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The Real Thing biography

The Real Thing, a Liverpool based vocal group, had its origins in the Merseybeat boom of the 1960s. Eddie Amoo was a former band member of The Chants, whose beat singles gathered considerable critical acclaim, although they failed to chart. After continuing to record for various record labels, the band split.
The Real Thing were formed in 1972 by Chris Amoo, Ray Lake, Dave Smith, Kenny Davis and Edward Ankrah. They got their big break following an appearance on the Opportunity Knocks ITV talent show.

They were spotted by an ex-Radio Luxembourg DJ, Tony Hall, who played a significant part in their early career development. Even so, success was not immediate, and recording contracts they signed with a couple of major record labels came to nothing. Then, in 1975, they signed to Pye Records. Touring as backing singers with David Essex for a spell also helped to increase their profile. Davis and Ankrah dropped out and Eddie Amoo joined in 1975 as an additional vocalist.

With a song written and produced by Ken Gold and Mick Denne, The Real Thing finally emerged in 1976 when “You to Me Are Everything” sailed up to the number one slot in the UK Singles Chart. The track provided them with their only tangible success in the United States, reaching number 28 on the Black Singles chart, and number 64 on the Pop Singles equivalent.

The same song would be re-released as ‘The Decade Remix’ in 1986 and achieved a UK chart position of number three, being remixed by Froggy, Simon Harris and KC.

Apart from “You To Me Are Everything” charting in the US. Their other chart hit was “She’s a Groovy Freak” which made the US hot dance/disco singles chart in 1980 reaching No 55

This first success led to nine hits on Pye over a three year period, including “Can’t Get By Without You”, and “Can You Feel The Force”, both of which were Top 5 successes.
Their brand of commercial sweet soul music, mixed with disco influences, established their popularity with the British audience. They were the UK’s best selling black group of the late 1970s. Their first album, titled The Real Thing, contained their chart busters and previous singles. The group wanted to call their second LP ‘Liverpool 8’, the name of the racially mixed section of Liverpool (Toxteth) where they grew up with Asians, Africans, Chinese, Irish, and anyone else who could not afford more opulent surroundings.

Pye Records did not like the name, so they compromised with Four From Eight, which meant nothing to anyone outside of Britain. A switch to the Calibre record label in 1980 slowed the momentum. Subsequent material fared less well, although remixes of their first two hits charted some ten years after their original release.
In 1999 Eddie Amoo appeared in the ‘Identity Parade’, in the fifth series of the BBC Television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

The group, with three of the founder members still on board, continue to perform and record to this day. A reissue of their second album, 4 From 8, will be released on CD on Cherry Red label RPM in October.
The Real Thing’s vocalist, Chris Amoo, is also a regular on the dog show circuit. His highlight came in 1987, when his Afghan Hound, Champion Viscount Grant, was crowned Supreme Champion at Crufts. Dave Smith is a black belt in Karate.

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