The band was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977. The original group members included Willie "Sonny" Killebrew (saxophone), Billy Ellis (flute), Jason "T.C." Bryant (keyboards), Bruno Speight (guitar), John Simpson (bass), James Earl Jones III (drums), and Mary Davis (lead vocals, keyboards). It was originally known as Santa Monica. The band later changed its name to The S.O.S. Band, an acronym for Sounds of Success. After listening to its demo and being impressed with their sound, Tabu Records signed the group to its first recording contract.
In 1980, the group released its first hit single, "Take Your Time (Do It Right)", which was certified platinum and sold over 2 million copies. Its debut album, S.O.S., went gold and sold over 800,000 copies. Trumpeter, vocalist, and percussionist Abdul Ra'oof joined the band while it was on a world tour.
In 1983, the band joined forces with then-new production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who went on to craft a string of R&B hits for the group, which included "Just Be Good to Me," "High Hopes," "Tell Me If You Still Care," "Borrowed Love," "No One's Gonna Love You," "Just the Way You Like It," and "The Finest."
The Jam-Lewis-produced S.O.S. Band hits are notable for popularizing the use of the Roland TR-808 drum machine (and its distinctive cowbell sound) in popular music. The group continues to tour and perform to this day.
The song "Just Be Good to Me" was covered in 1990 by Beats International (aka Norman Cook or Fatboy Slim); the resultant song made its way to UK number one single as "Dub Be Good to Me." The song was reworked with the bass line of The Clash's "Guns of Brixton." It was also covered by Shayne Ward on his 2007 album, Breathless. The song "Tell Me If You Still Care" was covered in 1995 by fellow Atlanta native Monica on her debut album Miss Thang and sampled by Janet Jackson in her 2006 hit "Call On Me." The Bingoboys performed a cover of "Borrowed Love" as the follow-up single of its 1991 dance hit "How to Dance." In 1996 the instrumental track of "No One's Gonna Love You" was used by Maxwell on a remix of his hit "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" aptly retitled "Ascension (No One's Gonna Love You, So Don't Ever Wonder): The Tribute."
Lead vocalist Mary Davis left the group in 1987 to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by Chandra Currelley beginning with the band's 1989 Diamonds in the Raw album. More recently, Currelley has been active as an actress and vocalist in Tyler Perry plays and films. When Davis’s solo career was not as successful as she hoped, she reunited with the band in 1994.
The SOS Band is an American musical ensemble, founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1977.
Originally known as Santa Monica, the "SOS" initialism in the band's name does not stand for Save Our Souls—but for Sounds of Success.
Lead vocalist Mary Davis left the group in the late 1980s to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Chandra Currelley beginning with the band's 1989 Diamonds in the Raw album. More recently, Currelley has been active as an actress and vocalist in plays and films.
Take Your Time (Do It Right)
"Take Your Time (Do It Right)" is the first single by The S.O.S. Band. In the USA, it reached the number one spot in the Hot R&B Songs charts and number three on the pop charts during the summer of 1980.
Oh, Baby, take your time -
Come on, Baby.
Oh, Baby, take your time.
You know you ought to slow down,
You been working too hard and that's a fact.
Sit back and relax a while,
Take some time to laugh and smile.
Lay your heavy load down,
So we can stop and kick back.
It seems we never take the time to do
All the things we want to.
Now, Baby we can do it
Take the time - do it right,
We can do it, Baby -
Do it tonight.
Baby, we can do it, ...
The love I feel for you,
You feel for me.
One life is all we have to live,
One love is all we have to give.
There are so many things
For us to do and see,
Let's take some time to be alone,
Lock the door, pull out the phone.
Baby we can do it, ...