This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Club Classics Vol. One

Soul II Soul

1989

Club Classics Vol. One
Album Summary

Club Classics Vol. One (USA title: Keep On Movin') is the debut album by the British group Soul II Soul. Released in 1989, the album featured the group's hit singles "Keep on Movin'" and "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)", the latter of which was a UK number-one hit and the fifth best-selling single in the UK that year. The album also reached number one and was certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 900,000 copies.In the United States, the album reached the Top 20. The single "Back to Life" was also a Top 10 hit in the US and was certified Platinum. It found stronger success with R&B music listeners in the US, as the album went to No. 1 on the Top R&B Albums chart, and the title track and "Back to Life" were number-one R&B hit singles.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.83

Votes

10794
Genres
Soul
Hip Hop
Electronica

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Tue Oct 20 2020
2

Sounds like what I would hear in a hotel lobby

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 05 2021
3

Like the female vocals. When the dude starts singing on the third track I had the urge to skip but held on. The general sound is fairly nostalgic for me. Goes down easy but not my favorite.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 18 2021
2

I’m a little upset by this album. I have very few 1 star albums, and almost this whole work was so dreadfully boring that I thought I’d finally found another super-dud. But then Back to Life just had to go and be a bop, so this album earns its second star.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 20 2021
1

"Club Classics Vol. 1" is the Fruity Pebbles of music. It's technically breakfast but is utterly devoid of nutritional value. It's just bright colors and empty calories. Soul II Soul managed to put out an album that's technically music but utterly devoid of musical value. It's just bright colors and empty lyrics.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 22 2021
4

so far it's pretty good. I can see this is an influential album. There are several songs I recognized and several beats that I can tell have been sampled by some of my favorite artists years down the line. This is a cool record.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 10 2021
1

I thought clubs in the 80s were going to be way more exciting with how much Cocaine they were doing. Apparently I was wrong, they listened to slow elevator music. I guess the only way they could dance to this was with stimulants.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 28 2021
5

Memories of being in the dance clubs come flooding back!

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 15 2023
5

This album certainly brought me back to life!

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 26 2020
4

Production is very clean and sounds like it could have been produced today. Tends to blend together pleasantly, and the vocals are really beautiful! "Back to Life" was a huge hit for a reason - it's hypnotizing, catchy, and very well produced. Overall early house music isn't much to my taste, but I understand why it was so popular and innovative for its time. 4/5.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 07 2022
4

The best part of doing this is dicovering artists from my younger days that I woud never have given a chance then are actually worthy of my time. This is just such an example. Some great, funky soul here along with some seeds of trip hop. I am reminded often of Massive Attack (is the female singer the same as on Safe From Harm or other MA classics?) A really enjoyable listen this album was. I was only familiar with one song but found the whole album quite engaging. 4 stars

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 01 2024
2

Not devoid of charms, but mostly bland. Really shows its age. Could only be from 92-95.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 16 2021
1

It's dreadful and I hate it. Without the singles, it's a 1. Some songs sound like sung by drunk uncle, self-congratulatory throughout. Lame beats. Awful lyrics. Bad.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 16 2021
1

1*. Hated it. Smug, lazy raps, all about themselves. Really weak production. Getting drunk uncles to sing is not a vibe. Bad. 'Back to Life' is a belter though.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 01 2021
5

very groovy and very nice sounding!

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Actually a very approachable album.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 08 2023
5

Title says the truth, classics are here

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 15 2023
5

Okay I kind of loved this more than I thought I would?! Super fun!

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 29 2023
5

Maybe I should recuse myself, since I have many fond memories of my co-judge and I arriving in Toronto in ’89, going to restaurants, clubs, bars and record stores and hearing this all the time. It was the sort of thing I would have never listened to a couple of years earlier. It’s a very urban sound, smoove soul with hints of reggae and African rhythms. Caron Wheeler is dynamite and Jazzy B is a great songwriter and producer, but I’m not as smitten when he grabs the microphone. Between a 4 and a 5 for me.

