When Ghetto Heaven by The Family Stand was released back in 1989, I remember being quite impressed with the lead vocalist, Sandra St. Victor. She had that Chaka Khan sound & the beat of that international smash hit, Ghetto Heaven, made me curious as to how the rest of the album sounded, so I bought it. What I discovered on that album, entitled Chain, was a collection of soulful, eclectic beats that ran circles around everybody at that time. I wore that album out & everybody who heard it at my apartment was like, “Who is that?” Their sound was different – keenly intelligent and pulsing with renegade intensity. The members – V. Jeffrey Smith, Sandra St Victor & Peter Lord Moreland (Howard Univ. alumni)- are all multifaceted artists whose talents combined to produce, in my opinion, the most explosive & memorable music of that time. Sadly, other than Ghetto Heaven, their music was not promoted in the mainstream wastelands or, in their words, on plantation radio. Their lyrics leaned heavily on social issues which is probably why they became shut out as a group (individually, they lent their exceptional talents to produce/write for Paula Abdul, Hall&Oates, Will Downing, Des’ree amongst others).
Their follow up album, Moon In Scorpio, blew my mind & I included my favorite cuts on the above playlist. This album proved to be too eclectic for urban contemporary radio as much of the material was too rock oriented. Regardless, this album was a rebelliously creative triumph. In fact, lead vocalist, Peter Lord Moreland, called this release The Family Stand’s “greatest artistic achievement.” This album (as well as Chain) still sounds as fresh & relevant as the day it was released over 20 years ago.
I also included 3 solid cuts from their Super Sol Nova album released a few years back. These rebel souls are what is missing from music today….