The duo consists of vocalist/guitarist Mic Murphy and seasoned session keyboardist David Frank. The band was founded in 1982 in New York.
Their first album Sweat in 1983 featured the classic club hit “You Are in My System,” which charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the band’s first successful single. In 1984 they released their second album, X-periment. Frank’s expertise in recording studio technology gave the material a sound that many felt was ahead of its time. Indeed, the heavy use of synths and electric percussion was a step beyond the disco-influenced flavour of the previous album, and Murphy’s soulful vocals gave the songs a definite R&B flavour. Besides the upbeat electronics-laden tracks, the album also introduced a more mature and pop-friendly quality, evident in tracks such as “Promises Can Break”, “I Wanna Make You Feel Good” and “I Can’t Take Losing You.”
The System performed the energetic title track of their 1985 album The Pleasure Seekers on an episode of the hit NBC series Miami Vice. Other standouts on this album include the more melodic and down-to-earth “It Takes Two”, as well as “Love Won’t Wait For Lovin’” and “This Is For You”.
Their song “Rock N’ Roll Me Again” became famous in the 1984 action comedy Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy. They would also reach #23 on Billboard’s R&B chart with the title track from the 1988 Eddie Murphy film Coming to America. All of this success occurred while they were contributing their talents to projects such as the Scritti Politti album Cupid & Psyche 85, Phil Collins‘ “Sussudio,” Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel for You,” and “This Is My Night,” and Mtume‘s “Juicy Fruit,” among many others.
The System’s greatest success came in 1987 with “Don’t Disturb This Groove,” from the album of the same name. The single reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and #4 on the Hot 100. The follow-up single from the album, “Nighttime Lover” was also a top 10 R&B hit, peaking at #7. Murphy and Frank parted ways professionally after releasing their Rhythm & Romance album in 1989 but reunited in 2000 for the album ESP, which also featured a reworked version of “You Are In My System”.
Murphy recorded the solo album Touch and charted in 1991 with a single from that project. Frank has found more recent success as a songwriter and producer, most notably with his work on Christina Aguilera‘s “Genie in a Bottle” in 1999 and teen girl-group Dream‘s “He Loves U Not” in 2000. Both were big hits.
(Mo’Kelly – Just FYI…Don’t Disturb This Groove is probably one of my all-time favorites in life, bar none. No lie.)
As noted above, The System often contributed to Scritti Politti, who was more popular on the West Coast than the East. But to those who are unfamiliar, here’s a refresher (or an introduction). Scritti was strange to say the least. But just close your eyes and listen to the music. (To this day I don’t know what the hell this guy was EVER singing about…but the music was together.)
OTHER MUSIC FLASHBACKS:
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.mrmokelly.com. Mo’Kelly can be reached at Mo@mrmokelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.
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