Thirty years on, is it now too late for Quartz or could it be perfect timing?(!)
Producers Ronnie Herel and Dave Rawlings got together in 1989 and over the next three years, produced and recorded a number of club and dance tunes, mostly played in the darkness of the club scene around London. They released their self-written track, “Meltdown”, in 1989, which did well on the club chart and just about broke the singles chart, reaching No.78. They did a little better the following year with the follow up, “We’re Comin’ At Ya” with singer Stepz which reached No.65 in the UK and followed this with a joint venture with UK/US dance act Clubland on the song “Let’s Get Busy (Pump It Up)”. Sadly this was not a successful move commercially although the song did top the US dance club play chart.
Undeterred, Quartz had been working towards releasing an album of material throughout late 1990 enlisting a number of singers to perform vocals on the tracks, one of which was a cover of Carole King’s 1971 hit “It’s Too Late”. For this, they had found a, to date, unknown and unsuccessful singer by the name of Dina Carroll, whi had released a couple of singles in 1989 that didn’t chart and later a vocalist for Brothers In Rhythm and Simon Harris. “It’s Too Late” was released as the next single in February 1991 and, surprise surprise, it was a hit! Their version quickly raced into the UK top ten and peaked at No.8 as well as making an impact across much of mainland Europe.
Rawlings and Herel released the album, “Perfect Timing”, soon after and seeing that “It’s Too Late” had done rather well, next released the other song they had recorded with Carroll, “Naked Love (Just Say You Want Me)”, in May, although perhaps most people that were intersted had bought the album by now and the song just crept into the UK chart at No.39. Oddly, no more songs were issued from “Perfect Timing”, which did feature their recordings with Clubland and “We’re Comin’ At Ya”. Quartz released three non-album tracks during 1992, reuniting with Clubland for “Hot For You” and the singer Lisa Jane for “Distant”, but with none of these proving a commercial success, disbanded and went their separate ways that same year.
Ronnie Herel found a new life as a disc jockey, presenting of BBC Radio 1 and later Radio 1Xtra, after ending his music career in the late 1990’s, having worked with The Brand New Heavies and keeping Clubland going beyond 1992. He also founded the Uptown Records label and continued as a club DJ into the 2000’s. In 2013 he formed a new partnership with fellow DJ, LJ Blends, calling themselves 126 Blonds and releasing the “Dark House” EP that Summer. Dave Rawlings has continued as a songwriter and producer, working with Jazz Vandall, Kingston Black as well as his own work and more recently in 2019 with the band Secret Machines on their track, “Everything Is Free”. And Dina Carroll? Well…
Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!