The Real Thing are a British Soul group from Liverpool, formed in 1970.
The group comprised of:
Christopher Charles Amoo (b. 14th October 1952, Liverpool, England, U.K.)
Edward Robert Amoo (b. 5th May 1950, Liverpool, England, U.K.)
David Smith (b. 6th July 1952)
Ray Lake (b. 11th February 1946, Liverpool, England, U.K.)
Formed in 1970, the Real Thing, for the previous decade, went under the name of the Chants (not to be confused with another group of U.S. singers performing at this time).
The Chants released several singles in the Sixties, along with one single, in 1976, whilst the group were performing under the name of the Real Thing.
The Chants recorded for the Pye, Chipping Norton, Fontana, Page One, Decca, RCA and Fresh Air imprints between 1963 and 1976.
Brothers Chris and Eddie Amoo performed as part of the Real Thing, whilst Eddie Amoo, along with Joe Ankrah, performed as part of the Chants.
The Chants singles included ‘I Don't Care’ b/w ‘Come Go With Me’ (Cameo Records 1963), ‘I Could Write A Book’ b/w ‘A Thousand Stars’ (Pye 45 1965 - featured in the film ‘Pal Joey’) ’Directly From England’ (Fontana EP 1967), ‘A Lover's Story’ b/w ‘Wearing A Smile’ (Decca 1967), ‘Baby I Don't Need Your Love’ b/w ‘A Man Without A Face’ (RCA Victor 1968) and ‘Ive Been Trying’ b/w ‘Lucky Old Me’ (Chipping Norton 1976).
At the end of the Sixties, Chris Amoo, Dave Smith, Kenny Davis and Ray Lake all began performing as the Real Thing.
The begin with, The Real Thing performed cover versions of American hits, which brought the group to the attention of EMI Records, who signed the group to their label.
Early 45’s included ‘Plastic Man’ b/w ‘Check It Out’ (in 1973), ‘Daddy Dear’ b/w ‘Sun Gold’ (in 1974), and two final singles under the name of the Chants, namely 'Love Is A Playground' b/w 'Sophisticated Junkyard' (in 1974) and 'I've Been Trying' b/w 'Lucky Old Me (in 1976).
Kenny Davis departed this group during this period, after which, the Real Thing appeared on the ITV talent show ’Opportunity Knocks’.
As a result of this appearance, the group departed EMI and hooked up with the performer David Essex, who landed the group a deal with Pye Records.
The Real Thing went on tour with David Essex, and performed on some minor recordings with the artist.
Chris Amoo’s brother, Eddie, joined the group, and the Amoo Brothers looked to the songwriting team of Ken Gold and Mick Denne, who penned the song ‘You To Me Are Everything’ for the group.
the real thing on top of the pops - 1976
The song became a huge hit, reaching number 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart, number 28 on Billboard's R&B Singles Chart and number 64 on Billboard's Hot 100.
They followed up the single with song recorded with a similar vibe, entitled ‘Can't Get By Without You’, which reached number 2 on the U.K. national chart.
the real thing - 1976 / 4 from 8 - 1977 / step into our world - 1978 / saints or sinners? - 1979
In 1976, they released their first album, ‘Real Thing’.
As well as the two hit singles, the album featured the popular ballad ‘You'll Never Know What You're Missing’, released as a single, which reached number 6 in the charts.
In 1977, they released the album ‘Four from Eight’, which was controversially bretitled by Pye Records, from it’s original title ‘Liverpool 8’ (a poor neighbourhood in the area of Liverpool where the groups roots began).
The album featured the hugely popular 'Children Of The Ghetto' (covered by Philip Bailey and Courtney Pine), and the 'Liverpool 8 Medley'.
In 1978, they released ‘Step Into our World’, which featured the Earth, Wind and Fire influenced title track,, as well as a future hit in the form of ‘Can You Feel The Force’.
The dancer became hugely successful, and the album was repackaged and re-titled
‘Can You Feel The Force’, in 1979.
The Real Thing remained hugely popular in the U.K., releasing the singles ‘Love's Such a Wonderful Thing’ (reaching number 33 in 1977), ‘Whenever You Want My Love’ (reaching number 18 in 1978), ‘Let's Go Disco’ (reaching number 39 in 1978) and ‘Rainin' Through My Sunshine’ (reaching number 40 in 1978).
‘Can You Feel the Force?’ and ‘Boogie Down (Get Funky Now)’ reached number 5 and number 33, respectively in 1979.
In 1980, the group released ‘She's a Groovy Freak’ (charting at number 52).
The same year a ‘Greatest Hits’ album was released, before they returned to working with David Essex, two years later.
backgrounds for david essex in 1982
They performed background vocals for David’s 1982 top 20 hit 'Me And my Girl (Nightclubbing)' (appearing with the singer on Top Of The Pops).
By this time, the group had departed the Pye imprint, and had signed to Calibre Records.
love takes tears - 1982 / straight to the heart - 1986
In 1982, the group released the Johnny Bristol penned ‘Love Takes Tears’ b/w ‘Going For The Big One’.
The same year, Chris and Eddie Amoo produced the first single for the group Loose End (later Loose Ends), for the song ‘In The Sky’ b/w ‘Only A Day Away’.
In 1986, the Real Thing’s Seventies sides were released as part of a remix package, including ‘You to Me Are Everything (the Decade Remix)’, which charted twice that year.
‘Can't Get By Without You (the Second Decade Remix)’ reached number 6, whilst ‘Can You Feel the Force ('86 Remix)’ reached number 24.
The Real Thing’s Eighties output, saw them release material on several labels including Calibre, Catawaba, RCA, BR Music, PRT and Jive Records.
Several Greatest Hits and Best Of albums have been released in recent years, whilst the group continue to perform live at various venues in the U.K. and Europe.
The Real Thing (Pye Records 1976)
4 From 8 (Pye Records 1977)
Step Into Our World (Pye Records 1978)
Can You Feel The Force (Pye Records 1979)
100 Minutes (Pye Records 1982)
Perfect Match (Norway Music Records 1996)
The Real Thing Live (Waxworks Records 1998)