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Inner Circle

Inner Circle is, of course, best known for "Bad Boys," a ubiquitous crossover hit thanks to its use as the theme song for the long-running Fox TV reality series Cops. But the band had a lengthy history prior to its international breakthrough, dating all the way back to the late '60s. They hit the big time in Jamaica during the '70s as a danceable yet rootsy Rastafarian reggae outfit, fronted by the charismatic singer Jacob Miller. Miller's tragic death in a car accident in 1980 put the group on hiatus for several years, and when they finally regrouped in the mid-'80s, they began to temper their rootsiness with elements of pop, R&B, and dancehall. Originally recorded in 1987, "Bad Boys" became a worldwide smash in the early '90s, and the group soldiered on into the new millennium amid several personnel changes.

Inner Circle was originally formed by brothers Ian (bass) and Roger Lewis (guitar) in 1968. The group's other charter members were guitarist Steven "Cat" Coore, keyboardist Michael "Ibo" Cooper, and multi-instrumentalist Richard Daley. Initially, they made their living playing in hotel lounges. When the rest of the band split to form Third World in 1973, the Lewis brothers assembled a new lineup that included keyboardists Bernard "Touter" Harvey and Charles Farquharson (the latter of whom didn't stick around for long), and drummer Rasheed McKenzie. Inner Circle recorded a couple of albums for Trojan over 1974-1975, Rock the Boat and Blame It on the Sun, which relied to some degree on smooth American soul covers. They also had a small hit single with "I See You."

Inner Circle's musical outlook changed with the arrival of vocalist Jacob Miller in 1976. Miller, a devout Rastafarian and a successful solo artist in his own right, made the band into a more spiritual, socially conscious outfit, and they quickly signed with Capitol Records. Over the next few years, Miller penned hits like "Tenement Yard," "Forward Jah Jah Children," "Tired Fe Lick Weed in a Bush," and "All Night Till Daylight" (some of which were credited to Miller, but nonetheless featured the whole band). Capitol issued two LPs, 1976's Reggae Thing and 1977's Ready for the World; sometime during this period, the group also recorded a bit with disco stars KC & the Sunshine Band.

At the peak of their early popularity in Jamaica, Inner Circle performed at the legendary One Love Peace Concert in 1978, along with Bob Marley and many others. Heartland Reggae, the film documentary of the concert, helped introduce them to international audiences, and landed them a new deal with Island Records. Their 1979 label debut, Everything Is Great, was a hit in Europe, and the disco-tinged title track made the U.K. Top 20 and the French Top Ten. Several more singles, including "Stop Breaking My Heart," "Mary, Mary," and "Music Machine," helped consolidate their success. Tragically, just as the band was poised for a major international breakthrough, Miller was killed in a car accident on March 23, 1980. Devastated, the rest of the band broke up. Ian Lewis and Harvey moved to Miami and opened a recording studio, and Roger Lewis joined them several years later.

Roger's arrival in Miami sparked a renewal of the old Inner Circle chemistry, and soon the band decided to re-form, recruiting new lead singer Carlton Coffie and drummer Lancelot Hall. They recorded the comeback album Black Roses for Ras in 1986, updating their old roots style with elements of contemporary dance music, R&B, pop, and the emerging dancehall sound. The follow-up, 1987's One Way, was a generally acclaimed effort that followed much the same blueprint, and contained the original recording of "Bad Boys." The group mounted a successful tour in support, but took several years to come up with another album, finally returning in 1991 with Identified.

Meanwhile, the Fox television network chose "Bad Boys" as the opening theme song for its police reality show Cops, which premiered in March 1989. As the program swelled into a hit, "Bad Boys" became a household pop-culture reference. Cops was syndicated throughout the world, including Sweden, where "Bad Boys" was released as a single in 1991 and topped the charts. From there, it became a hit in several other European countries as well. "Bad Boys" was finally issued in the U.S. in 1993, and vaulted into the pop Top Ten. An album of the same name was quickly cobbled together from existing material; most of it was from the group's 1992 party-reggae album Bad to the Bone, which supplied the sexy follow-up single, the Top 20 hit "Sweat (A La La La La Long)." Bad Boys won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, and its title song eventually sold over seven million copies worldwide.

