With his masterful, robotic dancing, Jeffrey Daniels helped to transform Los Angeles-based trio Shalamar into a global phenomenon. Their recordings were extremely popular in England, where they outsold all foreign bands during the early 1980s. Since leaving the group and settling permanently in London, England in 1984, Daniels has continued to find success as the star of popular West End musical Starlight Express and as host of the British version of Soul Train.
Initially attracting attention as a Soul Train dancer in 1977, Daniels was in the right place when producer Simon Soussan elected to form a more permanent lineup of Shalamar, shortly after recording the group's debut album, Uptown Festival, with session musicians and singers.
Joining with vocalist/dancers Jody Watley and Gerald Brown to form Shalamar's first solid lineup, Daniels was featured on the group's second album, Disco Gardens. Replacing Brown with Akron, OH-born vocalist/dancer Howard Hewett shortly before the album's release, the trio of Daniels, Watley, and Hewett scored with Shalamar's third album, Big Fun, in 1980. The album, released on Soul Train's label, Solar (Sounds of Los Angeles Records) in 1980, attained gold record status and included such soul/dance hits as "Right in the Socket," "I Owe You One," and "Second Time Around."
Shalamar's success seemed short-lived, however, as the group's 1981 Go for It, failed to reach commercial expectations. Reports of the band's demise proved premature when their fifth album, Three for Love, restored their early momentum with such hook-laden tracks as "Make That Move," the first tune composed by the trio. Their next album, Friends, did even better. Released in 1982, the album included four major U.K. hits — "I Can Make You Feel Good," "There It Is," and "Night to Remember," which reached the British Top Ten, and the title track, which reached the twelfth position on the British dance charts.
Releasing their seventh album, The Look, shortly after returning from a British tour, in 1983, Shalamar scored with such hits as "Dead Giveaway," "Disappearing Act," and "Over and Over." The album marked the beginning of the end for the trio, however, as Daniels and Watley left shortly after its release and were replaced by Delisa Davis and Micki Free. ~ Craig Harris