before You Break My Heart" (from their third and last album). They would release nine albums at [l=Solar] between 1978 - 1990. Their main line up (after several changes) were [a=Otis Stokes] (guitar, vocals), [a=Thomas Shelby] (lead vocals), [a=Mark Adam Wood, Jr.] (lead vocals, keyboards), [a=Stephen Shockley] (guitar), [a=Fred Alexander Jr.] (drums), [a=Tiemeyer McCain] (lead vocals), [a=Marvin Craig] (bass), [a=Fred Lewis (2)] (percussion), [a=Norman Beavers] (keyboards). They became famous for their flamboyant theatrical costumes on their album covers and for the rich, heavy, uplifting funk soul sound. Their biggest legacy remains their 1980 single [url=]"Fantastic Voyage"[/url] (No.1 in the r'n'b charts, the closest they came to a crossover success - No.55 in the U.S. pop chart) that was included in the soundtrack of 1992's [url=]"South Central"[/url] and [a=Coolio] covered -among other rappers- in 1994. Other big hits are [url=]"It's All The Way Live"[/url] (No.4 in 1977, R'n'B charts), their cover on [a=The Beatles]' [url=]"I Want To Hold Your Hand"[/url] (1981, No.5, R'n'B charts), [url=]"Raid"[/url] (1983, No.8 R'n'B charts) and [url=]"Outrageous"[/url] (1984, No.7 R'n'B charts).