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The Fugees

The Fugees are an American music group, popular during the mid-1990s, whose repertoire includes primarily hip hop, with elements of soul, and Carribean music (particularly reggae). The members of the group are leader/rapper/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. Both Jean and Michel are of Haitian heritage; Hill is an African American native of South Orange, New Jersey. Deriving their name from the term "refugee", the group is noted for the integration of soul and reggae into their work, and recorded two albums--one of which, The Score, was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success--before going their separate ways after 1997. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers, while Michel focused mainly on soundtrack recordings and film acting.

The trio released their first LP, Blunted on Reality, after a long period of performing, but the album failed to live up the expectations of fans who attended their concerts. Despite the relative failure of their first album, The Score became one of the biggest hits of 1996 and was one of the first hip hop albums to incorporate reggae in a major way. The Fugees were known for their unusual choice of covers and sampling sources on both albums; The Score, for example, included covers of "No Woman No Cry" (Bob Marley & the Wailers) and "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)" (Roberta Flack), which was their first and only #1 pop hit. The album also included a re-interpretation of The Delfonics' "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" in their hit single "Ready or Not". The Fugees won two 1997 Grammy Awards: The Score won for Best Rap Album, and "Killing Me Softly With His Song" won for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

After 1997, the Fugees all began solo projects: Hill started work on her critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Jean began producing for a number of artists (including Destiny's Child and Carlos Santana) and recorded his debut album The Carnival, and Michel, with Mya and Ol' Dirty Bastard, recorded the single "Ghetto Superstar" for the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty/Halle Berry film Bulworth. After each member found success in other ventures, the Fugees failed to reform. Though the Fugees remain tight-lipped about the exact reasons, most fans believe that a serious personality conflict between Hill and Jean contributed to their breakup following The Score.

In September 2004, it was announced that The Fugees have settled their differences and are currently working on a new album. They appeared onstage together at an exclusive block party in New York City that month, hosted by Dave Chappelle.

Discography

Albums

  • 1994: Blunted on Reality
  • 1996: The Score

Singles

  • 1994: "Nappy Heads" (US #49)
  • 1994: "Vocab"
  • 1995: "Fu-Gee-La" (US #29)
  • 1996: "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)" (US #1)
  • 1996: "Ready or Not"


External Links

  • Fugees Fansite (http://user.aol.com/Snicka/fugee2.htm)
  • Fugees Lyrics (http://www.lyricscafe.com/f/fugees.htm)

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. Besides remaining original members, "The Dead" usually feature a few rotating musicians on their tours to fill the missing guitar and keyboard slots. They appeared onstage together at an exclusive block party in New York City that month, hosted by Dave Chappelle. Other variants had been tried since 1996, but this was the first use of the word "Dead" in the name. In September 2004, it was announced that The Fugees have settled their differences and are currently working on a new album. Remaining members came together as "The Dead" in 2003. Though the Fugees remain tight-lipped about the exact reasons, most fans believe that a serious personality conflict between Hill and Jean contributed to their breakup following The Score. The Grateful Dead broke up in 1995 after the death of Jerry Garcia.

After each member found success in other ventures, the Fugees failed to reform. Because the of the technology available at the time, this resulted in poor vocal quality. After 1997, the Fugees all began solo projects: Hill started work on her critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Jean began producing for a number of artists (including Destiny's Child and Carlos Santana) and recorded his debut album The Carnival, and Michel, with Mya and Ol' Dirty Bastard, recorded the single "Ghetto Superstar" for the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty/Halle Berry film Bulworth. They sang into the top microphone, while the bottom microphone picked up sound from the wall, the sound wave from the bottom microphone was then inverted and inserted into the top microphone output. The Fugees won two 1997 Grammy Awards: The Score won for Best Rap Album, and "Killing Me Softly With His Song" won for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. There were two microphones, a top and bottom. The album also included a re-interpretation of The Delfonics' "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" in their hit single "Ready or Not". Because the wall had to be placed behind the band, vocalists sang into a phase canceling microphone setup, to elimante feedback.

