—-thanks to Robin Leach for this –
Australia’s popular and successful vocal group Human Nature, who now star nightly at the Imperial Palace Showroom on the Strip, celebrate the release of their first U.S. album today. Reach Out is being released sold at Barnes & Noble, but it’s also available via download. It will drop globally via retail in February.The group originally signed with Sony in 1994 and has earned 23 platinum awards in their native Australia, with their largest audience at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, where they performed before 4 billion viewers worldwide. The four men have had 17 Top 40 hits and 5 Top 10 hits since 1996 and opened tours of Asia and Europe for Michael Jackson and Celine Dion. Their last four releases in Australia have reached No. 1 on the charts!
Now they’ve set their sites on America, launching an assault out of the headline Las Vegas show presented by friend and mentor Smokey Robinson. Their production The Ultimate Celebration of the Motown Sound is set to run through May of next year. They will take time out to perform select dates in U.S. cities as part of national media and promotional activities for the debut album here.
Reach Out is a collection of handpicked remixed and remastered hit songs from their last three studio recordings in tribute to some of the best Motown songwriters and performers. Human Nature — Toby Allen, Phil Burton and brothers Andrew and Michael Tierney — say it’s a loving tribute to the sounds that influenced their global success.
The songs are “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Baby I Need Your Lovin,’ ” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “ABC,” “You Are the Everything,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” “Twenty-Five Miles,” “Dancing in the Streets” and “Get Ready” recorded with Smokey, “The Way You Do the Things You Do” recorded with The Temptations and “River Deep, Mountain High” with Vegas’ own Mary Wilson of The Supremes.
Go to HumanNatureLasVegas.com to watch and listen to their videos, and posted on YouTube to mark today’s album release is a performance of “Baby I Need Your Lovin’
—–and thanks to http://mainstreamisntsobad.blogspot.com for this –
Alright, here’s an idea. Let’s put together four white guys. Take them from Australia. And have them sing Motown songs. You know, Motown, that motor city soul that has its own musical genre named after it. Let’s name them Human Nature. I know what you’re thinking – who would ever take their chances with that set up?
Try Smokey Robinson. Yeah, THAT Smokey Robinson, practically the number two man after Berry Gordy. Who would have thunk it?
Alright, maybe I’m over dramaticizing it a bit. Truth is, the band’s been around for a while (since the early 90’s), Australia’s answer for the boy band craze that swept the world. And, in their defense, they’re not just an over-hyped cover band, they have written a lot of material of their own, although that’s immaterial for the album at hand, Reach Out, which is an entire album of cover songs, Motown cover songs to be precise. It was actually released back in 2005 overseas, but the group will see US distribution for the first time on September 1st as this album hits shelves exclusively at Barnes & Noble (with full distribution February of next year).
I’ll be honest with you, I was somewhat skeptical when I saw what I thought was a gimmick, but I have to give dues where they belong, for the most part, these four joes pull it off pretty darn well. Yes, it is a little glossified. Yes, it is somewhat Vegas’esque (the group is actually booked to play nightly at the Imperial Palace through early next year). Yes, they don’t exactly present the definitive versions of any of the songs here, but heck, how could you ever imagine to top The Temptations, The Supremes, etc…?
But given all that, the album’s pretty darn enjoyable if you let it be. It’s a veritable Motown (select) greatest hits album, with even a few cameos by some originals, including Smokey himself, the other Temptations, and Mary Wilson (long lasting Supremes member). If you’re a Motown fan, you probably have all these songs anyway, but you still might like this modernized take on timeless soul.
I’m such a Human Nature fan.