One-Hit Wonders: Brighter Side of Darkness



Brighter Side of Darkness is now a defunct American R&B and soul group whose way to their brief fame and success in the early 70s music scene was their single “Love Jones.” It reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 and Top 10 of the Billboard R&B singles chart.  It has become an oldies music gem! A bit more information on Brighter Side of Darkness here in this article.

Short career of Brighter Side of Darkness

Brighter Side of Darkness is a short-lived R&B and soul group from Chicago, Illinois. The group composed of mostly high school students of Calumet High School: Ralph Eskridge, Randolph Murph, Albert Vandelier Roberts and Larry Washington. The group’s lead vocalist was Darryl Lamont, who was all of 12 years old.

Although Brighter Side of Darkness was a young band, they nevertheless managed to have some depth to their material that went beyond just teenybopper soul. No matter how juvenile the themes of their songs were, they nonetheless managed to convey a heart-aching character that sounds more adult.

These youngster’s vocals went perfectly to rich arrangements provided Clarence Johnson and Johnny Cameron, who were both producers. Out of these productions was their debut single “Love Jones,” released on 20th Century Records in December 1972. It became a chart success, peaking at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in early 1973. It sold over a million copies and was given a gold disc. The group’s debut album, also called Love Jones, peaked at #35 on the Billboard R&B albums chart also in that same year.

Their second single “I Owe You One,” however, didn’t meet their expectations as it only reached #48 on the Billboard R&B singles chart also in 1973. They faded from the scene in 1974. Unless you count “I Owe You One,” Brighter Side of Darkness are considered one hit wonders.

Other Brighter Side of Darkness songs include “I’m a Loser,” “Just a Little Bit,” and “Summer Ride,” among others.

Discography (the list may be impartial)

EP’s (all 20th Century Records releases):

  • (1973)
    A: “Love Jones”
    B: “I’m the Guy”A: “I Owe You One”
    B: “Summer Ride”A: “Just a Little Bit”
    B: “Something to Remember You By”
  • (1974, Star-Vue Records)
    A: “Because I Love You”
    B: “Oh Baby”


  • Love Jones (20th Century Records), 1973
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