Surface (band)

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Surface (band)_table_infobox_0

SurfaceSurface (band)_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationSurface (band)_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginSurface (band)_header_cell_0_2_0 New Jersey


United StatesSurface (band)_cell_0_2_1
GenresSurface (band)_header_cell_0_3_0 Pop, R&B, post-discoSurface (band)_cell_0_3_1
Years activeSurface (band)_header_cell_0_4_0 1983–1994

1999Surface (band)_cell_0_4_1

LabelsSurface (band)_header_cell_0_5_0 Salsoul

ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_0_5_1

Past membersSurface (band)_header_cell_0_7_0 Bernard Jackson

David Conley Everett Collins Karen Copeland (deceased) David Townsend (deceased)Surface (band)_cell_0_7_1

Surface was an American music group from New Jersey, active from 1983 to 1994. Surface (band)_sentence_0

They are best known for their #1 pop and R&B hit "The First Time". Surface (band)_sentence_1

During its heyday, the group consisted of singer/bassist Bernard Jackson (born July 11, 1959), David Townsend (May 17, 1955–October 26, 2005), and David Conley (born December 27, 1953). Surface (band)_sentence_2

History Surface (band)_section_0

Early years Surface (band)_section_1

Surface was formed in New Jersey in 1983 with musicians David Conley, David Townsend and Everett Collins at its nucleus and Conley’s girlfriend on vocals. Surface (band)_sentence_3

Her name was Karen Copeland. Surface (band)_sentence_4

David Townsend was the son of late singer/songwriter, Ed Townsend. Surface (band)_sentence_5

He was also a member of the band, Port Authority in the 1970s along with David Conley, who was the bassist of funk band, Mandrill from 1978 to 1981. Surface (band)_sentence_6

Townsend and Conley met when Townsend was in a '70s band in Los Angeles. Surface (band)_sentence_7

During the 1970s, Townsend was a friend and colleague of drummer/writer, Everett Collins, who worked with the Isley Brothers. Surface (band)_sentence_8

They then became resident songwriters for EMI and wrote New Edition's "Let's Be Friends" and Sister Sledge's "You're Fine." Surface (band)_sentence_9

Encouraged by this success, the group called themselves Surface and began recording their own material, releasing several post-disco/early-'80s-style tracks under the name. Surface (band)_sentence_10

With this original line-up, Surface recorded three singles, "Falling in Love" (1983), "When Your X Wants You Back" (1984), and "Stop Holding Back", the latter being a "lost track" released about 15 years after being recorded. Surface (band)_sentence_11

“Stop Holding Back” would only be released in 1999 when Salsoul Records was opening up their vaults, as part of a special vinyl release with the other two early Surface recordings (It had been recorded earlier by Gwen Guthrie). Surface (band)_sentence_12

These three singles, recorded several years before Surface recorded a full album and with Karen Copeland as lead singer are referred to by music critics as "the Copeland singles". Surface (band)_sentence_13

Surface would find moderate success with the Copeland singles. Surface (band)_sentence_14

In 1983, Surface released their debut single, "Falling in Love" which peaked at #84 on the United States R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 4 weeks. Surface (band)_sentence_15

In the UK, the song peaked at #67 on the UK Singles Chart. Surface (band)_sentence_16

A year later, they released their second single, "When Your Ex Wants You Back" which also peaked at #84 on the United States R&B chart and peaked at #52 on the UK Singles chart. Surface (band)_sentence_17

Karen Copeland and David Conley then broke up. Surface (band)_sentence_18

Copeland left the group, and then Conley and Townsend met Bernard Jackson in 1984. Surface (band)_sentence_19

The three met when Jackson moved from Stamford to New York to pursue a music career. Surface (band)_sentence_20

While Jackson was in New York, his godfather said that he should contact his nephew, David Townsend. Surface (band)_sentence_21

Conley, Townsend, and Jackson then started writing music together. Surface (band)_sentence_22

They wrote songs in contemplation of the next female lead vocal who would sing them. Surface (band)_sentence_23

After auditioning several women, Surface, according to Conley, "never found another girl". Surface (band)_sentence_24

After failing to find a female lead singer to replace Karen Copeland, Bernard Jackson himself became the lead singer. Surface (band)_sentence_25

The group then worked on recording its first full album. Surface (band)_sentence_26

After leaving Surface, Karen Copeland faded into obscurity. Surface (band)_sentence_27

According to Conley, she is now deceased. Surface (band)_sentence_28

First major label record deal Surface (band)_section_2

The trio then moved to Los Angeles, California, searching for more mainstream success. Surface (band)_sentence_29

The song "Let's Try Again" came to the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records, who signed the band and released this track as a single in 1986. Surface (band)_sentence_30

Also in 1986, Jackson met a friend, Brian Simpson, and recorded a demo tape of a track he had written entitled "The First Time". Surface (band)_sentence_31

He believed it to be a hit and hired a recording studio to get the best professional conditions for the track. Surface (band)_sentence_32

