Club Nouveau is an R&B-pop band that was formed by record producer/performer Jay King of Sacramento, California in 1986, subsequent to the breakup of the Timex Social Club. Other members of Club Nouveau included original members Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, Samuelle Prater, and Valerie Watson. New members are James L. Richard II, Kevin Irving, David Agent, Walter Phillips, and Mario Corbino. The band’s name (French for “New Club”) was changed from its original incarnation, Jet Set, to exploit the breakup of the Timex Social Club. The group was signed by Warner Bros. Records, on which Club Nouveau released its first three albums.
From its debut album Life, Love, and Pain released in 1986, the group scored four consecutive hits: “Jealousy” (essentially an answer song responding to Timex Social Club’s hit “Rumors”), “Situation #9,” a cover of Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me,” and “Why You Treat Me So Bad.” The latter was interpolated by the Luniz on that group’s hit single “I Got Five on It”, and subsequently by Puff Daddy on “Satisfy You.” The latter two songs both made it to #2 on the Billboard R&B chart the next year, with “Lean on Me” becoming a big Billboard Hot 100 hit. “Jealousy” also made an appearance on the soundtrack of the film Modern Girls.
Foster and McElroy soon left to form their own production team and focus on working with other acts. Prater, who had performed the lead vocals on “Lean on Me”, eventually left as well to pursue a solo career. The replacements were David Agent and Kevin Irving.
The group’s next albums—beginning with 1988 Listen to the Message—were laced with an evolving social consciousness, though the later albums were not as successful commercially as the group’s debut. Notable recordings include a dancehall-influenced version of the gospel classic “Oh, Happy Day” from the 1992 album A New Beginning, “Let It Go” from the 1995 Everything Is Black album, “You Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” from the 1989 Under A Nouveau Groove album and “What Kind Of Love” from the 1998 Collection Volume I album.
As of 2009, the current Club Nouveau roster consists of Jay King, Valerie Watson English, and Samuelle Prater. The original vocalists along with band members include Johnny De La Cruz (guitar), Fred White (bass), Juan Blair (keyboards) Anthony (Pierre) Parker (drums), and Angelo Dominguez (keyboards). They completed a new Club Nouveau album “Consciousness” released in the summer of 2015, thru Cleopatra Record, and their single “That Ain’t Love” released in February of 2014 was #25 on the Billboard Urban A.C. charts.
The band also recorded a song for the Who’s That Girl soundtrack called “Step by Step. Club Nouveau was nominated for two Grammy’s (song of the year – lean on me and best new act) Club Nouveau’s version of “Lean on Me” won a Grammy award, Bammy award, BRE Drummer award, two Narm awards, Bay Area Star award, and nominated for two American Music awards.
Lean On Me was Club Nouveau’s Biggest Hit going #1 on the U.S Pop & Dance charts, #5 in Australia, #22 in Austria, #1 in Canada, #9 in Germany, #5 in Ireland, #4 in Netherlands, #1 in New Zealand, #7 in Switzerland and #3 in the U.K
1. Life, Love & Pain – 1986
2. Listen To The Message 1988
3. Under A Nouveau Groove 1989
4. A New Beginning 1992
5. Everything Is Black 1995
Compilations & Greatest Hits
6. The Collection Volume I 1998
7. The Ballad Collection 2001
8. Greatest Hits (edel) 2002
9. Greatest Hits (thump) 2003
10. Ballads and Love Songs 2005
1. Rumors 1986 #1 R&B (Billboard) #8 Pop (Billboard)
2. Jealousy 1986 (video) #8 R&B (Billboard)
3. Situation No.9 1986 (video) # 4 R&B (Billboard)
4. Lean On Me 1987 (video) # 1 Pop (Billboard) # 2 R&B (Billboard)
5. Why You Treat Me So Bad 1987 (video) # 2 R&B (Billboard) # 39 Pop (Billboard)
6. Heavy On My Mind 1987 #42 R&B (Billboard)
7. It’s A Cold Cold World 1988 (video) #34 R&B (Billboard)
8. Envious 1988 (video)
9. Francis 1988 (video)
10. You Ain’t No Friend Of Mine 1989 (video) #12 R&B (Billboard)
11. Oh Happy Day 1992 (video) #45 R&B (Billboard)
12. When Will You Come Back To Me 1992 (video)
13. Let It Go 1995 (video)
14. What Kind Of Love 1998 (video)
15. That Ain’t Love 2014 (video) #25 Billboard Urban A.C Charts
Club Nouveau Music Appearances
1. Earth Girlz – Jealousy 1986
2. Who’s That Girl – Step By Step 1987
3. Lean On Me – Lean On Me 1988
4. Love Beat The Hell Outta Me – What Kind Of Love 1998 5. The Gristle – Rumors