Jade 1993


Jade were not “One Woman”, there were three of them, so “Don’t Walk Away”!

Di Reed, Joi Marshall and Tonya Kelly came together in 1991 to form the ‘girl band’ Jade and were signed by producer Vassal Benford to Giant Records the following year. Bedford already had a song written, “I Wanna Love You”, and had the girls straight in the studio to record it. The track was released in the late Summer of 1992 and peaked at No.16 in the US, with a little help from the Kid’n’Play film ‘Class Act’. The trio quickly followed this at the end of the year with “Don’t Walk Away” which sped to No.4 on the singles chart and No.2 on the R&B chart, selling over 600,000 copies. Both tracks featured on their debut album “Jade To The Max” released at the end of November 1992 and eventually gaining a Platinum certification for sales of over a million copies.

Till now, their success had been confined to North America but Bedford and Giant sought to promote the group in early 1993 throughout the rest of the world. While “I Wanna Love You” had been their debut single in their home country, “Don’t Walk Away” was promoted as their international debut, making the top ten in many parts of Europe, including the UK where it peaked at No.7 in April 1993. “I Wanna Love You” soon followed making No.13 there, three places higher than its US chart high. The album would reach No.43 that Summer.

Meanwhile, back home, the girls had released the down tempo number “One Woman” in early 1993, which had made No.22 Stateside and would equal this position when released in the UK in October. A fourth single “Looking For Mr. Do Right” made No.69 in America and in late 1993-early 1994, the girls teamed up with P.O.V. for the track “All Thru The Nite” which bombed in The States but reached No.32 in the UK.

After a short break, Jade returned in late 1994 with a brand new track “5-4-3-2 (Yo Time Is Up)” which did even worse, reaching No.72. Much more successful was a second new track “Every Day Of The Week”, which put them back in the top twenty on both sides of the Atlantic, making No.20 in The States and No.19 in the UK in February 1995. Both tracks came from their second studio album “Mind, Body And Song”, which received a Gold certification in America for sales of 500,000 copies. That same year the girls contributed to the track “Freedom” from the film ‘Panther’ which made No.45 on the singles chart, and in 1997 recorded the song “Keep On Risin'” from ‘The 6th Man’ soundtrack.

And that seemed to be it for Jade. No more music was recorded by the girls although it was never made official that the group had split up for called it a day. Since 1997, Di Reed has worked as a backing singer and supporting vocalist for artists like Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and many others, Joi has recorded a gospel album and written a book about her experiences in the music industry, particularly her him with Jade, and Tonya has returned to her first love, interior design, setting up her own company having gained a degree in interior and architectural design prior to joining Jade.

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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