Soul Tracks - Tracking the World's Greatest Soul Music

Stylistics

     
Stylistics

To SoulTracks from "The Stylistics"

Thanks for the outstanding job you've done keeping music like ours in the hearts and minds of music lovers around the world.   We're fortunate to be celebrating our 42nd year performing throughout the country, as well as overseas.  None of this would be possible without the support of our loyal fans who have found their way to this awesome site.  For this, we send our love and gratitude to each and every one of you. 

A special shout out to Chris, the captain of this vessel, for his passion and commitment to the SoulTracks we love to hear.  

Airrion Love

The Stylistics           



Web Sites:
Official Website of the Stylistics
Russell Thompkins Jr's Official Site

Biography

At their peak, the Stylistics were perhaps the most consistent hitmakers in Soul Music.  They had the best producer in the business in Thom Bell, some of the most infectious material of the early 70s and perhaps the smoothest falsetto lead vocalist in Russell Thompkins, Jr.  

Formed in the late 60s in Philadelphia, the Stylistics first achieved some regional attention in 1971 with the simplistic "You're A Big Girl Now," most notable for its contrast to the luscious work they would record a year later with Bell.  Their Avco Records eponymous debut was a Philly Soul masterpiece, containing a basket of marvelous compositions by Bell and co-writer Linda Creed that would become soul standards covered by other artists for the next 30 years.  "You Are Everything," "Betcha By Golly Wow," "Stop Look Listen" and "People Make the World Go Round" all rocketed up the Pop and Soul charts, and immediately made the Stylistics the most sought after Soul balladeers.  The group's seamless harmonies and Thompkins silky falsetto blended magically with Bell's lush production.  

Their next album, Round Two, was just as memorable, and included the instant classics "Break Up To Make Up," "Children of the Night" and "You'll Never Get to Heaven."  But it was their third album, Rockin Roll Baby, that would give the group it's first number 1 crossover hit, the breathtaking ballad "You Make Me Feel Brand New." 

Bell decided to stop working with the Stylistics in 1974, and the impact on the group's fortunes was immediate and dramatic.  They eeked out one more moderate US hit ("Heavy Fallin Out"), then virtually disappeared from the charts for the remainder of the decade, as a string of lesser producers, particularly Hugo & Luigi, unsuccessfully struggled to come up with material and production tailored to the group's talents.  Ironically, it was at this point that their work received increased attention in Europe, and a number of songs that stiffed in the US ("Na Na is the Saddest Word," "Can't Give You Anything," "Can't Help Falling In Love") moved near the top of the European charts.

In 1981 the Stylistics came back to their Philadelphia roots, joining Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records and scoring their first US hit in years with the haunting "Hurry Up This Way Again."  This began a wonderful, but underappreciated, 3 album stint with PIR that included a number of fantastic cuts with Gamble & Huff, Dexter Wansel and Cynthia Biggs, and even a few cuts with Thom Bell and Linda Creed (including "I've Got This Feeling," the group's best song in a decade). Unfortunately, the albums didn't sell well, and the group departed PIR after their virtually ignored 1982.

They scored one more minor hit ("Some Things Never Change") with New Kids On the Block producer Maurice Starr (on the Streetwise label) and continued to record on smaller labels into the 90s.  In 2000, lead singer Thompkins suffered vocal problems from overuse and left the group.  He was replaced by Eban Brown, who joined original members Airrion Love and Herb Murrell and new group member Van Fields.  The new lineup meshed quickly and impressed both longtime fans and new ones. In 2002, Thompkins released his first solo LP, A Matter of Style, andin 2004 he formed and began touring with a new group, Russell Thompkins Jr and the New Stylistics. He has continued to perform successfully ever since, and in 2007 joined with Will Hart of the Delfonics and Ted Mills of Blue Magic to form 3 Tenors of Soul, and released an album on Shanachie Records.

The Stylistics teamed with veteran producer Preston Glass in 2009 and recorded the new album That Same Way, which was released in Europe and Asia in late 2009 and in the US in 2011. It was a great return to form and the group's best album in a quarter century. It also won the group a nomination for the 2011 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards.

In 2012, Van Fields left the group and was replaced by Jason Sharp, a latter day member of Heatwave. The Stylistics continue to tour very regularly and actively around the world.

By Chris Rizik

Additional Websites:
Stylistics Fan Club (US) 
Stylistics Brazil Website


Video

Comments

Wanna see The Stylistics perform in L.A. ?

Hey Fellow Stylistics Fans !!!!

I just found out about an amazing show that's goin' down July 21st in Los Angeles. It showcases The Stylistics, Chi-Lites, The Delfonics, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, The Three Degrees & Brenton Wood.

I'm a HUGE Stylistics fan so I just had to spread the word. I'm gon' be there for sure.

For ticket info, just hit up:

http://www.hot92jamz.com/pages/HSN/hsn2007.html

Cheers,
Keith Axlerod

The show!

Hey Keith. Be sure to write about the show. Sounds great.

Keith I love the

Keith

I love the Stylistics.. My girlfriend and I were blessed to see them at Penchanga.. What a show..they where perfect.. Do you know if they plan on being back there anytime soon?

Please keep me posted

jobare

Airrion Love's voice is VELVET

I love the original group The Stylistics, Airrion Love's voice is the most beautiful and sensual of the musical world, Herb Murrel is gorgeous too.
Please see my website:
http://www.thestylisticsbrazil.com
A big hug from Brasil
Talma

The Stylistics MySpace Group & Eban Brown Fan Club

Check out The Stylistics MySpace Group at: http://groups.myspace.com/thestylistics.

And

The Eban Brown Fan Club at: http://singlemom4eb.webs.com

Thanks for your support!

Peace,

Charlene

Super Stylistics

Hello yes this is JoAnn from Gary,In I was blessed to
see the Fellows 3-22-08 Star Plaza.The show was pass
awesome,they guys were sharp,music was powerful,the singing was off the hook.I couldn't get enought they
went back deep and brought out the Big Guns.
Yes they did" Hurry up this Way Again" and yes I got into that" STYLISTICS BOUNCE".IT WAS MAD CRAZY.
I've been blessed to be able to follow these guys since 1973,Chicago's Burnin Spear,I had to sneak in
I was under age.But I'm a big girls now,and that was one of their 1st hits.Well catch them when you can,you'll get your monies worth and more."Bravo"
Jo GAMBLE

My dad is Stylistics crazy

My dad is Stylistics crazy where can we get an autographed picture for him,we are from Cape Town South Africa and it would be a really great gift for his anniversary.His name is Ian Rowlands and you can contact me for the address if anyone out there can arrange a signed poster for my dad.
Much thanks
Mel

STYLISTICS FOR 2011 GROUP OF

STYLISTICS FOR 2011 GROUP OF THE YEAR....ALWAYS A CLASSY AND VERY NICE GROUP OF GUYS....AND WITH A STRING OF CLASSIC SONGS THAT IS ALMOST BEYOND COMPARE....TRULY A SOUL MUSIC CLASSIC GROUP WHO HAVE WITHSTOOD THE TEST OF TIME AND ARE STILL GOING STRONG TODAY....SGT. G.