Signed to NY-based indie Jive Records in 1982, they enjoyed a string of hits, mostly charting on Urban/R&B stations. The bulk of production on their releases was done by Larry Smith, a bass player who also handled much of Run DMC’s early work. In keeping with 80’s trends, Whodini’s cuts tended to be synthesizer driven with a heavy electronic drumbeat. The sampling technology that became identified with rap hadn’t really become prominent during Whodini’s early days, and their works were thoroughly original compositions.
“Haunted House of Rock” was their first single, a whimsical Halloween-themed number. Synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby produced another of their early singles, “Magic’s Wand”. Speaking with Songfacts about "Magic's Wand" in a 2011 interview, Dolbyexplained that he hooked up with Whodini after sending his demo tape to the music publisher Zomba, who had launched the label Jive Records. Whodini was one of the acts on the label, and Zomba put Dolby together with the New York rap trio. The group culled a female audience with such relationship-themed cut as “Friends” and “One Love”.
Backstage partying was extolled in the mildly controversial “I’m a Ho”. “Fugitive” was guitar-driven funk. From 1982 - 1986 was the band’s heyday, touring with Run DMC, LL Cool J, the Fat Boys, and other prominent R&B and funk outfits of the 80’s. Their albums Whodini (1983), Escape (1984), and Back in Black (1986; no relation to AC/DC) were all well-received by rap fans and youthful R&B enthusiasts.
The ‘Fresh Fest’ tours were the first arena-sized tours to feature all hip-hop lineups, but full-fledged crossover fame seemed to elude them, however. The group had earned their share of gold singles and albums by 1987, when the hits started to slump. Open Sesame, their release that year, failed to produce any hits. After that point, the band eked out their tenure on Jive by occasionally releasing singles, including “Anyway I Gotta Swing it” for the Nightmare on Elm Street 5 movie soundtrack.
Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more