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Monday, April 23, 2007

Arrested Development: Power To The People

Arrested Development is an American progressive hip hop group, founded by Speech and Headliner as a positive, Afrocentric alternative to the gangsta rap popular in the early 1990s.

It took the group three years, five months and two days to be offered a record deal, when Chrysalis Records sent A&R director Duff Marlowe to Atlanta's Bosstown Studios to meet with the group's manager Michael Mauldin. Arrested Development had already been offered a single deal for the song "Tennessee". Hence the name of the first album was 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of..., which produced several hit tracks. These included "Tennessee", "People Everyday", and "Mr. Wendal", which hit the Top Ten. The group won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist, and was also Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine.

In the early 1990s, the group was approached by film director, Spike Lee, to compose a song for his upcoming biopic on the life of Malcolm X (see Malcolm X (film)). The group then recorded the epic "Revolution", which appeared on the oldies-dominated soundtrack for the film, as well as the second half of its closing credits when the film was released in 1992. The song gained reasonable popularity for its association with the film and similarity to Arrested Development's other material at the time.

Their 1994 follow-up Zingalamaduni, which did very well with some critics but was panned by many others, sold poorly. After the group broke up in 1996, Speech released a solo album, but sales were poor. The group reunited in 2000 (without Headliner) and has been touring and releasing records via Speech's Vagabond Productions and Speech Music. While Arrested Development has struggled to regain a following in the United States, they have met moderate, consistent success in Japan.

Although she was never an official member of the band (and frequently clashed with Speech), the haunting voice behind "Tennessee", Dionne Farris, released a successful solo album in 1994, Wild Seed-Wild Flower. The album spawned the hit single "I Know".

In November 2003, the group sued the FOX network over their TV show Arrested Development. The suit is referenced in the Arrested Development episode Motherboy XXX.

In June 2005, the group won the first round of NBC's television series contest Hit Me Baby One More Time, performing "Tennessee" and covering Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven".

The group's latest album, the follow-up to their 2004 comeback "Among The Trees", is titled "Since The Last Time", and was released internationally (not in the US) on September 18, 2006.

Arrested Development – Live in Europe 1993

12 tracks @ 192kps

Silver CD sourced: Blue knight Records BKR28

no artwork available on the net...

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