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Magnum Force

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Chicago group Magnum Force, best known for the steppers' classic "Share My Love" and the house classic "Cool Out," has been around since 1982. Originally known as Seville, the group had a reputation for giving exciting live shows. The original lineup for Magnum Force were brothers Rick and Rory Sizemore and Nate Williams. The brothers handled bass and keyboards, Williams the lead vocals, and all three contributed background vocals. Like most soul groups, the roots of Magnum Force can be traced back to the church. The Sizemores were playing in a band backing a gospel choir that included Williams. Two years later, Magnum Force had expanded to a seven-piece band including a horn section that reflected their contemporaries at the time, Cameo and Chicago-born Earth, Wind and Fire. Encouraged by their friends, fans, and family, the group decided to go into the recording studio to lay down some tracks. Having written some original songs, Magnum Force went in with no previous studio experience and came out with three song demos. One of those demos was a tune written by Rick and Rory, "Share My Love." Shopping their demos, they ran into the inevitable rejections until one day a family friend got them in contact with Chi-Lites producer Carl Davis. Released on Davis' Chi-Sound Records subsidiary label Kelli-Arts, "Share My Love" sold over 40,000 copies in the Chicagoland area, received airplay in other markets, and charted nationally. In 1984, the group started their own record company, Now Sound Records, and released "Say I Do," selling over 10,000 locally. The following year, Magnum Force plugged into the then up-and-coming Chicago-born house music style, giving them their biggest selling record to date. "Cool Out," released on Jewel Records' subsidiary label Paula, sold close to 200,000 copies and received airplay in such key markets as Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Detroit, and parts of Europe, earning them a number 72 R&B national hit in early 1985. The "Cool Out" video was selected as one of the Top Ten videos in Chicago and broadcast on TV's Rock on Chicago. A Cool Out LP was released to capitalize on the hit. The flipside "Get It in the Mix" got some clubplay too. Another 12" single, "Tight Jeans," was both a local and U.K. hit. In 1987, the Share My Love album was licensed for U.K. release by Virgin Records. There was a period of inactivity for the group brought out by contractual problems; the brothers blamed their youth for their lack of knowledge regarding the business side of the music business. Later, the group hooked up with businessman Robert Terrell. In 1991, they released the creamy ballad "Say Goodbye" on their CMC Records label. Like "Share My Love," "Say Goodbye" was a lush mid-tempo ballad that floated along atop soft electronic percussion, wrapping around the listener like an aural waterbed. Add to this a deep Barry White-in-the-basement spoken intro and soulful lead and background vocals, and you've got music that's perfect to listen to in a horizontal position, hopefully with that special someone in close contact. On the flipside was "Want You So Bad," a mellow upbeat groove that combines smooth vocal harmonies and hip-hop beats balanced by warm string synth pads. Other releases by the group include "Unlucky Punk" and "Magnum Force" b/w "Bring Me Down." ~ Ed Hogan

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Chicago, IL

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