Tag Archives: Love Jones

Imaginations: good stuff!

The Imaginations were a mid-seventies Chicago-based vocal group that rose out of the ashes of Brighter Side of Darkness (best known for “Love Jones”, their story can be found here).  In 1974-1975 they put out a flurry of singles and one album, “Good Stuff”.  I originally bought the album because I had to hear “Love Jones ’75” (which didn’t disappoint) and because a number of very strong local songwriters and arrangers were involved (Maurice Commander/Jerline Shelton, Tom Tom Washington, Benjamin Wright, Clarence Johnson, etc.). The album features a bit too much filler for my taste, but some pretty fresh cuts, as well… Including this sweet, upbeat stepper, “Sweet Mona”. Jive on!

Eight Minutes: straight outta chicago’s soul cradle

The Eight Minutes were yet another family based kiddie soul group out of Chicago.  Oh yes, there were a bunch. For those just joining us, let’s recap:

There’s The Five Stairsteps: The Burke Family is of course best known for “Oooh Ooh Child”, but recorded a number of classy Chicago cuts on Curtis Mayfield‘s stable of labels in the sixties (some of which were penned by Mayfield himself)

Of Course, Gary, Indiana gave rise to The Jackson Five a few years later… The first cut was “Big Boy”, cut on Steeltown records well before Motown took notice

By the late sixties/early seventies came a slew of others, including Brighter Side of Darkness (known for “Love Jones”) and The Eight Minutes.  Phew…..

Anyway, the Eight Minutes mainly consisted of the children of two families: the Sudduths and the Goggins, plus Juwanna Glover and Carl Monroe.  They started out in the late sixties  on the Zago/Porter family of labels here in Chicago, releasing a bunch of rare, funky, danceable cuts, including: “Here’s Some Dances” and “Ain’t got Time”.  They put out a couple more singles, both related to Perception Records out of New York, who also released a very rare LP by the group, titled “American Family”.  Even though the group had a very high level of quality in their records, they never really impacted the charts, disbanding soon after the release of their only album.

Eight Minutes Discography:

Jay Pee 100 – Take My Love And Set Me Free (Part 1) / Take My Love And Set Me
Free (Part 2) – 1968
Jay Pee 125 – Oh Yes I Do / Time For A Change –
Jay Pee 130 – Will You Still Be Mine / Here’s Some Dances – 1968
Pee 200 – Take My Love, Don’t Set Me Free / Let’s Sign A Peace Treaty –
Perception 511 – Next Time He’ll Be Good / I Can’t Wait –
Perception 533 – Looking For A Brand New Game / Find One Who Loves You –

Brighter Side of Darkness: a love note.

Below, “Love Jones” by Brighter Side of Darkness, performing on Soul Train. Don’t confuse this group with the Jackson Five, as they are aren’t a family act. They were just one in a rich history of Chicago-area based Kiddie Soul groups. The nucleus of the group came from Calumet High School here in Chicago, but 12 year old Darryl Lamont was added by manager Anna Preston to give some Jacksonesque kiddie appeal. Word on the street says that two members of the group were forcibly dropped from the ensemble “for [their] reputed misbehavior” while in L.A. for the taping of the Soul Train episode excerpted below, effectively killing the star turns of the members of Brighter Side of Darkness.

A version of the group would return briefly in 1975 as “The Imaginations”, still jonesing on a cut called “Love Jones ’75” that begged, “But if you LOVE me……”   The group also resurfaced a few years later on Lennie LaCour’s Magic Touch Records under the Brighter Side of Darkness moniker for the creatively-titled Disco cash-in “Disco Ball”; but they never even inched towards the hit status of “Love Jones”.  The record was so famous, in fact, that Cheech and Chong at one point recorded a parody….called “Basketball Jones“.  Trippy as hell.