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 02 2023
5

Transported immediately back to late 80s/early 90s. This is a certified banger for anyone who loves jazz, dance, and Living Single.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 11 2024
5

Absolutely incredible. Groovy, funky, endlessly sampleable. Love the interplay between the vocals and breaks, the tension created in "Back to Life" is immense, but fully satisfied by the drums when they come in. I was surprised how album-ey it was despite the title suggesting it was a compilation. The production / mastering is consistent throughout, and the songs flow perfectly into each other (they even avoided those common mp3 tails to preserve the beat). I only wish the additional tracks at the end were included in a separate release. But that would have been a waste back when this was released, and more expensive vs today with streaming. Gonna come back to this one for sure.

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 15 2024
5

First off, Nellee Hooper is a cheat code of a producer. Everything I've listened to that he had his hands on sounds absolutely gorgeous. Second off this is the most appropriate album title I've ever seen. Every song is a club classic, the Back to Life into Jazzie's Groove alone makes this 5 stars, and that's probably the weakest part of the album. It's that good

👍
View Author
Mon May 03 2021
4

Some bloat but a really great album. Jazzie B acting as the master of ceremonies conducting his hip-hop, jazz, soul leaning in whichever way he sees fit.

👍
View Author
Tue May 18 2021
4

Seminal dance music album that melded soul and R&B with house and reggae. It's legacy and influence is such that it still sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 11 2021
4

I have not listened to these guys in ages. Great combo of simple beats and electric vocals. The lyrics are simple and unspectacular, but the solos and harmonies are infectious. Well, at least when the women (Caron, Rose, Do'Reen) are the focal point (less enamored when the men are front and center). Both the band and album are so appropriately named - funky soul and you could fill up a night at a club playing these tracks. Everybody knows Keep on Movin and Back to Life (a definite classic) but spend some time with Feel Free, Fairplay, Happiness or African Dance.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 22 2021
4

A record that I own, but don't spin nearly as much as I should. Smooth, funky, and beautifully orchestrated. Caron Wheeler's vocals (unsurprisingly on the big singles) are a real stand out. String arrangements are lush and sophisticated. This really is a precursor of Massive Attack a few years later, although perhaps with a little less grit and less depressive/gloomy. I really enjoyed listening to this. If this had been made even two years later, it would have been based on grainy loops rather than drum machines, but this really is an album a few years ahead of its time.

👍
View Author
Wed Aug 09 2023
4

Late 80s R&B is a place I really haven't spent any time; I'll do my best to keep an open mind. Album opens with Keep On Movin', which is R&B on the groovier side of the spectrum. Complete with sterilized electronic drum beat and simple bass line. Instrumental is flourished with some piano meandering and sweeping strings ebbing and flowing behind the vocals. Sounds like something I would hear in a hair salon if I had hair to warrant the experience. Fairplay is a substantially more interesting song. The backing bassline walks throughout, referencing the same progression but modulating to keep things interesting. It along with a tight drum beat propel the track with some soulful vocals. Favorite song so far. Three songs in, three very different sounds. I'm into the variety. Holdin' On is driven by a more classic drum and bass high-hat beat with some disco-like elements. Not a great song, but its not bad either. Feeling Free finds Soul II Soul in hip-hop territory with an instrumental of drums and scratching with backing horns. Surprisingly effective, like proto-ATCQ jazz-rap. African Dance is an instrumental dance track putting the yazz-flute front and center. Great energy with an improv feel. Particularly enjoy the mixing effects thrown in around the 3 minute mark that send the backing rhythm through an inverter of sorts. Dance gives over to the exact same backing rhythm sans flute soloing. In place of the flute we instead find spoken-word vocals. Unsure why they decided to do this. Surely 6 minutes of jazzy instrumental dance were good enough that we did not need 4 additional? Feel Free jams right out of the gate with a sick double-bass drum line and some tight string accompaniment. Song also features a damned fat bassline, which I'm admittedly a sucker for. Second favorite song thus far. Happiness is a fine enough jam that I found myself bobbing along to. I could easily see this embedded in a DJ set to keep the crowd moving in transition. I've only heard the remix of Back To Life. The A Capella arrangement that forms the first 3 minutes of the song are damned impressive on a technical front -- credit where it is due. Hands over to a hip-hop beat that then bleeds seamlessly into the original album closer Jazzie's Groove. And what a groove it is. Stopping my review here because it is where the original album ends. I will say that I am thoroughly surprised by this album. It jams front to back and is filled to the brim with different styles, textures, and personnel. Standouts from my memory are Fairplay, Feel Free, African Dance, and Jazzie's Groove. I also do love the remix of Back To Life that is included in the 10th anniversary edition; classic jam. This is nearing a 5 IMO, but is held back by a few questionable choices. Strong 4 / 5.

