1968 The Foundations – Baby, Now That I’ve Found You
A group made up of racially diverse members (West Indians, White British, and a Sri Lankan) formed in England in 1967. The Foundations played soul music, something unusual for successful British groups of that time. They released their first single in 1967, and when it reached number one in the UK, it became the first number one single on that chart by a multi-racial group.
The Foundations ran a basement club in London and played there nightly. Record dealer Barry Class heard the band and arranged for them to audition for Pye Records. Tony Macaulay and John MacLeod were working as songwriters and producers for Pye Records and had written the song Baby, Now That I’ve Found You, which they decided would be perfect for the group. Tony produced the record (and most of their other successful singles).
The group originally had two lead singers, Clem Curtis and Raymond Morrison. Raymond went to prison for six months and Arthur Brown briefly joined the group. Eventually, Clem took over all the vocals and Arthur left.
When they released the record, it did not get very much airplay. Some pirate radio stations were broadcasting offshore and were taking many of the listeners away from the British radio stations. The British radio stations searched through records they had passed on, hoping to find some hits the pirate stations weren’t playing, and one record they found and began playing was the Foundations’ single.
The second time around, the record did much better: it reached the top of the UK chart. Brian Epstein (the manager of the Beatles) signed the Foundations, but the contract was voided when Brian died.
The group toured the US extensively, and there the single reached #11 on the Hot 100 in early 1968. One of the groups that was on the tour with them was The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, so in a way they were reunited with him.
The next single from the group was Back On My Feet Again. It was written and produced by the same team, but only reached a disappointing #18 on the UK chart and barely reached #59 on the US Hot 100.
Clem left the group and new lead singer Colin Young took his place. In 1969, the group had their biggest hit in the US when Build Me Up Buttercup reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #2 in the UK. Their next single, In The Bad Bad Old Days (Before You Loved Me), still reached the UK top ten but peaked at #51 in the US.
The group released a large number of other singles that failed to do more than dent the charts. The band broke up in the early seventies. Before long, the vocalists each recruited new members and two different groups were touring and singing the same songs: Clem Curtis and the Foundations and Colin Young & the New Foundations. Eventually, both groups fell apart.
When the 1998 film There’s Something About Mary used Build Me Up Buttercup on its soundtrack, Colin reformed yet another group of Foundations to tour with.
Lung cancer took Clem from us in 2017.
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