Pioneers of the London acid jazz scene, the Brand New Heavies translated their love for the funk grooves of the s into a sophisticated sound that carried the torch for classic soul in an era dominated by hip-hop. The trio soon began recording their own music, gaining enormous exposure when their demo tracks were spun at the influential Cat in the Hat Club. Eventually adding a brass section, the Brand New Heavies built a cult following throughout the London club circuit, surviving the shift that saw the rare groove scene fade in the wake of acid house. After an earlier recording deal with Cooltempo yielded the single "Got to Give," the Heavies -- now including vocalist Jay Ella Ruth -- signed with the fledgling indie label Acid Jazz; recorded on a budget of just 8, pounds, the group's self-titled LP appeared in to strong critical acclaim, resulting in a licensing deal with the American company Delicious Vinyl. With Ruth now out of the band, Delicious Vinyl hand-picked N'dea Davenport as her successor, insisting the Heavies re-record tracks from their debut for their first U. Released in , Brother Sister , which went platinum in Britain, was Davenport 's last recording with the Heavies before beginning a solo career; she was replaced by singer Siedah Garrett in time for 's Shelter. Two years later, the group reappeared with a British best-of album entitled Trunk Funk: The Best of the Brand New Heavies ; the title was recycled the following year for an American compilation, Trunk Funk Classics: , which featured a new song recorded with Davenport. In early it was announced that Davenport would be reuniting with the group.
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The Brand New Heavies began in the s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brothers International. The group came up with the Heavies name after signing their first record contract, borrowing from a liner note on a James Brown single declaring the artist "Minister of New Super Heavy Funk". The band signed to a division of Chrysalis Records in the UK,  and American distribution was picked up by influential label Delicious Vinyl , and N'Dea Davenport who had signed an artist development deal with Delicious Vinyl joined the group. A revamped version of the first album with vocals by N'Dea Davenport was then released, and the singles "Dream Come True", "Never Stop" and "Stay This Way", all with Davenport on lead vocals, became hits on both sides of the Atlantic , with the latter becoming a music video directed by Douglas Gayeton that saw heavy rotation on MTV.