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Friday, November 12, 2010

Voyceboxing - Voyceboxing (1991)

And here is another all-girl R&B group from the early 90s, though at the time I wondered if it was indeed all girls. I'd seen this album around when it was released, but since I'd never heard anything by them, I didn't buy it. But I was always intrigued by the cover, as one of the members looked to me like a drag queen and I wondered what kind of music this could be. Well, I finally found the album used and bought it, only to discover that it was no drag queen, but an actual woman! That woman was Tina Harris (forgive me Tina! LOL), not to be confused with the Tina Harris from previous Isle postee Sweetbox. Tina moved with her parents to Los Angeles from England. She desperately wanted to be a singer, and when she was 19 she stole the phone numbers of some music industry bigwigs from her hairdresser's phone book! She cold-called them and managed to get interest from Lenny White, a legendary drummer and producer. He helped her to hone her demo and she ended up signing an EP deal with Shenachie Records in 1985. The funky EP had the cheeky title 'I Must Not Be Kinky' (download it at the awesome Recordo Obscura blog) and while it wasn't a huge hit, it got the underground buzzing. Lenny liked her speaking voice so much that he asked her to record the lead vocal for the track "Perfect Match" by Tech & The EFFX, which appeared on the School Daze soundtrack in 1988. Tina and Lenny kept their writing partnership alive as well, and their track "Paris" was instantly snapped up by previous Isle postee Nicki Richards for her debut album. Their relationship was so fruitful that they decided to form Voyceboxing, with Lenny producing. They chose two session singers, Candy Bell and Jean McClain, to join Tina in the group. For the album they were also lucky enough to recruit a then unknown Me'Shell Ndegeocello to play bass on the album, and they also recorded a track she wrote, "Talk To Me", which she herself would reinterpret on her debut album in 1993 as "Outside Your Door". They released only one single, "Pain", which only reached #54 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart. Soon after they disbanded. Tina carried on as a songwriter, moving to New York and eventually Europe, where she hit her stride as an in- demand international pop songwriter (with a break as a copywriter in between). She has written songs for the likes of Jamelia, Koda Kumi, Sertab, Tarkan, Lemar and Christophe Willem, winner of the French Pop Idol, as well as the single "89 Lines" by previous Isle postee Terri Nunn. Jean McClain, meanwhile, went back to session singing, finding herself also in demand to back tracks by superstars such as Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. But it was when she reinvented herself in 1995 as 'Pepper Mashay' that she finally stole the spotlight. She has since had a lengthy string of dance club hits and is considered a premiere diva of the gay club scene. As for Candy Bell, if you're out there, girl, let us know what's been going on and where you're at! :)

Video for Pain

Download Voyceboxing

And Then The Earth Moved
Things Change
Talk To Me
Voice Boxing
Invitation 2 Dance
No Comment
The Little Black Dress
Same Cafe
Perfect Match (Reprise)


  1. sorry, link has gone dead

  2. Link is fixed (the Megaupload link still worked. ;)

  3. Brilliant, thanks so much, this is fantastic.

  4. The link is dead.....Can you reupload this album! It would be appreciated!

    1. I'll reup it for you in the next couple of days. ;)

  5. The Voyceboxing link is dead. Please upload again...I just found this:-) Thank you so much!