DESCRIPTION: The Real Thing, performing their 1976 soul hit "Can't Get By Without You" a song which is an international disco mainstay classic. This is from an appearance on The Arrows Show and the band are thanked at the end of the clip by Arrows lead singer Alan Merrill.
A Liverpool based vocal group, The Real Thing had its origins in the Merseybeat boom of the 1960s. Lead singer Eddie Amoo was a former band member of The Chants, whose beat singles gathered considerable critical acclaim, although they failed to chart. After continuing to record for various record labels, the band name was eventually dropped. Re-labelled as The Real Thing, and with brother Chris Amoo, Ray Lake and Dave Smith on board, they got their big break following an appearance on the Opportunity Knocks ITV talent show. Original members of the group who appeared on Opportunity Knocks were, Chris Amoo, Kenny Davis (deceased), Dave Smith, Eddie Ankrah, and Ray Lake (deceased).
They were spotted by an ex-Radio Luxembourg DJ, Tony Hall, who played a significant part in their early career development. Even so, success was not immediate, and recording contracts they signed with a couple of major record labels came to nothing. Then, in 1975, they signed to Pye Records. Touring as backing singers with David Essex for a spell also helped to increase their profile.
With a song written and produced by Ken Gold and Mick Denne, The Real Thing finally emerged in 1976 when "You to Me Are Everything" sailed up to the number one slot in the UK Singles Chart. The track provided them with their only tangible success in the United States, reaching number 28 on the Black Singles chart, and number 64 on the Pop Singles equivalent.The same song would be re-released as 'The Decade Remix' in 1986 and achieved a UK chart position of number three, being remixed by Froggy, Simon Harris and KC.
This first success led to nine hits on Pye over a three year period, including "Can't Get By Without You", and "Can You Feel The Force", both of which were Top 5 successes.
Their brand of commercial sweet soul music, mixed with disco influences, established their popularity with the British audience. They were the UK's best selling black group of the late 1970s.Their first album, titled The Real Thing, contained their chart busters and previous singles. The group wanted to call their second LP 'Liverpool 8', the name of the racially mixed section of Liverpool (Toxteth) where they grew up with Asians, Africans, Chinese, Irish, and anyone else who could not afford more opulent surroundings. Pye Records did not like the name, so they compromised with Four From Eight, which meant nothing to anyone outside of Britain. A switch to the Calibre record label in 1980 slowed the momentum. Subsequent material fared less well, although remixes of their first two hits charted some 10 years after their original release.
In 1999 Eddie Amoo appeared in the 'Identity Parade', in the fifth series of the BBC Television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
The group, with three of the founder members still on board, continue to perform and record to this day.
The Real Thing's vocalist, Chris Amoo, is also a regular on the dog show circuit. His highlight came in 1987, when his Afghan Hound, Champion Viscount Grant, was crowned Supreme Champion at Crufts.[Dave Smith is a black belt in Karate.
Eddie Amoo - born 5 May 1950, Liverpool - vocalist and guitarist.
Chris Amoo - born 14 October 1952, Liverpool - vocalist.
Ray Lake - born 11 February 1946, Liverpool - falsetto backing vocalist - (now deceased)
Dave Smith - born David Smith, 6 July 1952 - vocalist.