Heaven and Earth
Band members Related acts
- Michael Brown - vocals (tenor) (1974-77)
- Dwight Dukes - lead vocals (falsetto) (1974-82)
- James Dukes - vocals (bass) (1974-82)
- Greg Rose - vocals (baritone) (replaced Dean Williams)
- Keith Stewart - vocals (tenor and baritoner) (-82)
- Dean Williams - lead vocals (baritone) (replaced Michael
- Cashmere (Dwight James and Keith Stewart)
- The Rose Brothers (Greg Rose)
- The Soul
Majestics (Dean Williams)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Heaven and Earth
Country/State: Chicago, Illinois
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: includes original Mercury inner sleeve
GEMM catalog ID: 4307
Chicago's Heaven and Earth stand as a little known personal favorite. They were one of those soul groups that should have been major stars, but due to unfortunate timing, lousy management, a never ending series of personnel issues and other misfortunes, never managed to break through outside of their native Chicago.
Brothers Dwight and James Dukes decided to form a vocal group in 1974 while attending Chicago's South Shore High School. They quickly recruited friends Michael Brown and Keith Stewart. The quartet subsequently caught the attention of sometimes promoter Lil Schneider who brought them to the attention of label owner/producer Clarence Johnson. Together with partner Lucky Cordell, Johnson was suitably impressed, signing the quartet to their new G.E.C. (General Entertainment Corporation) label.
1977 saw the group undergo a nasty personnel shakeup with original lead singer Brown being dumped in favor of former Soul Majestics lead Dean Williams. The move was instigated by now-manager/producer Johnson and proved extremely unpopular with the Dukes bothers and Stewart. At the same time, using his connections, Johnson arranged for the new line up to sign with Mercury.
The cleverly-titled "Heaven
and Earth" found the quartet working separately with two
production teams - Johnson and Ric Williams and Rodney Massey and Lawrence
Hanks (the latter also contributed several songs to the project).
Gifted with a nice baritone, Williams handled most of the lead vocals, with
performances such as 'Let's Work It Out' baring a passing resemblance to
Teddy Pendergrass. Elsewhere, tracks such as 'Guess Who's Back In Town'
and 'Distant Melody' (one of the few tracks to showcase Dwight's pretty
falsetto) offered up a set of sophisticated urban contemporary-styled ballads. The lone exceptions
to the formula were 'Run and Tell That' and the forgettable disco-influenced
'Dance-a-Thon'. While the production and performances were
impeccable (check out the vocal harmonies on ''How Do You Think You're Gonna Find Love), by the time the album was
released old school soul was all but a dead as a musical genre.
Mercury pulled two singles from the album -1978's 'Guess Who's Back In Town'
b/w 'No Limit" (Mercury catalog number 74012) and 1979's 'How Do You
Think You're Gonna Find Love' b/w 'Let's Work It Out' (Mercury catalog
number 74041). The first one just missed the top-40 R&B charts (it
peaked at # 42), but the second failed to sell. Even worse, album sales
proved non-existent, even in hometown Chicago.
1.) Let's Work It Out (Rodney G. Massey - Lawrence Hanks) -4:56
2.) Distant Melody (Bernard Reynolds) - 4:42
3.) Guess Who's Back In Town (Rodney G. Massey - Lawrence Hanks) - 6:12
How Do You Think You're Gonna Find Love (Fred. L. Bridges - Rick
Williams) - 4:02
1.) Run and Tell That (Dwight Dukes - Keith R. Stewart) - 5:58
2.) Dance-a-Thon (Arthur Scales) - 5:48
3.) No Limit (Rodney G. Massey - Lawrence Hanks) - 3:41
4.) You Area Part
of Me (Darryl Cameron) - 4:02
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