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 29 2021
3

Pretty average. The man's voice kept sounding like Monster Mash which threw me

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 24 2021
2

Some good songs, Back to Life and Jazzie's Groove were bangers. Other tracks were filler to me. Rapping with a heavy London accent has always seemed a little off to my American ears; nothing wrong with it, just not what I'm used to. Decent album, but definitely a product of its time and it hasn't aged well in my opinion. 2.5/5.

👍
View Author
Thu May 27 2021
2

Pretty much sounded like a typical 80s/90s club album to me. Nothing special.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 29 2021
2

Another album strengthening my argument that this list is way to Anglocentric. That being said, while this album is incredibly dated, it has a certain simple charm as an early 90s dance/r&b hybrid sort of thing. Generally inoffensive and fairly pleasant but it gets old fast.

👍
View Author
Wed May 25 2022
2

more like "90s dance tutorial background music" classics

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 18 2024
2

Hard to give an album a high score when so many of the songs are remixes of each other. Otherwise, not my favorite club hits from the 90s but some of the tracks are classic and full of nostalgia.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 23 2020
5

Very groovy, reminds me of GTA SA for some reason.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Soul muy animado. Un megahit.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 06 2023
5

Soul muy animado. Un megahit. Vinilo.

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 05 2023
5

Que álbum sensacional! Vontade de ouvir o dia todo ahahaha

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 06 2024
5

This is like KAYTRANADA before KAYTRANADA existed. "Back to Life" will always be a banger. The whole album is seamless.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 22 2024
5

Balancing out the one because they had one really sick song

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 29 2024
5

Absolutely outstanding 11/10. Every song was so unique and incredible to listen to.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 03 2021
4

этот альбом - очень хороший пример клубной музыки, который в свое время создал немало шума, причем не на пустом месте. минималистичный бит драм-машин заставляет самопроизвольно качать головой, фанковые сэмплы добавляют мелодичности, а вокал, клавиши и бас заканчивают микс изумительным, во многом соуловым грувом, что вместе заставит резвиться в танце даже самого заплесневелого задрота. в итоге мы получаем совершенно нестыдный, культовый и влиятельный хаус презент, треки которого даже спустя 30 лет без презрения окружающих можно ставить и на домашних вечеринках, и в больших клубах.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 03 2021
4

It's 9/10, beatiful vocal and instrumental, but it's not masterpiece

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Production: 13/20 Songwriting: 9/20 Innovation: 11/20 Bangers: 15/20 Emotional response: 15/20 =63 Banging

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Très bon album de funk, les chansons instrumentales sont incroyables!

👍
View Author
Mon May 24 2021
4

If there's an album that defines 1989 musically, this is it.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Nothing remarkable, but overall it was enjoyable to listen to, found myself nodding my head, tapping my foot, and enjoying it in the background. Great vocals and production.

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 24 2021
4

Some really great stuff here, but it’s too repetitive

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 13 2021
4

Great rhythms and beats throughout. Nice vocals, some interesting lyrics. Holdin on, keep on movin, happiness, jazzies groove

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Liked It not my usual listen

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 29 2021
4

I like the beats, and would listen to it again. 8/10

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Back to life and Jazzie's groove were my favorite tracks

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 28 2021
4

Very influential, on a wide variety of bands and singers. Must have seemed like it was from the future, cos it doesn't sound dated at all!

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Absolute classic in back 2 life, rest so so

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 30 2022
4

A fine definition of British 90s cross over dance music . Enjoyed the nostalgia and positive vibes .

👍
View Author
Wed May 04 2022
4

I really enjoyed this! Super fun, funky jams

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Hell yeah. This was great. Lots of great sampling.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 20 2022
4

The first great British album of the 1990s. (Yes, I know that it came out in 89. But rave changed everything, innit?)

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Nice soul music, I Recognized a sample on Kanye’s Jesus walks album.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Un album injustement décrié par la communauté d'idiots que vous formez et dont eltrapeze semble être le chef.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 05 2022
4

Listened Before? N I believe this could have been one of the greatest albums of the late 80's/early 90's dance wave... had there been more material on it. There's 3 versions of every song it seems. I understand that that's probably what they were going for but it gets old by the 4th rendition of "However do you Want Me". Added to Library? N Songs added to playlist: One of the "However do you Want Me's?"

