Monday, April 8, 2013

The Fondations--Baby, Now That I Found You (1967)/Build Me Up Buttercup (1968)

     The Foundations had an all too brief run on the charts between 1967 and 69, but their influence went beyond what would be expect of a 60's singles band. Part of this was due to the background of the band. The members were from the West Indies, Britain, and Sri Lanka and the instrumental make up of the group were informed much more by Motown than anything on the UK scene.
     The band came together in early 1967 as they practiced, performed, and lived (for a while) at the Butterfly Club in London. After being signed to a contract, the single, "Baby, Now That I Found You" was released and went nowhere. Fortunately for the band, BBC had just started BBC 1 radio which was to play more modern hits. The station was attempting to avoid playing the same songs that was being played on pirate radio offshore, and would look over station playlists to find records that might have been missed. "Baby, Now That I Found You" was one of those, so with the song going into heavy rotation on the BBC, it pushed the single to the number 1 spot in the UK and number 11 in the US top 40.
     The band released a couple of other hits that did reasonably well in the UK, but in 1968, their lead singer, Clem Curtis left for a solo career. He stuck around long enough to help find his replacement, Colin Young, also from the West Indies. With Young singing lead, the group recorded, "Build Me Up Buttercup" later that year which reach the #2 spot in Britain and became their biggest hit in American, soaring up to #3.
     After "Buttercup", the band had a couple more minor offerings before breaking up in 1970. Curtis returned to the UK in 71 and put together a reformed version of the band up to the end of that decade. Today guitarist Alan Warner has a version of The Foundations which can be found here: Clem Curtis and his version of the band can be found here:

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