Bloodstone received no record company interest in L.A., however, so at the advice of its manager, the group relocated to London in 1971. There, they teamed up with Mike Vernon
, founder of the Blue Horizon
took Bloodstone into the studio, and by early 1973 its debut single, "Natural High," had cracked the R&B and pop Top Ten, becoming the group's defining song.
produced the first five Bloodstone albums, which garnered seven Top 20 R&B singles, almost all of which made the pop Top 40. The group was a big concert draw, and its albums sold well. Somehow, all of this was parlayed into a 1975 film deal. Bloodstone starred in Train Ride to Hollywood, a comedy that mixed parodies of vintage Hollywood screwball comedies (with actors impersonating Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Jean Harlow, and others) with a fairly complete history of black vocal harmony music from the Mills Brothers
to the Coasters
The group then faded from popular view, despite a brief stint at Motown
, until the early '80s, when it hooked up with the Isley Brothers
label and scored a commercially and artistically successful album, We Go a Long Way Back, produced by the Brothers. The title track returned them to the R&B Top Ten in 1982, but although several other T-Neck
singles charted, the group's recording career ended there for over two decades.
Bloodstone continued to play live, though time decimated the original lineup; drummer Melvin Webb died in 1982, guitarist Willis Draffen passed in 2002, and fellow guitarist Charles Love followed in 2014. However, the core trio of Harry Williams, Charles McCormick
, and Donald Brown (the latter of whom joined Bloodstone in 2002) kept the group on the road, and the Bloodstone album Now!...That's What I'm Talkin' About appeared in 2004. A holiday album, Forever Christmas, arrived in late 2017. ~ Dave Marsh & Mark Deming, Rovi