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Nice vibe but not something I’d listen to again

👍
View Author
Tue Nov 22 2022
4

A milestone of an album, including one of the dance anthems of the late 80s. Keep on Moving is brilliant and still sounds great, and there are other good tracks such as Fairplay, Feel Free and Back to Life (the precursor to the later single). Some of the other tracks don't stack up quite so well, particularly those with a spoken Jazzy B accompaniment. Nevertheless, a landmark album.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 01 2022
4

J’aime bien ça. C’est une autre époque, mais pour la plupart, ça s’écoute encore super bien. Est-ce que ça a été une influence sur certains ? Certainnement. Est-ce que c’est bien fait ? Certainnement. Est-ce que c’était novateur ? difficile à dire.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 08 2022
4

Great album! Really enjoy this era. Just puts you in a place. Solid 4. T3B 1. Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) 2. Dance 3. Feeling Free

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Pleasant surprise seeing as I've never heard of this album before and the only track I knew was Back To Life. Really loved listening to this album

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 21 2022
4

Smoothe jams with a nice retro 80's vibe. Good background soundtrack for your next party.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 19 2023
4

I was hoping for more tbh, the overall feel is there but doesn't hit the mark I wanted. Loved Ambition though

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 08 2023
4

Soul II Soul is a rather appropriate name for this enticing collection of equally appropriately titled Club Classics. Fusing hip-hop with house, R&B and the soundsystem culture of their homeland, Soul II Soul galvanized those varying genres and came away with songs that, many years later, still defines the core outline of who they were. Favorites: Keep On Movin', Fairplay, Holdin' On, African Dance, Feel Free, Back to Life.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 10 2023
4

Jamming album! Will be in heavy rotation for the next couple weeks.

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 27 2023
4

Of its time, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That cool jazzy dance sound has endured for a reason.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 31 2023
4

"Keep on Movin'" New-Wave and The Boss! Bahahaha (jk jk, it all has it's place) Some new music up in this Club. I love that they knew that this album was going to be "Club Classics" from it's release. Front to back "Bangers" Fuck it, own it. I wanna be Euro-trash partying with this shit. Peek 90's partying and lights and dance music. This is an album that obviously is playing at Bud's smoke shop anytime you walk in.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 24 2023
4

A pleasant, well produced funky, and groovy album. The songs blend together really well. It was fun!

👍
View Author
Wed May 03 2023
4

Not quite as magical as I remember, but still a belter with a couple of stand out tracks.

👍
View Author
Fri May 12 2023
4

I expected to not like this one. I was wrong. Great and varied sound. Really happy I gave this a proper listen.

👍
View Author
Sat May 20 2023
4

So SAULT has clear antecedent. Reductive, sure: There's plenty more disco flair here, most evident in the female vocals establishing the record. It's the contrast with that beginning which suggests the real strength of the club classics: The live recording and other vocals switch the sound up, but leave the (rather low-fidelity) production, but maintain flow. Thus, the record is dated by quirks but presents a complete package. With a little bit of everything, it helps if you like dub.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 01 2023
4

Oh yass, I'd have shook my booty to this in the 80's.

👍
View Author
Sat Jul 15 2023
4

massa o soulzao (sonzao), bem agradável pra se curtir

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 17 2023
4

It's 1991 and we ride to the Blue Elephant in a noisy Bajaj all the way down Galle Road. The man at the door looks doubtful-- we're 13, but after presenting our diplomatic ID's and a little coaxing from a local friend on the inside, we are in with big Lion Lagers and hitting the floor. Soul II Soul is on and the party is bumping and we are dancing close in the room with the AC blasting. Objectively, it's not the greatest album of all times, but we were rocked by it and it has a place inside me.

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 01 2023
4

Very influential, on a wide variety of bands and singers. Must have seemed like it was from the future, cos it doesn't sound dated at all! 4 ⭐

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 01 2023
4

I forgot how much I used to like this. This was very much my thing in the late 80s. Soulful electronic house. Good stuff.

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 09 2023
4

I was expecting basic simple 80s dance music. I was blown away by this album. It was very good.

👍
Load more reviews