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The Chants (60s)

The Chants were unusual, even among the legions of Liverpool bands making music in the early '60s, on two counts. First, they were a vocal harmony quartet in a city that was mostly known for its hard-rocking electric bands. Second, they were black, in a city that didn't have a lot of musicians among its minority population. The Chants' sound was a mix of R&B harmony and a solid British beat tempo, and they excelled at all of it. Eddie Amoo, later of the successful disco outfit Real Thing (signed to Pye in the '70s), was the lead singer, and the other members were brothers Eddie and Joe Ankrah (who may or may not have been related to future Demon vocalist Leslie Ankrah), and Alan Fielding, with producer Tony Hatch writing their arrangements, which included some of the best work of his career in that capacity. The Chants were often backed up on-stage by some of the biggest future stars from the city's stable of bands, including the Beatles on several occasions, according to Amoo. Popular locally, they never managed to chart a single, but they left behind some superb records, including impeccably sung but rocking versions of Rodgers & Hart's "I Could Write a Book" (from Pal Joey), the Del-Vikings' '50s hit "Come Go with Me," and their magnum opus, the bracing "She's Mine." They broke up in the mid-'60s and Amoo went on to success as a musician during the '70s disco boom and as a songwriter in the '80s. ~ Bruce Eder
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