Their self-titled first album followed in 1987, featuring two more hit singles: "Happy", which reached #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and "Lately", which reached #8. Surface (band)_sentence_33

However, "The First Time" did not appear on the album and remained unreleased. Surface (band)_sentence_34

The band's follow-up album, 2nd Wave, was released in 1988 and included some of the group's biggest hits. Surface (band)_sentence_35

"I Missed" reached #3 on the R&B charts. Surface (band)_sentence_36

"Closer Than Friends" was the group's first #1 hit, topping the R&B charts for two weeks. Surface (band)_sentence_37

"Can We Spend Some Time" reached #5 on the R&B charts. Surface (band)_sentence_38

The album featured two other #1 R&B hits. Surface (band)_sentence_39

"You Are My Everything", featuring popular R&B singer Regina Belle, topped the charts for two weeks. Surface (band)_sentence_40

And the album's biggest hit, "Shower Me With Your Love" went gold, reached #1 on the R&B charts and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Surface (band)_sentence_41

Regina Belle was also a guest vocalist on the song "Hold On to Love", which was not released as single. Surface (band)_sentence_42

Thanks to the album's multiple hits, it managed to go platinum. Surface (band)_sentence_43

Later years Surface (band)_section_3

The song "The First Time", originally recorded by Jackson in 1986, was featured on the band's third album 3 Deep in 1991 and was the first single from the album. Surface (band)_sentence_44

The song was a hit, going gold and becoming the group's biggest hit to date. Surface (band)_sentence_45

It topped both the R&B and pop charts. Surface (band)_sentence_46

The album continued with "All I Want Is You", again featuring Regina Belle, which reached #8 on the R&B charts. Surface (band)_sentence_47

The band also recorded "A World of Our Own" which was featured in the 1991 film Return to the Blue Lagoon. Surface (band)_sentence_48

Jackson and Townsend left in 1994, and the group disbanded. Surface (band)_sentence_49

In 1998, the group reformed and released Love Zone and a few years later announced a return to live appearances, only to be cancelled when Townsend was found dead at his home. Surface (band)_sentence_50

Townsend, son of producer/songwriter Ed Townsend (co-writer of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"), died of unknown causes on October 26, 2005, at the age of 50, almost two years after his father. Surface (band)_sentence_51

Members Surface (band)_section_4

Best-known lineup Surface (band)_section_5

Surface (band)_unordered_list_0

Other members Surface (band)_section_6

Surface (band)_unordered_list_1

  • Karen Copeland - vocals (1983–1984)Surface (band)_item_1_3
  • Eric "G-Riff" Moore - vocals (born August 23, 1971, Irvington, New Jersey) (1994)Surface (band)_item_1_4
  • Everett "Jam" Benton - keyboards (1994)Surface (band)_item_1_5
  • Everett Collins - keyboards, vocals, writer (1987 - 2005)Surface (band)_item_1_6

Discography Surface (band)_section_7

Studio albums Surface (band)_section_8

Surface (band)_table_general_1

YearSurface (band)_header_cell_1_0_0 TitleSurface (band)_header_cell_1_0_1 Chart positionsSurface (band)_header_cell_1_0_2 CertificationsSurface (band)_header_cell_1_0_4 Record labelSurface (band)_header_cell_1_0_5
US PopSurface (band)_header_cell_1_1_0 US R&BSurface (band)_header_cell_1_1_1
1986Surface (band)_cell_1_2_0 SurfaceSurface (band)_cell_1_2_1 55Surface (band)_cell_1_2_2 11Surface (band)_cell_1_2_3 Surface (band)_cell_1_2_4 ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_1_2_5
1988Surface (band)_cell_1_3_0 2nd WaveSurface (band)_cell_1_3_1 56Surface (band)_cell_1_3_2 5Surface (band)_cell_1_3_3 RIAA: PlatinumSurface (band)_cell_1_3_4 ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_1_3_5
1990Surface (band)_cell_1_4_0 3 DeepSurface (band)_cell_1_4_1 65Surface (band)_cell_1_4_2 19Surface (band)_cell_1_4_3 RIAA: GoldSurface (band)_cell_1_4_4 ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_1_4_5
1998Surface (band)_cell_1_5_0 Love ZoneSurface (band)_cell_1_5_1 Surface (band)_cell_1_5_2 Surface (band)_cell_1_5_3 Surface (band)_cell_1_5_4 Victor EntertainmentSurface (band)_cell_1_5_5

