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The Chimes

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Album Review

The Chimes' sole album is proof that commercial dance-pop can have artistic viability as well as chart potential. A mixture of hip influences (Soul II Soul's Jazzie B. and Nellee Hooper produced two tracks, including the meaty acid house single "1-2-3"); the polish of soul and pop veterans (Pete Wingfield plays piano on most of the album, and other guests ranging from the Hooters' Eric Bazilian to '70s studio pro Ralph Schuckett lend a hand), The Chimes is a completely solid and credible album with (thankfully) little of the overdone slickness and shrieking that pseudo-soul pretenders like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston put out. (In fact, it's possible that the low-key dignity of this album is why it wasn't a bigger chart hit, though it received rave reviews both in the U.S. and the trio's native Great Britain.) Pauline Henry's expressive but controlled voice is powerful without resorting to the tiresome trills and oversinging of so many of her R&B contemporaries, and multi-instrumentalist producers James Locke and Michael Peden combine pop, dance and soul influences into a seamless, sleekly danceable blend. The album's biggest hit, a gospel-tinged remake of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," finds new levels of power in that overplayed song, and its inclusion makes perfect thematic and musical sense instead of being the desperate plea for chart attention it might have been in less capable hands. [There is also a version that includes bonus mixes of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Heaven."]


Formed: Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

There may well have been hundreds of groups during the 1950s that used the name the Chimes. Only the quintet from Brooklyn -- Lenny Cocco (lead), Pat DePrisco (first tenor), Richard Mercado (second tenor), Joseph Croce (baritone), Pat McGuire (bass) -- ever made the charts, however, or became more than local stars. Lenny Cocco, the son of a Brooklyn accordion player, organized the group in the mid-'50s, and their first record was a vocal arrangement of the old Tommy Dorsey hit "Once in a While,"...
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The Chimes, The Chimes
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