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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Kleeer was a New York based funk and disco band which was formed 1972 under the name the Jam Band, as a backup group to different disco bands and vocalists. The group consisted of Woody Cunningham, vocalist/percussionist Paul Crutchfield, guitarist Richard Lee, and bassist Norman Durham.

After a switch to the name Pipeline in 1975, the group also decided to switch to making hard rock instead of disco. Record labels competed to sign them but, when they finally ended up at Columbia records, their single "Gypsie Rider" didn't fare well commercially.

In 1976 they got the opportunity to become the Universal Robot Band along with legendary underground disco producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael. This project was more successful than their former projects. They made the single "Barely Breaking Even" alongside singer Leroy Burgess, and they also recorded an album. The track "Barely Breaking Even" is still hailed by disco aficionados as a really good track and an instant disco classic. The group toured as The Universal Robot Band until 1978.

After 1978 the band decided to get rid of their producers and make all their music themselves under the name Kleeer.

Between 1979 and 1985 the group released seven albums and had several hits in the Top 40 and in R&B charts. The most mentionable are "Tonight's the Night", "Winners", "Intimate Connection", and "Get Tough." The sound was now more focused on eighties style funk, and electronic instruments, like vocoders and synthesizers.

After the 1985's album Seeekret, the band disappeared for unknown reasons. Most of the musicians continued working as musicians with other projects. In the nineties, however, the group re-enacted as Kleeer at some occasions.

The group's influence today is best found in many hip hop songs, where DJs have frequently sampled Kleeer for example Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, DJ Quik, Lil Jon and The Eastside Boys.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Kleeer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.


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