Vincent James


Vincent James (born 12 February 1951, St. Mary's, Jamaica). Vocalist who came to prominence as a member of the British soul group, Sweet Sensation.


Sweet Sensation was an eight-piece British soul group who had some success in the mid 1970s. They are best known for their 1974 No. 1 UK hit, "Sad Sweet Dreamer".


Formed in Manchester in 1971, the band came to prominence after appearing on the ITV talent show New Faces. Under the guidance of panellist Tony Hatch the band signed to Pye Records. The debut single "Snowfire" failed to reach the charts, but the follow-up "Sad Sweet Dreamer" was a UK number one single in October 1974, also reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 the following spring. The follow-up "Purely by Coincidence" reached No. 11 in the UK in January 1975. Both songs were written by David Parton.

Follow-up singles "Hide Away from the Sun", "Mr Cool", "Sweet Regrets" and "Mail Train" all failed to make the charts over the next couple of years. In 1977 the band participated in A Song For Europe in an attempt to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Their song "You're My Sweet Sensation" ended in eighth place. Subsequently, they were then dropped by Pye and disbanded shortly after. However, they were the forerunners of many similar acts from The Real Thing to Imagination.

The youngest member and lead vocalist, Marcel King, tried to resurrect a solo career in 1985, and with Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio) and Bernard Sumner (New Order) recorded "Reach For Love" (written by King) for Factory Records without commercial success, followed by "Hollywood Nights" for ZYX. King died of a brain haemorrhage on 5 October 1995 at the age of 37.

Bass guitarist, Barry Johnson later joined Quando Quango and then Aswad.

Founder member, Leroy Smith, was found dead in his Manchester flat, on 15 January 2009. He had died from bronchopneumonia, at the age of 56.

Band members

  • Junior Daye (born 26 June 1950, Kingston, Jamaica) – vocalist
  • Roy Flowers (born 4 August 1951, Kingston, Jamaica) – drummer
  • Vincent James (born 12 February 1951, St. Mary's, Jamaica) – vocalist
  • Barry Johnson (born 20 August 1954, Kingston, Jamaica) – bassist
  • Marcel King (born Marcel Neville King, 4 January 1958, Manchester – died 5 October 1995) – vocalist
  • St. Clair L. Palmer (born 4 March 1954, St. Kitts) – vocalist
  • Gary Shaugnessy (born 25 July 1953, Manchester) – guitarist
  • Leroy Smith (born 3 September 1952, Kingston, Jamaica – died 15 January 2009) – keyboardist
  • Delroy Alexander Drummond (born 26 December 1950, Kingston, Jamaica) – vocalist

Rikki Patrick{Recardo Patrick} replaced Marcel King in 1975.



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