The Fugees were known for their unusual choice of covers and sampling sources on both albums; The Score, for example, included covers of "No Woman No Cry" (Bob Marley & the Wailers) and "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)" (Roberta Flack), which was their first and only #1 pop hit. The wall was built up over time, several speakers were added each year until the wall was 32 feet high and weighed several thousand pounds. Despite the relative failure of their first album, The Score became one of the biggest hits of 1996 and was one of the first hip hop albums to incorporate reggae in a major way. The Wall of Sound was an enormous structure of speakers. The trio released their first LP, Blunted on Reality, after a long period of performing, but the album failed to live up the expectations of fans who attended their concerts. On February 14, 2003, (as they said) "reflecting the reality that [was]," they renamed themselves The Dead, keeping "Grateful" retired out of respect for Garcia. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers, while Michel focused mainly on soundtrack recordings and film acting. The mid-2002 fall tour of The Other Ones, with Bob, Bill, Phil and Mickey, was so successful and satisfying that the band decided the name was no longer appropriate.

Deriving their name from the term "refugee", the group is noted for the integration of soul and reggae into their work, and recorded two albums--one of which, The Score, was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success--before going their separate ways after 1997. The remaining members occasionally got together under the pseudonym Crusader Rabbit Stealth Band during the late 1990s, infrequently playing unannounced shows. Both Jean and Michel are of Haitian heritage; Hill is an African American native of South Orange, New Jersey. Though some of them occasionally toured through the late 1990s under the name "The Other Ones" they mainly chose to pursue various solo projects: most notably Bob Weir's Ratdog, Phil Lesh and Friends and Mickey Hart's music for the 1996 Olympics. The members of the group are leader/rapper/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. Following Garcia's death in 1995, the remaining members formally decided to retire the name "Grateful Dead". The Fugees are an American music group, popular during the mid-1990s, whose repertoire includes primarily hip hop, with elements of soul, and Carribean music (particularly reggae). All three series of releases continue to this day.

Fugees Lyrics (http://www.lyricscafe.com/f/fugees.htm). A series of videos began to trickle out of "The Vault", starting with View From the Vault (recorded in Pittsburgh on July 8, 1990 at Three Rivers Stadium) and View from the Vault II (recorded in Washington, DC on June 14, 1991 at RFK Stadium). Fugees Fansite (http://user.aol.com/Snicka/fugee2.htm). There have been at least 31 DP releases as of March 2004. 1996: "Ready or Not". Starting in 1991, the Grateful Dead released numerous live concerts from their archives in two concurrent series: the From the Vault releases are multi-track remixes, whereas the Dick's Picks series are based on two-track mixes made at the time of the recording. 1996: "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)" (US #1). In the 1980s, the band scored a top 40 hit "Touch of Grey" which garnered a much younger and more mainstream fandom that was considered sharply different from the traditional Dead Heads.

1995: "Fu-Gee-La" (US #29). The band allowed sharing of tapes of their shows, as long as no profits were made on the sale of their show tapes. 1994: "Vocab". For many years, almost all of their shows would have dedicated taping sections. 1994: "Nappy Heads" (US #49). In contrast to many other bands, the Grateful Dead encouraged their fans to tape their shows. 1996: The Score. Many of their fans, commonly referred to as Dead Heads, would follow the band on tour.

1994: Blunted on Reality. A hallmark of their concert sets were continuous sets of music where each song would blend into the next (a segue). Musically this may be illustrated in that the band not only improvised within the form of a song, yet also improvised with the forms. The band was famous for their extended jams, which showcased both individual improvisation as well as a singularly unique "group-mind" improvisation where each of the band members improvised individually, while still blending spaghetti together as a cohesive musical unit, often engaging in extended improvisational flights of fancy. Their numerous studio albums were generally collections of new songs that had been initially played in concert. With the exception of 1975, the Grateful Dead toured regularly around the USA from the winter of 1965 until July 9, 1995—with a few detours to Canada and Europe (see the albums Dick's Picks 7, Hundred Year Hall, Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead, and Europe '72) and 3 nights at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in 1978.