Compilation albums Surface (band)_section_9

Surface (band)_table_general_2

YearSurface (band)_header_cell_2_0_0 TitleSurface (band)_header_cell_2_0_1 Chart positionsSurface (band)_header_cell_2_0_2 Record LabelSurface (band)_header_cell_2_0_4
US PopSurface (band)_header_cell_2_1_0 US R&BSurface (band)_header_cell_2_1_1
1991Surface (band)_cell_2_2_0 The Best of Surface...A Nice Time for LovingSurface (band)_cell_2_2_1 Surface (band)_cell_2_2_2 Surface (band)_cell_2_2_3 ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_2_2_4
2001Surface (band)_cell_2_3_0 The First Time: The Best of SurfaceSurface (band)_cell_2_3_1 Surface (band)_cell_2_3_2 Surface (band)_cell_2_3_3 SonySurface (band)_cell_2_3_4
Perfect 10Surface (band)_cell_2_4_0 Surface (band)_cell_2_4_1 Surface (band)_cell_2_4_2 ColumbiaSurface (band)_cell_2_4_3
2005Surface (band)_cell_2_5_0 Our WorldSurface (band)_cell_2_5_1 Surface (band)_cell_2_5_2 Surface (band)_cell_2_5_3 SonySurface (band)_cell_2_5_4
2008Surface (band)_cell_2_6_0 Super Hits: SurfaceSurface (band)_cell_2_6_1 Surface (band)_cell_2_6_2 Surface (band)_cell_2_6_3 Sony BMG Music EntertainmentSurface (band)_cell_2_6_4

Singles Surface (band)_section_10

Surface (band)_table_general_3

YearSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_0 SongSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_1 US Hot 100Surface (band)_header_cell_3_0_2 US R&BSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_3 US A.C.Surface (band)_header_cell_3_0_4 US Hot DanceSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_5 UK Singles ChartSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_6 CertificationsSurface (band)_header_cell_3_0_7
1983Surface (band)_cell_3_1_0 "Falling in Love"Surface (band)_cell_3_1_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_1_2 84Surface (band)_cell_3_1_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_1_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_1_5 67Surface (band)_cell_3_1_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_1_7
1984Surface (band)_cell_3_2_0 "When Your Ex Wants You Back"Surface (band)_cell_3_2_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_2_2 84Surface (band)_cell_3_2_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_2_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_2_5 52Surface (band)_cell_3_2_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_2_7
1986Surface (band)_cell_3_3_0 "Let's Try Again"Surface (band)_cell_3_3_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_3_2 22Surface (band)_cell_3_3_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_3_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_3_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_3_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_3_7
1987Surface (band)_cell_3_4_0 "Happy"Surface (band)_cell_3_4_1 20Surface (band)_cell_3_4_2 2Surface (band)_cell_3_4_3 24Surface (band)_cell_3_4_4 16Surface (band)_cell_3_4_5 56Surface (band)_cell_3_4_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_4_7
"Lately"Surface (band)_cell_3_5_0 Surface (band)_cell_3_5_1 8Surface (band)_cell_3_5_2 Surface (band)_cell_3_5_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_5_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_5_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_5_6
1988Surface (band)_cell_3_6_0 "I Missed"Surface (band)_cell_3_6_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_6_2 3Surface (band)_cell_3_6_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_6_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_6_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_6_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_6_7
1989Surface (band)_cell_3_7_0 "Closer Than Friends"Surface (band)_cell_3_7_1 57Surface (band)_cell_3_7_2 1Surface (band)_cell_3_7_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_7_4 39Surface (band)_cell_3_7_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_7_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_7_7
"Shower Me with Your Love"Surface (band)_cell_3_8_0 5Surface (band)_cell_3_8_1 1Surface (band)_cell_3_8_2 3Surface (band)_cell_3_8_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_8_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_8_5 RIAA: GoldSurface (band)_cell_3_8_6
"You Are My Everything"Surface (band)_cell_3_9_0 84Surface (band)_cell_3_9_1 1Surface (band)_cell_3_9_2 Surface (band)_cell_3_9_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_9_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_9_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_9_6
1990Surface (band)_cell_3_10_0 "Can We Spend Some Time"Surface (band)_cell_3_10_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_10_2 5Surface (band)_cell_3_10_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_10_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_10_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_10_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_10_7
"The First Time"Surface (band)_cell_3_11_0 1Surface (band)_cell_3_11_1 1Surface (band)_cell_3_11_2 1Surface (band)_cell_3_11_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_11_4 60Surface (band)_cell_3_11_5 RIAA: GoldSurface (band)_cell_3_11_6
1991Surface (band)_cell_3_12_0 "All I Want Is You"Surface (band)_cell_3_12_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_12_2 8Surface (band)_cell_3_12_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_12_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_12_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_12_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_12_7
"Never Gonna Let You Down"Surface (band)_cell_3_13_0 17Surface (band)_cell_3_13_1 24Surface (band)_cell_3_13_2 17Surface (band)_cell_3_13_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_13_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_13_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_13_6
"You're the One" / "We Don't Have to Say Good-bye"Surface (band)_cell_3_14_0 Surface (band)_cell_3_14_1 35Surface (band)_cell_3_14_2 Surface (band)_cell_3_14_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_14_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_14_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_14_6
1992Surface (band)_cell_3_15_0 "A Nice Time for Lovin'"Surface (band)_cell_3_15_1 Surface (band)_cell_3_15_2 52Surface (band)_cell_3_15_3 Surface (band)_cell_3_15_4 Surface (band)_cell_3_15_5 Surface (band)_cell_3_15_6 Surface (band)_cell_3_15_7

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: (band).