Saturday, September 1, 2012

Freeez

Freeez was a dance music group from London, England whose members consisted of singer\guitarist John Rocca, keyboardist Andy Stennet, bassist Peter Mass, and drummer Paul Morgan.
The group's first single, "Keep in Touch" was released in 1980. The song featured Incognito band member, guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick. The song peaked at #49 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for 3 weeks.
In 1981, Freeez released their debut album, "Southern Freeez" which peaked at #17 on the U.K. Albums chart.
The title song became a Top 10 hit in the U.K., peaking at #8 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. The song featured guest vocals by singer Ingrid Mansfield Allman.
The follow-up single from the album, "Flying High" peaked at #35 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 5 weeks.
In 1983, Freeez released their sophomore album, "Gonna Get You" peaked at #46 on the U.K. Albums chart. In the United States, the album was released on Streetwise Records under the name "I.O.U." It's unknown how or if it charted there. The album was produced by freestyle musician\DJ Arthur Baker.
The first single from the album, "I.O.U." became a hit, peaking at #2 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

In the U.S., the song peaked at #104 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, #13 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in July of 1983, staying on the chart for 15 weeks, and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, becoming their only hit song in America. The song was featured in the 1984 movie, "Beat Street."
The follow-up single, "Pop Goes My Love" peaked at #26 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for 6 weeks. In the U.S., the song peaked at #5 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart and #47 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in November of 1983, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Love's Gonna Get You" which peaked at #80 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 2 weeks.

In 1984, John Rocca topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart with the song, "I Want it To Be Real" for a week in May of 1984.

During that same year, Freeez reformed without John Rocca or any of the original group members, except for Peter Maas. With a new style and group, Peter worked with Louis Smith, who was the keyboardist, co-writer, and programmer & Billy Crichton, who was also a songwriter and guitarist.
In 1985, Freeez released their last album to date, "Idle Vice" which was recorded at Studio #2 at the Abbey Road Studios in the same room where the Beatles recorded their music. The album flopped as well as the single, "That Beats My Patience."
In 1987, a remixed version of "I.O.U." peaked at #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart and #37 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. In the U.K., the song peaked at #23 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for 6 weeks.
A remixed version of "Southern Freeez" was also released and managed to peak at #63 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 3 weeks. After that, it seemed as if Freeez had faded into obscurity.

Paul Smith later became a session keyboard player and toured with the band, The Escape Club. He also recorded as one half of Bass Kruncher with Escape Club guitarist, John Holliday.

John Rocca and Andy Stennet recorded music under the names "Pictures" and "Pink Rhythm" during 1985. In 1987, John released his solo album, "Extra Extra."

In 1993-94, Peter Maas and Paul Morgan reformed as the Dazzling Urbanites, but didn't achieve the same success as Freeez did.

By 1993, John Rocca had retired from the music business. His last recording under the name "Midi Rain," he topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart with the album, "Shine." It's unknown what the former members of Freeez are up to today.

To see a fan-made video for "Keep in Touch," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONRmz62A0OU

To see the music video for "Southern Freeez," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byDRYI86cck

To see a fan-made video for "Flying High," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-MX16v389g

To see the music video for "I.O.U.," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ-1DYwaxrE

To see the music video for "Pop Goes My Love," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liyfKAId2A0

To see the music video for "Love's Gonna Get You," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO0MNKtRXy8

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