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Surface

When you think of the group Surface, the term disco dancefloor doesn't come to mind. The '80s soft soul vocal trio known for such lush ballads as "Closer Than Friends" and the million-selling singles "Shower Me With Your Love" and the number one pop hit "The First Time" had one of its first charting records as artists signed to dance music pioneer Salsoul Records. "Falling in Love," co-written by Surface member David Conley, doesn't have much in common with the aforementioned titles other than the group name and a (presumably) Conley flute solo. The single made it to number 84 R&B in summer 1983 and the U.K. pop charts. Singer Bernard Jackson who grew up in Stamford, CT, got into the music business through his cousin who lived in New York. Seizing the opportunity, he relocated to New York and began performing around the city. While doing a show in Stamford, his godfather suggested that he contact his nephew David Townsend who was also in the music business. Townsend, a former touring guitarist for the Isley Brothers, was the son of singer/songwriter/producer Ed Townsend who had a hit with "For Your Love" in summer 1958 and wrote the Impressions' "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)" and co-wrote Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." Around 1973, Townsend joined a band called the Port Authority where he met David "Pic" Conley. Townsend, whose father shared hit songwriting tips with him, began writing songs with Conley. After Townsend and Conley met Jackson it was decided that they'd write songs together. The trio became staff writers for EMI Music. Their songs were covered by New Edition ("Let's Be Friends" from their 1985 MCA LP All for Love) and Sister Sledge ("You're So Fine"). The trio became performers using the name Surface and moved to Los Angeles. An EMI Music executive brought one of their songs, "Let's Try Again," to the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records. Arnold's previous successes include Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson. He signed the group to Columbia and their first single "Let's Try Again" charted number 80 R&B in late 1986. The debut album Surface included the smooth and sweet "Happy," which hit number two R&B for two weeks in early 1987, "Lately" (number eight R&B), and the reissued "Let's Try Again." The next LP, 2nd Wave yielded "I Missed" (number three R&B), "Closer Than Friends" (number one R&B for two weeks in early 1989), the wedding standard "Shower Me With Your Love" (gold, number one R&B/number five pop), "You Are My Everything" (number one R&B for two weeks), and "Can We Spend Some Time" (number five R&B). Jackson brought the sheet music to a song he had written in 1986 to his friend, songwriter Brian Simpson, who had a recording studio in his garage. After listening to the finished demo tape, Jackson thought that he had a hit. Hiring a mobile 24-track recording studio truck to capture his vocal in the best professional conditions, Jackson sang "The First Time" in Simpson's house. "The First Time" was the first single from Surface's 3 Deep album and went gold hitting number one R&B and holding the number one pop for two weeks in early 1991. While "The First Time" was topping the charts, Surface was one of the presenters at the American Music Awards and were enthusiastically congratulated. The hits continued with "All I Want Is You" (number eight R&B, early 1991) and "Never Gonna Let You Down." "You're the One" billed as Surface featuring Bernard Jackson made it to number 24 R&B, summer 1991. The group's last charting single was "A Nice Time for Lovin'" included on their 1991 greatest hits LP The Best Surface: A Nice Time for Loving. Conley and Townsend also produced sides on Rebbie Jackson ("Reaction") that are on The Rebbie Jackson Collection from U.K. label Expansion distributed by Sony/3MV. ~ Ed Hogan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of Surface

1. A Nice Time For Lovin'

2. Happy

3. Closer Than Friends

4. You Are My Everything

5. I Missed

6. Shower Me With Your Love

7. The First Time

8. Never Gonna Let You Down

9. A World Of Our Own

10. Christmas Time Is Here

x

Track List: Surface

1. Let's Try Again

2. Happy

3. We're All Searchin'

4. Lately

5. Gotta Make Love Tonight

6. Who Loves You

7. You're Fine

8. Lady Wants A Man

10. Feels So Good

Comments

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This is when music was music, one of my favorites��
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This is my wedding song
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Music will never ever be the same..
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THE FIRST TIME ... I love this jam ....
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Another great love song ****
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Man those was the good day's real love songs
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1988 YTS word for word . G Code on the trade line walkman reppin the turf on bicentennial ni.... OG Status
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Getting the move on with this song!!!
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this song is so beautiful i was 8 when i herd it for the first time and i fell in love at only 8 it reminds me of my childhood oh how i wish i could go back����
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This song is incredible!!
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shawnahall1
Us 70's babies was blessed with such creative music in late 70's 80's early 90's music it had meaning and great precuttions u felt like u were living in the song, it not like that no more
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Shower Me With Your Love .,, would be nice to be showered by his love ...
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Brings back great teenage memories
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The First Time ...
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My jam luv it!!
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Tight lyrics and smooth sound Surface was hot in the 80s for sure just good music
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What's missing?wher e do I begin
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Love the vibe
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NICE BEAUTIFUL SONG
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Smooth soul singer.
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Only you can make me happyyyy...I will love this old school jam! :-)
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Make me want to listen to Surface
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They are jammin. Love this station. Very relaxing
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Chillin in the rain relaxing and jamming
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LOVE.!TB.
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junegemini44
This is music nice n slow
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I was only ten years old when this came out but love this and trying my best to sing it to my first crush but failed lol memories
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Surface,wher e are you?.look for yah at unsung.
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Badd a** group. I love them
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Good make upp sex. Music
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I love this song along with their other hits.. .I'm a '76 baby
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♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
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Indeed
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This is the jam ❤❤
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Let's take our time and try again...
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Love this song and also the group.
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elynor
This is a thumpin' song - ok, let's get to the dance floor and SWAY!!!
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regina belle makes this song acut
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My favo
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lizabdiaz
Takes me back to someone special
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dimepiece37
One of my favorites!
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Aww... this takes me back!
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I love the song of shower me with your love
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I love this song. ��
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mizalondra
Love this track!
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"You're all I need in my life, don't need no one but you" good lyrics. I love Surface this one of my favorite songs by them.
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Luv them 2 pieces...
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That the ( S**t) Right their !!'����
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It was awesome seeing them last night(9/18/1 5 ) in lawndale California. They still sound good!!!
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Only you...im thinking about you...ill b waiting. ..all i need in my life is you....wepa. ..
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