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Inner Circle (formed in 1968) is a pop, rock and reggae group, known predominantly for their rootsy yet danceable appeal and hit single “Bad Boys” popularised by TV series COPS, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica.
The earliest incarnation of Inner Circle was formed in 1968 by brother Ian and Roger Lewis, bassist and guitarist respectively. 12 year old guitarist Steven “Cat” Coore, keyboard player Michael “Ibo” Cooper, and multi-instrumentalist Michard Daley subsequently joined before leaving to form Third World in 1973. Members Charles Farquharson, Bernard Harvey and Calvin McKenzie later joined the ranks, playing the Kingston hotel and club circuits before issuing their debut album “Dread Reggae Hits” in 1973.
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Following the release of their sophomore album “Heavy Reggae” in 1974, Inner Circle invited vibrato solo singer and devout Rastafarian Jacob Miller to the band in 1976. Miller’s initial influence saw the band taken in a social conscious direction and sign with Capitol Records, after which Inner Circle released the hit single “You Make Me Feel Brand New”. With major label backing the group issued the album “Reggae Thing” (1976) and “Ready for the World” (1997), before performing at the legendary One Love Peace Concert alongside Bob Marley in 1978.
The full-length “Everything is Great” also arrived in 1978 spawning the singles “Everything is Great” and “Stop Breaking My Heart”, cementing their soulful, pop-tinged, reggae sound. The record was Inner Circle’s debut for Island Record and followed by “New Age Music” in 1979. The following year Jacob Miller was killed in a car accident and the group disbanded with Ian and Roger Lewis, and Touter Harvey moving to the U.S. In 1981 the group reformed and recorded the album “Something So Good” with lead guitarist Mark Castro and singer Rick Hunt. The band’s official reformation with singer Carlton Coffie and drummer Lancelot Hall arrived in 1986 marked by the studio album “Black Roses”.
With a wider degree of influences from R&B, soul, rock, and dancehall, Inner Circles subsequent release, 1987’s “One Way” featured the earliest recording of their single “Bad Boys”. The full-length “Identified” followed in 1991, after which the group enjoyed the height of success when their track “Bad Boys” was chosen by Fox TV as the opening theme for the show “COPS”. As a result Inner Circle became a household name across the world, enjoying success notably in the U.S. and Sweden. Trying to ride the wave of success the group issued the album “Bad Boys” in 1992, featuring mainly tracks from their previous album. Selling more than four million copies worldwide, the record proved an international success, later winning the group a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
Singer Coffie departed in 1994 and was replaced by Kris Bently who first appeared on the 1996 album “Da Bomb”, followed by “Jamaika Me Crazy” in 1999. “Big Tings” arrived in 2000 feauring appearences from Mr Vegas and Beenie Man, following which they released the full-length “State of Da World” in 2009, and “Dubets” in 2012.