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August 30, 1995

Londonbeat

LondonbeatLondonbeat, Londonbeat (Radioactive Records 1995) - As a follow-up to their 1992 debut, In the Blood (which spawned the number one smash single, "I've Been Thinking About You") Londonbeat looks back to its roots. Although the threesome remains true to its winning r&b/dance/pop sound, Londonbeat builds a fresh sound.

The band consists of lead vocalist Jimmie "Chirpie" Chambers, vocalist Jimmie "Helmsey" Helms, and multi-instrumentalist/studio mastermind Willie M. Recorded in the trio's own 48-track London studio, the album also features assistance by Tim Bran on keyboards, Sarah Brown on vocals, and Martin Shaw on trumpet.

Londonbeat is rooted in London's techno-dance scene, but also has Jamaican and soul-tinted leanings. While songs like "Come Back" (the first single) and "Hero in My Eyes" are smooth romantic ballads, the group sports a pop sound on "Can't Help Wishing Back Yesterday," and breaks into a more urban sound on "Being With You."

On Londonbeat, the band balances human influences against a techno background. Says lead singer Jimmie Helms, "More than ever, we've struck a balance between our own personalities and all of the different influences that make Londonbeat what it is. We wanted to take advantage of the technology we had available to us, but we also wanted the one-to-one feeling that you get from sitting down and playing music with a group of people."

Mixmaster Willie M. confirms that "The organic feel of the record was very important to us. The album still has a lot of machinery on it, but we are trying to go for the human, emotional aspect within the vocals and rhythm tracks."

With their smooth, soulful vocals and solid techno underpinning, Londonbeat is set to fill the void left by Fine Young Cannibals. If you're looking for tasty London-oriented dance & pop, try Londonbeat.

ArbitronArbitron Radio Ratings -- According to information released by Arbitron late last month, the top ten radio stations in Fresno County for the period from March 30 to June 21, 1995 are as follows:

1. KBOS (FM 94.9) 11.2%
2. KMJ (AM 580) 10.9%
3. KRZR (FM 103.7) 6.0%
4. KSKS (FM 93.7) 5.9%
5. KJWL (FM 99.3) 5.0%
6. KFSO (FM 92.9) 4.8%
7. KNAX (FM 97.9) 4.5%
8. KEZL (FM 96.7) 4.0%
9. KOQO (FM 101.9) 3.7%
10. KJFX (FM 95.7) 3.6%

These rankings show big (but at least partially explainable) changes in the Fresno market. For the first time in many moons, KMJ (talk & news) lost its number 1 spot. Finally claiming number 1 is KBOS (CHR -- "contemporary hit radio"), which has been doggedly closing in on KMJ.

While kudos got to KBOS for its consistent increases, there's an explanation -- KMJ's audience has been splintered by the O.J. Simpson trial, with many loyal listeners now tuning in to trial coverage on news radio KMPH (107.5). Don't be surprised if KMJ returns to number 1 when the trial ends.

Strongly claiming number 3 is KRZR (AOR -- "album oriented rock"), whose numbers soar again (they were down to a 4.8 share in the last book). Similarly, KSKS ("the new KISS country") rebounds to number 4 (from the 7 spot in the last book) based on a surge from their prior 4.1 share.

In the middle, the numbers at number 5 KJWL (easy listening stars of the 40s and 50s) are down slightly from its impressive debut (it was number 4 last quarter with a whopping 5.6 share), while KFSO (oldies) stays at number 6.

KNAX ("today's hot country") holds its share at 4.5 but drops back to number 7 (from number 5), and KEZL (more oldies) hangs in at number 8. Rounding out the top ten are KOQO (Spanish), which has been on a ratings roller coaster (it reached number 4 in the summer 94 book before slumping badly) and KJFX ("classic rock 'n roll"), both of which were displaced in last quarter's book.

Dropping out of the top ten are KJOI (adult contemporary), which was number 7 in the last book, and KTHT (adult contemporary). This isn't a surprise; there's a half-dozen heavyweights that always make the top ten, while the other spots are up for grabs.

Required Legend -- These ratings are copyrighted by Arbitron, and are based on the percentage of listening audience ages 12 and over tuned in during any 15-minute period from 6 A.M. to midnight on Monday through Sunday.

-- Randy Krbechek

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