“Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” is the hit R&B/house song by British R&B band Soul II Soul, featuring the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra. The track is the thirteenth song on Soul II Soul’s debut album “Clun Classics Vol. One”. The track features British R&B singer Caron Wheeler, who also wrote the track alongside Jazzie B, Nelee Hooper & Simon Law.
“Back to Life” was originally an acapella track, and then two new version were produced; first adding instrumentation to the original and then lyrics and chorus. Soul II Soul founder and frontman Jazzie B spoke to British newspaper “The Guardian” in 2012 behind the hit song: “Everything about this single was magic. We weren’t trying to follow any trend or fit into any category – we were just doing our own thing. … Its shuffling beats were a cross between reggae and what was to become known as hip-hop: breakbeats and electronic sound. Caron Wheeler’s vocal, coming over these very heavy bass beats, was the icing on the cake. … We also had the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra on the track, and the RPO became a key part of our sound. … We often look to America for our influences, but this was a moment that put British music back on the map. It also came out at a special time in the industry’s history – just before digital took over and everything seemed to fall apart.”
The music video for “Back to Life (However DO You Want Me) was directed by Andy Delaney and shows the group dancing in a forest while singing the track. The video was released in 1989 and uploaded to Soul II Soul’s YouTube channel in March 2009. As of July 2020, the video has 59.7 million views and 413 thousand likes.
Release Date: 19th May 1989
Songwriter/s: Jazzie B, Caron Wheeler, Nelee Hooper & Simon Law
Producer/s: Jazzie B & Nellee Hooper
Music Video Release Date: 1989
Music Video Director: Andy Delaney
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: In its year of release, “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” charted at #45 in Australia, #13 in Austria, #4 in Belgium, #11 and #1 in Canada, #14 in Finland, #4 in Germany, #2 in Greece, #6 in Ireland, #1 in the Netherlands, #4 in New Zealand, #3 in Sweden, #2 in Switzerland, #1 in the UK, and #1 and #4 on various US Billboard charts. The track is certified Gold in Canada and Sweden, Silver in the UK and Platinum in the US. “Back to Life” has received a total of 14 accolades since its release.
The lyrics to “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” can be viewed here: LINK