Friday, July 25, 2008

Club Nouveau

Club Nouveau (which is French for "New Club") is an R&B\pop band from Sacramento, California that was formed by producer/artist Jay King in 1986 after the breakup of his previous music project, the Timex Social Club.

The band consisted of Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, Samuelle Prater, and Valerie Watson.
In 1986, the band released their debut album, "Life, Love, and Pain" on Warner Bros. Records, which peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Jealousy" peaked at #38 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #12 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #8 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #80 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The second single, "Situation #9" peaked at #36 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #4 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.
The third single from the album, a cover version of Bill Withers' song, "Lean on Me" became a hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks in March of 1987, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for a week in April of 1987, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #2 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

In the U.K., the song peaked at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart. The song won a Grammy in 1987 for "Best R&B Song."
The fourth single, "Why You Treat Me So Bad" peaked at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, #22 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #14 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #2 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

The song has been sampled by various artists such as Luniz, Puff Daddy, Ashanti, Jennifer Lopez, and Jessica Simpson.
The last single from the album, "Heavy on My Mind" peaked at #42 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.

After the release of Club Nouveau's first album, Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy left the band to form their own production team & focused on working with other artists.

Samuelle eventually left the band as well to pursue his solo career. David Agent and Kevin Irving came to the band as replacements.
In 1988, Club Nouveau released their sophomore album, "Listen to the Message" which peaked at #98 on the Billboard 200 and #44 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The album didn't reach the same success as their debut album.
The only single from the album to chart was "It's a Cold, Cold World!" which peaked at #34 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 9 weeks. By 1989, David Agent left the band.
During that same year, Club Nouveau released their third album, "Under A Nouveau Groove" which peaked at #39 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. Once again, the album failed to generate enough success.
The only single to chart was "No Friend of Mine" which peaked at #12 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
In 1992, Club Nouveau released their fourth album, "A New Beginning" which peaked at #80 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. The album again failed to make any impact on the charts.
The only single from the album to chart was "Oh Happy Day" which peaked at #45 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 8 weeks.
In 1995, Club Nouveau released their last studio album to date, "Everything is Black" which flopped, failing to make the charts at all. After that, it seemed as if the band faded into obscurity.

Foster & McElroy continued to produce music and they recorded music under the name "FMob."

While working on their debut album in 1989, they made plans to put together a girl group that would be a modern-day version of the Supremes and produce records for the group that mixed classic soul-style vocals with hip-hop beats.

After several auditions, Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson & Terry Ellis were chosen by the duo to become the members of En Vogue, who has become one of the most successful girl groups of all time.

These days, Jay King has various Internet radio shows that air on his Jay King Network. He also manages artists such as Karyn White, Larry Dunn, and Darius McCrary.

In 2008, he released his solo album, "Open Book" which is available on iTunes. In 2004, Valerie Watson released her solo album, "Urbal."

As of 2011, the current lineup of Club Nouveau consists of Jay King, Valerie Watson (now Valerie Watson English), Samuelle Prater (who also provides vocals for Timex Social Club), and James L. Richard II.

These days, Club Nouveau continues to perform and as of 2012, they are getting ready to record new music material.

To see Club Nouveau's official Facebook page, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Club-Nouveau/158803177486765

To see the music video for "Jealousy," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EAEL7f5nzE

To see the music video for "Situation #9," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzbEBkHqT14

To see the music video for "Lean on Me," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzH_rJjGMOA

To see the music video for "Why You Treat Me So Bad," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cdt1DWmetQ

To see a fan-made video for "Heavy On My Mind," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Ah0pPU5_I

To see a fan-made video for "It's a Cold, Cold World!," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZegrO0ObwY

To see the music video for "No Friend of Mine," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4j3GawM1Vs

To see the music video for "Oh Happy Day," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6nE2Jgnt_Q



[updated on 02/27/13]

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