Most Wanted! New York City – I’m Doin Fine Now (A Tom Moulton Remix) (Harmless Records)
‘I’m Doin Fine Now’ or the title cut of their heavily sought after album which saw the light back in 1973 on US label Chelsea Records… And, in the meantime, the biggest success ever for 1950’s Doo-Wop performers Tim McQueen, John Brown, Ed Shell, and Claude Johnson. This with some instantly recognizable arrangements courtesy of Thom Bell.
One of the most famous bittersweet themes, ‘I’m Doin Fine Now’ only saw the light as a 7 inch single. First on Chelsea Records then on RCA who eventually license it. And this at a time when the maxi single – the 12 inch – didn’t exist. This didn’t get it from makin’ its way to various generations of music lovers though. With thanks to The Pasadenas who gave it a cover version in 1991. Meanwhile justice would be paid to the original with legendary Disco producer Tom Moulton givin’ it an extended version as a part of his ‘Philly ReGrooved 3’ compilation for Harmless Records in 2013.
Not to be missed with the Big Apple itself (the city), New York City (the band!) saw the light back in 1973. And this from the reunion between Claude Johnson, Edward Schell, John Brown and Tim McQueen. With the four of them remembered for their contributions to various Soul and Doo-Wop groups. Such as John Brown who sang with The Five Satins, The Cadillacs and The Moonglows before joinin’ New York City.
The fourtet came to collaborate with producers Thom Bell and Wes Farrell. And, together they released two albums successively in 1973 and the year after. ‘I’m Doin Fine Now’, their debut, most likely made its name into History. With thanks to its irresistible title cut which UK band The Pasadenas brilliantly covered some 18 years later.
Strangely enough and despite a handful of extra singles to their credit, they never managed to reproduce the same following. Thus getting many people to consider them as an (extra) one hit wonder. Interestingly enough though, ‘I’m Doin Fine Now’ brought them to collaborate with two members of The Big Apple Band. In other words, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards who were to give birth to Chic a few years after.
‘Soulful Road’, their second and final album, most likely only made its way for its artwork. With its sleeve parodying the one of the Beatles‘ ‘Abbey Road’. The group soon after disbanded. With Tim McQueen eventually resurfacing by the beginning of the 80’s. This while sharing the bill with Sondra Simon as Simon & McQueen on two singles. With their seond – ‘Let’s Get Into It’ – receiving the remixing treatment of John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez back in 1983.