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The Final TEASE Recording
The cover of The Isley Brothers' classic "Footsteps in the Dark" from my debut album, Ordinary Story, is, in many ways, TEASE's swan song.
I had been fronting the band TEASE for more than a decade. For many, we were one of the funkiest bands in Los Angeles during our run. We made a lot of magic during that time with a Billboard Hot Top 20 hit, “Firestarter,” in 1986, and the album Remember (1988) being our last. We didn’t break up as much as we began to go our separate ways after that album.
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While the songs for Remember are often considered the final TEASE songs, that’s not completely true, the final song is really my cover of “Footsteps in the Dark.” I have always heard about the transcendent nature of the cover we did. It’s been great hearing about it, again, with the re-release of Ordinary Story.
When I went into the studio to record my solo album, I was interested in pulling from all of my inspirations, and I had always wanted to record two songs - Frankie Beverly & Maze’s “Happy Feelings” and The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark.”
I had been inspired by seeing, one of my early influences, Brian O’Neal, and his band Brian & Thangs, do “Footsteps…” live.
Although we stayed pretty true to the integrity of this great R&B classic, we certainly took some liberties and put our own stamp on it. It would be daunting, at best, for most to attempt a cover of such a beloved record. In fact one of the execs at Virgin, at the time, recommended I not touch such a chestnut. But, I had been preparing for this moment since I was a 15 year old kid in 1977. Let’s just say, she wasn’t of the same mind after she heard it!
Upon reflection, so much of that magic is because it’s largely a TEASE recording of the song. Even though it wasn’t all of us, you can still hear the thread of what we were doing all over the record. I had Derek Organ on drums, Tommy Organ on guitar, and Cornelius Mims on bass. Our brother Jimi Stewart was on Rhodes and clavinet.
Even though Stewart’s name may not ring a bell right away, you absolutely know his work as part of Ozone. Ozone were the real deal. They worked with Billy Preston, Syreeta and, most-famously Teena Marie among others.
So, yes … “Footsteps in the Dark” from Ordinary Story is the final TEASE recording … for now.