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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. His son Nick, a successful singer/songwriter in his own right, occasionally tours and records with him. They appeared onstage together at an exclusive block party in New York City that month, hosted by Dave Chappelle. A recording of the concert was released as a double CD shortly afterwards. In September 2004, it was announced that The Fugees have settled their differences and are currently working on a new album. In June 2001, he celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at London's Royal Festival Hall, featuring many guest artists. 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 2000 album, The Green Man was an entirely solo effort with Harper on acoustic guitar with no accompaniment.

After each member found success in other ventures, the Fugees failed to reform. Jethro Tull's singer Ian Anderson also sessioned, contributing flute to the song, "These Fifty Years". 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. His son, Nick Harper, is also a songwriter- guitarist and contributed tracks to the 1998 album, The Dream Society. 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. Harper's spoken words can be heard on The Tea Party's 1995 album Edges of Twilight and he sings on the track "Time" from their 1996 album Alhambra. 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". After the end of his marriage, Harper composed the melancholy Death or Glory in 1992.

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. Since 1986, Harper has had a relatively low public profile, although 1990's Once was a tour-de-force, again featuring David Gilmour and Kate Bush. 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. They released an album called Whatever Happened to Jugula? under Harper's name but co-credited to Jimmy Page. Tony Franklin, the bass player in Harper's group would later join Page in The Firm. 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. Throughout 1984, Harper toured the United Kingdom with Jimmy Page, performing a predominantly acoustic set at folk festivals under various guises such as The MacGregors, and Themselves. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers, while Michel focused mainly on soundtrack recordings and film acting. The Work of Heart album released in 1982 marked the formation of his own record label with Mark Thompson, entitled Public Records.

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. In 1980, Harper sang backing vocals on the Kate Bush song "Breathing". Both Jean and Michel are of Haitian heritage; Hill is an African American native of South Orange, New Jersey. For much of the seventies, Harper was managed, and had records produced, by Peter Jenner. The members of the group are leader/rapper/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. In April 1978, Harper began writing lyrics for the next Led Zeppelin album, with Jimmy Page, but the project was shelved when Robert Plant returned from his self-imposed sabbatical after the death of his son Karac. 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). Bullinamingvase also featured "One of Those Days in England", with backing vocals by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, which became a Top 40 hit.

Fugees Lyrics (http://www.lyricscafe.com/f/fugees.htm). Harper was forced under duress to drop it from future copies of the album, though it reappeared on a later CD reissue. Fugees Fansite (http://user.aol.com/Snicka/fugee2.htm). Controversy soon followed with the release of 1977's Bullinamingvase, with a motorway service station objecting to the lyrics in the song "Watford Gap" which criticised their food. 1996: "Ready or Not". The single "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease", taken from the album, is Harper's biggest selling and best known solo record to date. 1996: "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)" (US #1). Pink Floyd's David Gilmour returned the favour by appearing on Harper's next album, HQ, with his occasional backing band called Trigger (Chris Spedding on guitar, Dave Cochran on bass guitar, and Bill Bruford on drums) and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

1995: "Fu-Gee-La" (US #29). Pink Floyd's 1975 release Wish You Were Here saw Harper as lead vocalist on the song "Have a Cigar". 1994: "Vocab". Between 1975 and 1978, Harper spent considerable time in the United States. 1994: "Nappy Heads" (US #49). The live album Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion soon followed. 1996: The Score. A concert to mark its release was held at London's Rainbow Theatre with Page, Bedford, and Keith Moon on drums.

1994: Blunted on Reality. His next album Valentine, was released on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1974 and featured contributions from guitarist Jimmy Page. The soundtrack for this film appeared in the following year with the title Lifemask. In 1972, Harper made his acting debut playing Mike Preston in the John Mackenzie film Made. Harper's 1971 critically acclaimed album was the four song epic, Stormcock, featuring Jimmy Page on guitar and David Bedford's orchestral arrangements, who would collaborate on future releases.

In a mutual appreciation of their work, Harper would often attend live performances by Led Zeppelin over the subsequent decade as well as contribute sleeve photography to the album Physical Graffiti and appear, uncredited, in the 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same. According to Jimmy Page, the band admired the way Harper stood by his principles and did not sell out to commercial pressures. After the Bath Festival of 1970, Led Zeppelin wrote a song titled "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper", which appeared on the album Led Zeppelin III. Flat Baroque and Beserk also marked Harper's long yet confrontational association with Harvest Records.

Its ethereal sound was achieved by a wah wah pedal attached to an acoustic guitar. Harper's first tour of the United States followed the release of the album Flat Baroque and Beserk in 1970 which featured The Nice on one track called "Hell's Angels". Starting since May, 1968, Harper was making regular appearances at free concerts in London's Hyde Park attracting a cult following of fans from the underground music scene. 1969's Folkjokeopus virtually mirrored the previous album, with a 15 minute version of "McGooghan's Blues".

Its cover was controversial at the time, depicting a new born baby, complete with umbilical cord. CBS Records saw his potential and hired producer Shel Talmy to arrange Come out Fighting Genghis Smith, with the 11 minute blues track "Circles", marking a widening of Harper's audience away from pure folk. It consisted of his sung poetry backed by acoustic guitar with a revox tape machine. His first album, The Sophisticated Beggar, was recorded in 1966 after Harper was spotted at the Les Cousins club and signed to Peter Richard's Strike Records.

Harper then busked around Europe until 1964 when he returned to England and gained residency at London's famous Les Cousins folk club in Soho. Leaving school when he was 15, he joined the Royal Air Force only to reject its rigid discipline, and then managed to feign madness—and receive ECT—in order to get a discharge. At the age of 10, he began playing skiffle music with his older brother, David Harper, as well as being influenced by blues music. Harper's anti-religious views would later become a familiar theme in his music.

After the death of his mother during childbirth, he was raised by his father and his step-mother, whom he did not get along with because of her Jehovah's Witness beliefs. Harper was born in the Manchester suburb of Rusholme, England. Roy Harper, (born June 12, 1941), is a British singer-songwriter who specialises in uncompromising introspective lyrics and folk influenced compositions. The Song Remains the Same (1976).

Made (1972). Today Is Yesterday (archive recordings from 1964/5). Royal Festival Hall Live 2001 (2001). The Green Man (2001).

The Dream Society (1998). East Of The Sun (compilation of love songs). The BBC Tapes (1997) (six volumes, on CD, not tape). Live at Les Cousins (1996) (live).

Unhinged (1995) (compilation). An Introduction to Roy Harper (1994) (compilation). Commercial Breaks (1994) (previously unreleased material from 1977). Born in Captivity II (1992) (live).

Death or Glory (1992). Burn the World (1990). Once (1990). Loony on the Bus (1988).

Descendants of Smith (1988). In Between Every Line (1986) (live). Whatever Happened to Jugula? (1985), with Jimmy Page. Born in Captivity (1984).

Work of Heart (1982). The Unknown Soldier (1980). Roy Harper 1970-75 (1978) (compilation). Bullinamingvase (1977).

HQ (1975) (US title: When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease). Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion (1974) (live). Valentine (1974). Lifemask (1973) (soundtrack).

Stormcock (1971). Flat Baroque and Berserk (1970). Folkjokeopus (1969). Come out Fighting Ghengis Smith (1968).

The Sophisticated Beggar (1966).

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