Top of Free Internet Radio content area

The Foundations

The Foundations split in 1970, and by the middle of the decade that followed, Curtis revived the band -- but so had Young, and both outfits were called the Foundations. A lawsuit resulted in Curtis getting the rights to the original name, while Young was allowed to use the New Foundations. The group remains fondly remembered, if not often written about, in England, and it achieved some fresh international recognition in 1998 when "Build Me Up Buttercup" appeared prominently in the hit movie There's Something About Mary. Curtis continues to perform in a revived version of the group, and he and Warner have recorded new versions of the Foundations' classic numbers. Various versions of the Foundations continued to tour into the first decade of the 21st century, including Curtis as Clem Curtis & the Foundations and Warner as Alan Warner's Foundations.


The Foundations drew much interest and intrigue due to the size and structure of the group. Not only was there a diverse ethnic mix in the group, but there was also diversity in ages and musical backgrounds. The oldest member of the group was Mike Elliott, who was 38 years old. The youngest was Tim Harris, who, at 18, was barely out of school. The West Indian horn section, which consisted of Jamaican-born Mike Elliott and Pat Burke, both saxophonists and Dominican-born Eric Allandale on trombone. They were all highly experienced musicians who came from professional jazz and rock-and-roll backgrounds. Mike Elliott had played in various jazz and rock and roll bands including Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, the Cabin Boys (led by Tommy Steele's brother, Colin Hicks), and others. Pat Burke, a professional musician, was from the London Music Conservatorium. Eric Allandale had led his own band at one stage as well as having played with Edmundo Ros and being a former member of the Terry Lightfoot and Alex Walsh bands. Alan Warner was the guitarist. Bassist Peter Macbeth was a former teacher. Tony Gomez, the keyboard player, was a former clerk, while Clem Curtis had been an interior decorator and professional boxer.

The story of the origins of the Foundations can be somewhat surprising and a bit confusing as to who was responsible for choosing the band's name, and various sources give slightly different accounts of their beginnings. One version is that they were originally called The Ramong Sound, or The Ramongs, and there were two lead singers, Clem Curtis and Raymond Morrison aka Ramong Morrison. When Raymond was imprisoned for six months a friend of the band suggested Psychedelic shock rocker Arthur Brown.

The Foundations actually did come together in Bayswater, London in January 1967. They practiced and played in a basement club called the Butterfly Club, which they ran. While managing the club themselves, they played music nightly, and handled the cooking and cleaning. They would get to bed around 6 or 7 a.m., sleep until 4 p.m., get up and begin again to get ready to open at 8 p.m. Sometimes they barely made enough money to pay the rent, let alone feed themselves. At times, they lived off the leftovers and a couple of pounds of rice.

The Foundations were a British soul band, active from 1967 to 1970. The group, made up of West Indians, White British, and a Sri Lankan, are best known for their two biggest hits, "Baby Now That I've Found You" (a Number One hit in the UK Singles Chart and Canada, and subsequently Top 10 in the U.S.) and written by Tony Macaulay and John MacLeod; and "Build Me Up Buttercup" (a chart topper in the Billboard Hot 100) and #1 in Canada co-written by Macaulay with Mike d'Abo, at the time the lead vocalist with Manfred Mann. The group was the first multi-racial group to have a number 1 hit in the UK in the 1960s.
The Foundations are notable for being one of the few label acts to successfully imitate what became known as the Motown Sound. In terms of line-up and musical style, they anticipated the sound of the more successful Hot Chocolate. Although they were in a similar musical vein to the Love Affair who also topped the UK charts in 1968 with their version of Robert Knight's "Everlasting Love". The Foundations signed to Pye, at the time one of only four big UK record companies (the others being EMI with its HMV, Columbia Records, and Parlophone labels; Decca; and Philips who also owned Fontana).

 

50s, 60s Hits

Build Me Up Buttercup

Members of this Group


Goldenboy

EuroGirl


mr mustang

The Bee

al8tor

YankMetGaiJet111

click67

clubuser08

Comments

There are currently no comments.
Share The Foundations! Tell your friends about The Foundations on 977music - share the joy of on-demand artist playlists!

Albums