Touring was the hallmark of the Grateful Dead. Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow were the band's lyricists. For a year and a half, Welnick was often joined by special guest Bruce Hornsby on piano. Almost immediately, former Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick joined on keyboards and vocals.

He became the third Dead keyboardist to die. Brent Mydland was the keyboardist for the Dead for 11 years until his death in 1990. Keith Godchaux died in a car accident in 1980. In early 1972, Keith's wife, Donna Jean Godchaux, joined the Dead as a backing vocalist. Keith and Donna were fired from the band in 1979, and Brent Mydland joined as keyboardist and vocalist.

Two years later in late 1971, Pigpen was joined by another keyboardist, Keith Godchaux, who played grand piano alongside Pigpen's Hammond B3 organ. Tom "TC" Constanten played keyboards alongside Pigpen from 1968 to 1970. Hart rejoined the Dead for good in 1974. Hart quit the Grateful Dead in 1971, embarassed by the actions of his father, Dead money manager Lenny Hart (for whom the song "He's Gone" is penned), leaving Kruetzmann once again as the sole drummer.

Bill Kruetzmann played drums, and in September 1967 was joined by a second drummer, New York native Mickey "Cow-Bell" Hart, who also played a wide variety of other percussion instruments. All of the previously mentioned members shared vocal duties. Bob Weir (usually referred to as "Bobby"), the youngest member of the group, played rhythm guitar. Bluesman Ron "Pigpen" McKernan played keyboards, harmonica and was an inspirational vocalist until his death in 1973. Bandleader Jerry Garcia played lead guitar and classically trained musician Phil Lesh played bass guitar.

These records featured the band's laid-back acoustic musicianship and more traditional song structures. The 1969 live album Live/Dead did capture more of their essence, but commercial success did not come until American Beauty and Workingman's Dead, both released in 1970. The early records reflected their live repertoire—lengthy instrumental jams with guitar solos by Garcia, best exemplified by "Dark Star"—but lacked the energy of the shows and did not sell terribly well. These various influences were distilled into a unique new music that was a synthesis of all American folk music forms to-date; it paid homage to previous forms, and also reflected a sense of adventure and a continuous quest for the "musical unknown"; more often than not, exploration and a search for continual newness were the hallmarks of their live performances.

Their musical influences varied widely with input from the psychedelic music of the era, combined with rhythm and blues, jazz, and country. These events are covered in detail in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Playing originally as The Warlocks, and later "Grateful Dead" (a name chosen at random from the dictionary by Jerry Garcia), they became the de facto resident band of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, with the early sound heavily influenced by Kesey's LSD-soaked Acid Tests as well as Rhythm and Blues . The band's numerous fans, called Dead Heads, were renowned for their dedication to the band's music; many followed the Dead from concert to concert for years.

The Grateful Dead was known for its unique and eclectic songwriting style, which fused elements of rock, folk music, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, and for long modal jams. The Grateful Dead was an American rock band, which was formed in 1965 in San Francisco from the remnants of another band, Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. Vince Welnick - vocals, keyboards (1990 - 1995). Brent Mydland - vocals, keyboards (1979 - 1990).

Donna Jean Godchaux - vocals (1972 - 1979). Keith Godchaux - keyboards (1971 - 1979). Tom Constanten - keyboards (1968 - 1970). Mickey Hart - drums (1967 - 1971, 1975 - 1995).

Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - keyboards, vocals, harmonica, percussion (1965 - 1973). Bill Kreutzmann - drums (1965 - 1995). Phil Lesh - bass, vocals (1965 - 1995). Bob Weir - guitar vocals (1965 - 1995).

Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals (1965 - 1995).

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