The five-brother singing group Tavares may be best known for such up-tempo hits as the million-selling single "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel," "More Than a Woman," and "Whodunit," but they first came to national attention with the luscious ballad "Check It Out." Their crisp vocalizing and clean-cut, young-men-next-door image made them favorites on TV shows starring Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, and Dick Clark's American Bandstand. In 1974, Tavares also had the first hit version (number one R&B) of "She's Gone" written by the then relatively unknown duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates. Hall & Oates scored a number seven pop hit with the song in 1976.
Check It Out was followed by Hard Core Poetry in the summer of 1974, helmed by songwriting/production duo Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter (the Four Tops' "Aint No Woman Like the One I Got"). It listed the soaring number ten hit "Too Late," the number one hit "She's Gone," and "Remember What I Told You to Forget," which hit number four in 1975.
Tavares' next album, Sky High (spring 1976) was the group's first collaboration with producer Freddie Perren. Perren seemed to have an affinity for family singing groups, having had hits with the Jackson 5 ("I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save") as a member of the Motown arrangers/songwriters/producers collective The Corporation, and would later go to have hits with the Sylvers ("Boogie Fever"). Sky High boasted the sparkling number three R&B hit "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel (Part 1)" from summer 1976.
Their fifth LP, Love Storm was issued in spring 1977 and included the clever number one R&B hit "Whodunit" in spring 1977. A greatest hits set, The Best of Tavares, was released in the fall of the same year.
"More Than a Woman" was specifically written for Tavares by the Bee Gees and was issued as a single from the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. "More Than a Woman" was also on their Future Bound LP released in spring 1978.
On 1979's Madame Butterfly LP, the group worked with Philly soul arranger/producer Bobby Martin (the Manhattans, LTD). The sweet ballad "Never Had a Love Like This Before" went to number five R&B in early 1979.
At the start of the 1980s, Tavares left Capitol Records, signing with RCA. They had one last major hit, the ballad "A Penny for Your Thoughts", from their 1982 New Directions album. Sadly, subsequent releases failed to match this success.
In 1983, after the release of their Words & Music album, brother Ralph stepped down from the group, and Tiny left in the mid 1990s, but the other three members continued to tour.
In 1994, Canadian label Unidisc released The Best of Tavares Revisited, which had re-recordings by the group of their past hits.
Source: Tweaked from the writings of Ed Hogan, All Music Guide.
Unfortunately, Hard Core Poetry is long out of print but you can still find an original vinyl copy on the cheap right here or here.
Featured cut: "Too Late"
Listen to the full album here