Led by producer/vocalist/songwriter DJ Jazzie B., Soul II Soul was one of the most innovative dance/R&B outfits of the late '80s, creating a seductive, deep R&B that borrowed from Philly soul, disco, reggae, and '80s hip-hop. Originally featuring [a=Jazzie B.], producer/arranger [a=Nellee Hooper] and instrumentalist Philip [a=Daddae Harvey], the musical collective came together in the late '80s. Two singles, "Fairplay" and "Feel Free", began to attract attention both in clubs and in the press.
Featuring the vocals of [a=Caron Wheeler], Soul II Soul's third single "Keep on Movin'", reached the U.K. Top Ten in March of 1989. Released in the summer of 1989, "Back to Life" also featured Wheeler and became their first number 1 hit. Soul II Soul released their debut album, Club Classics, Vol. One, shortly afterward.
Wheeler left the group before the recording of the group's second album, Vol. 2: 1990 — A New Decade. The album debuted at number one in the U.K., yet it caught the group in a holding pattern. Hooper soon left the collective, leaving Jazzie B. to soldier on alone. Hooper went on to work with several of the most influential and popular acts of the early '90s, including [a=Massive Attack], [a=Björk], [a=Madonna] and [a=U2].
Since 2007, Soul II Soul has reunited with the lineup of Jazzie B and Caron Wheeler. Wheeler took a departure from the group after their reunion tour in 2010, with Charlotte taking her place as lead vocalist. In 2013, Charlotte left the group to focus on her solo career and Wheeler rejoined the group. In December 2016, Soul II Soul released their second live album "Origins", which features Wheeler and Jazzie B as the lineup.
Tony Campbell (4)