A US Dance chart number one and that was it. It takes a little time, but that’s Total Contrast!
Friends Robin Achampong and Delroy Murray formed the musical duo Total Contrast in 1983 and after a slow start, they achieved hits from the mid-80’s onwards and, after a reinvention, continued to do so into the 1990’s. The pair wrote and produced most of their own work and released their debut single, “Be With You Tonight”, later in 1983, although this did not register commercially. The follow up’s “Next Time I’ll Know Better” and “The Apple Of My Eye” – with singer Carroll Thompson – followed suit, but Total Contrast had a near miss with “Hit And Run” at the beginning of 1985, which stopped at No.41 on the UK singles chart.
With their self-titled debut album now ready, the duo released “Takes A Little Time” as the next song and as the title suggests, it certainly does. At last, Total Contrast bagged a hit as the song went up to No.17 at home and even more so, it topped the US Dance chart later that year! Almost as soon as they had arrived, however, Robin and Delroy returned to the lower sections of the chart with the follow up, “The River”, missing the UK top 40, although this gave the group a second US Dance chart top ten hit (No.7). The album was not a commercial success either, shifting only a few thousand copies. Undeterred, Total Contrast kept the music coming and in 1986 released the new song “What You Gonna Do About It?”. In early 1987, the duo released their second album, “Beat To Beat”, but this and the singles “Jody” and “Kiss” were not as popular.
In 1988, Total Contrast recorded their version of Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain”, which just scraped in the UK top 100. The song was later recorded by Annie Lennox for her covers album “Medusa” in 1995. And there, Total Contrast called it a day. But they were not done with the music industry just yet… Straight away, Robin and Delroy formed the new group Tongue’n’Cheek with singer Maureen Mason. Their first single, “Don’t Stop The Love”, came out in 1987 and was followed by a number of other tracks, all of which were small hits. But, Robin and Delroy as Tongue’n’Cheek returned to the top twenty in 1990 with the song “Tomorrow”, five years after their first ‘experience’. The follow up to “Tomorrow”, “Nobody”, reached No.37 while Tongue’n’Cheek covered Patrice Rushen’s 1982 hit “Forget Me Nots” in 1991. This peaked at No.26 in the UK, some way off the top ten success of Rushen’s original nine years earlier.
Tongue’n’Cheek parted ways soon after “Forget Me Nots” although their biggest hit, “Tomorrow”, was sampled by producers Love Decade in 1996 for their single “Is This a Dream?”. The track peaked at No.39. Delroy continues to perform and produce music although little to nothing has been heard from Robin Achampong since the break up of Tongue’n’Cheek. If you’re reading this Robin, get in touch! But that could take a little time…?(!)
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