Inner Circle quickly recorded a follow-up album, the pop-oriented Reggae Dancer, which was released in 1994. Its lead single, "Summer Jammin'," was featured in the Eddie Murphy comedy Beverly Hills Cop III, but the enterprise failed to sustain Inner Circle's momentum as a pop-culture phenomenon. In 1995, "Bad Boys" was again used as a title song, this time for the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence action comedy of the same name. Around that time, however, Coffie was hospitalized with a serious illness, and was forced to take leave from the band. When he recovered, he decided to start a solo career, and was officially replaced by his substitute, singer/toaster Kris Bentley. Bentley made his debut on the 1997 set Da Bomb, which was issued in America one year later in a slightly reconfigured version titled Speak My Language. The band mounted extensive world tours over the next few years, and continued to release new albums, including 2000's Big Tings. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Im getting listening to Reggae and i''m smoking weed good. What I"m talk'n bout f**k it
Actually Inner Circle wasn't planning on Bad Boys to become as popular as it did then tv series "Cops " came out and song took off when producers used Bad Boys as there theme song of course Bad Boys movie Wiill Smith & Martin Lawrenx and here we are what 16 yrs later. Awesome love Inner Circle
Pretty good
H
RED RED WIIIIINE!
:-) :'(:-)...... . J a c o b Miller...... . : - ) :'(:-)
I thought bob marley sang this?? Mah bad
Love your music since 1990
savannah.new m a n 6
1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes name
3. Say a school day
4. Close your hand
5. Say your name
6. Open your hand and look at it
7. Post this to at least 15 other songs your crush will ask you out the day you said
They should do a remix and take out the part that says push it some more it don't sound right but I luv the song tho
Apparently if you copy and paste this on ten comments you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out. If you brake the chain you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorr
Allele allllla Kolkata@ @Dallas sweat
thegoat1984
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Bad boys bad boys watcha gonna do
Love dis song!!! Nevah heard it in awhile.
i f**king love this song
F**kin dirty a** song! WHen I do anal I don't look into a girls big brown eye!
vic_dlg
Love cops
msjann6
1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes name
3. Say a school day
4. Close your hand
5. Say your name
6. Open your hand and look at it
7. Post this to at least 15 other songs your crush will ask you out the day you said
bjm008
songs of my youth
liyanistan
bad boys be comin for you watcha going do
Bad boyss
thecyndytasi
Heard black roses back in 1993 been lovin it since, wish it played more
I've been listening to inner circle since I was really little love them<3
Like the way he thinks }:->
*Inner Circle* is bad to the bone, mon! ; )
IRIE
La la la la la la
feranandezje n n i f e r 5 4 0
ahahaha IM LOOKIN' IN YOUR BIGG BROWN EYES!!!!
omar283
I danced bad boys in tha club when i was pretty young it was all about having fun. Damm I'm getting old.
Sweat is the first and only song to make Rape sound Sexy.
Pretty good. My intro to the group...
Fat Man Riddim Section
shelbynames2 0 0 9
cool
robin.lattin
Rockers-good song-good movie!
Although "Bad Boys" is their most recognizable hit....SWEAT is my fav.
tell me something good.... tell me you like it....
smoke di herb...
imtrashman
Legalize Di Herb...
I really love this group the best.
m_nijman
Reggae Music Is Life!
what is that song called from shootas when they start shoting in Ky-Mani Marley
snoopleesylo o 9 3
this is ill!!!!!!!
splendid, spectacular, stupendis, swell.
SUPER DUPER!!!!!!
Their best seller was my hated one Bad boys sucks,
Inner circle makes great song one of my favorites is sweat (A la la la lalong)
or like Shaggyor even elvis crespo
i just luv them.
jacob is still with them
da bad man comin

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