When Cameo released their album We all know who we are in 1978, the world got a chance to hear one of the only ballads to feature the late Wayne Cooper. Cooper passed away at age 29 and there are reports there was a solo project in the works which never got completed. Had that happened, who knows where he might have ranked in the books today? But people who know this music never forgot him and the band still honors him. (Cooper is pictured second from the left)
In the music world it is very common for artists to cover songs, especially as time periods go on. However, I think it is fairly uncommon for a group to redo their own song back to back. That’s exactly what Cameo did when it comes to their song “Why have I lost you”. This song was released on the We all know who we are album in ’78 and then again on Cameosis released in 1980. Mr. Wayne Cooper is featured as lead vocalist on each.
Who knows what the group was thinking or what the reason behind this move was. I am not complaining, both versions are winners to me. And as I understand it, even avid fans of the group were unaware of both versions. If I had to pick one, I would go for the original ’78 version being as raw and soulful as it is. Also, it is the version I grew up listening to in my cousins garage on Fourth street. When they did the second version, Wayne sings his ass off even moreso but seemingly in a more controlled and refined manner. Musically, the second one is superior. But nothing replaces the magic of the first version. Especially in this clip at the 3:09 mark when it breaks down with the beat, the bass, and Cooper’s high and pure voice. It’s a simple moment. It’s nothing complex, but it is the ‘cherry on top’ for me. Check out both versions and you decide.
This clip on YouTube happened to feature both back to back:
We all know who we are album cover Chocolate City Records – Released 1978
Cameosis album cover Chocolate City Records – Released 1980