The 21st Century were yet another Kiddie Soul group out of the Chicago area (not unlike The Jackson 5, The Eight Minutes, Cindy & the Playmates, The Five Stairsteps, Pat & Pam, and The Brighter Side of Darkness). Many of these groups are detailed further here.
The group hailed from the West Side and were signed to RCA purportedly based on selling some 250,000 units of their 1975 single “Remember the Rain” in Chicago alone with no formal distribution. An album, titled “Ahead of our Time” followed, mostly produced by the mastermind behind that first single, Michael Smith.
Below, the classically moody “Remember the Rain”, which starts out with the prepubescent lead vocalist lamenting:
“We used to play out in the rain,
Your mother scolded us
She said that we were bad.
(she said that we were bad)
I thought I’d better go on home…
you watched till I was gone
Ooh Girl, you looked so sad.
I picked you up when you fell and cut your knee
I told you not to cry and held you close to me….
Interestingly enough, a 17 year old named David Leathers, Jr. auditioned for American Idol with the song. He went on to make it on to the show.
Another cut off the album is “Tricks are Made For Kids”, which has sort of a “Dancing Machine”-era Jackson 5 sound to it.
It’s as much a funky dance record as “Remember the Rain” is a Blue Light Slow Jam. Enjoy and Jive on.