Formation of the group and original members (1983–1987)
Exposé was initially formed in 1983 when Lewis Martineé, a Miami disc jockey and producer, and Frank Diaz of
Pantera Records had the idea to put a group together where all three girls would sing lead.
They hired Sandra Casañas (Sandeé), Alejandra Lorenzo (Alé), and Laurie Miller as the group's lineup.
Originally called "X-Posed".
[note: There was another original girl named Lori Creevay who never performed with the group but did rehearse with the group initially]
The trio recorded "Point of No Return" (with Lorenzo singing lead) for Pantera Records as a 12-inch vinyl single under the name X-posed which became a number-one Billboard Hot Dance Club Play hit. The song helped to introduce a still-popular genre of music that became known as freestyle, which often features keyboard riffs, a sing-along chorus, and electro funk drum-machine patterns in the music arrangement.
After 9 months of local club play the success of "Point of No Return", along with the support of A&R man David Jurman who brought Xposed to sign with Arista Records, which promptly assumed distribution of the 12-inch vinyl single and changed their name to Expose'. A year later, Exposé recorded and released its second club-dance Latin freestyle hit titled "Exposed to Love" (with Lorenzo singing lead).
These songs were released during the period when radio began airing continuous mixes of House/Club/Dance songs in major markets. As such, Exposé realized continued success, including an arduous club tour to key cities. They're show performance was renowned for it's synchronized choreography, trademark costumes, hairstyles and makeup along with their unique chemistry and sound so signature of the 80's.
Impressed with the performance of the two singles and their massive club date turn outs, Arista granted approval for the group to record the album submitted by Lewis Martinee which had been created on the original lineup of Ale Lorenzo, Sandra Tola and Laurie Miller.
Expose' landed the album deal as well as their first tour opening for Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam.
(When Ale had decided to leave the group, it was Laurie Miller and Ale Lorenzo that were responsible for bringing Jeanette Jurado to the attention of Lewis Martinee after seeing her perform with her top 40 band.
The new and strong line up of Jeanette, Gioia and Ann walked into a great situation that was already put in motion by the original girls and producers.)
Casañas (Tola) left the group to pursue a solo career, and Lorenzo quit to pursue other ambitions; they were replaced by Jeanette Jurado (born November 14, 1965, Pico Rivera, CA) and Gioia Carmen Bruno (born in Bari, Italy, on June 11, 1963, but raised in New Jersey). Before the completion of the group's debut album, Miller left the group due to personal and business decisions and began a solo career; she was replaced by Ann Curless (born October 7, 1964, Albany, NY). Alé returned to the club charts with "I Wanna Know" in 1988, and "Stop Me if I Fall in Love" in 1990 (both 12-inch singles released on Vendetta Records), while Laurie Miller evolved into a headlining performer frequently showcasing her talents on luxury cruises with her one woman show. Laurie was the only one of the three members who had a solid theatrical background. It was her artistry that gave the girls the makeup, choreography and costuming that soon became their trademark. Laurie is the CEO and founder of XICA Productions (shee-ka). Known internationally ... XICA Productions is acclaimed for creating unique and artistic atmosphere in diverse entertainment venues using unusual entertainers, creative lighting and decor.
All three original members later appeared doing vocals in several tracks of the successful Miami group Will to Power on the 1988 album of the same name. Laurie also released several solo projects on both Meet Me in Miami Records with "Love Is A Natural Magical Thing" by Michael Morejon with club mixes by Bob Rosenberg of Will To Power as well as a collaboration with Ish Ledezma of famed Company B with a 12" release on Atlantic Records called "Parallels". Laurie is currently working on a new show to salute the Original Expose' and their unique look, style and sound. Casañas (Sandeé) later resurfaced as a solo artist and released a solo album, Only Time Will Tell, which garnered the club hits "You're The One", "Love Desire", and the Clivilles & Cole-produced bassline-heavy hit "Notice Me." She continued to tour actively in dance clubs and Freestyle shows, until her passing on December 15, 2008.
Toward the end of 1986, Exposé released its debut album Exposure (which still consisted of background vocals and some leads done by the original members). Led by the huge pop/dance hit "Come Go with Me," Exposé solidified its Freestyle music foundation to the masses. During the summer of 1987, a re-recorded version of "Point of No Return" was released, with Jurado performing lead vocals. While the initial distribution of Exposure to suppliers contained the original 1984 version of that song, subsequent pressings contained the new version.
"Let Me Be the One," a mid-tempo soulful track with Bruno on lead, marked interesting distinctions for the trio. First, it demonstrated that despite being a girl group (a term that historically identifies a single lead singer), Exposé alternated lead vocals among its members. Second, the single garnered significant R&B support, with Bruno integrating soulful inflections with her vocal delivery. The group's biggest hit occurred in the winter of 1988 with the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Seasons Change." Along with that came a Soul Train Award nomination for Best New Artist; television appearances on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, Showtime at the Apollo, and The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers; and served as the opening act for Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam during its national tour. Exposure remains one of the most successful dance albums ever released, reaching triple platinum status. Exposé also performed backing vocals on Kashif's 1987 Arista/BMG Records album, Love Changes, on the track, "Who's Getting Serious?" During the group's peak, Exposé endured legal issues behind the scenes. Similar to the girl groups of the '60s, the members of Exposé had a restrictive contract, and there were reports in the media of backstage battles. According to Bruno, they were only paid $200 per show. Reportedly, the record label intervened to keep peace between the members and the producers. Despite this intervention, the members filed a lawsuit and ultimately settled their legal case for a renegotiated contract.
What You Don't Know (1989–1990) The group's second album, What You Don't Know (1989), went Gold. The success of Exposé in the U.S. led to similar girl groups being created by producers and existing ones being signed to major labels, such as Company B, The Cover Girls, Sweet Sensation, Pajama Party, and Seduction. Shortly after the success of the singles "What You Don't Know" (Bruno on lead), "When I Looked at Him" (Jurado), the release of the single "Tell Me Why" (Bruno) made music history for the group when they became the first girl group to have 7 back-to-back Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. "Tell Me Why" addressed the issue of street gangs and youth and rewarded the group with additional praise for its socially-conscious lyrics. "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue" (Jurado on lead vocals) and "Stop, Listen, Look & Think" (Curless on lead vocals) soon followed afterwards. "Stop, Listen, Look & Think" was also included in the movie The Forbidden Dance (1990), a theatrical film released during the Lambada dance craze of that period.Their continued success granted Exposé their first headlining tour and continued television appearances on Soul Train, The Pat Sajak Show, The Byron Allen Show, and the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve broadcast on December 31, 1989, among others. The popularity of the group also increased overseas to countries such as Japan, where Bruno, Curless and Jurado appeared in a few music-video style, television commercials in 1989 for Takara, a Japanese soft drink. The music used in the Japanese commercials was the song "What You Don't Know" with slightly different lyrics in the chorus than the regular, U.S. version. With the commercial appeal of Exposé's first two albums, Arista Records released the music-video compilation, Video Exposure, on VHS and laser disc formats in 1990. It contained music videos for the first, eight singles released by Bruno, Curless and Jurado—from "Come Go with Me" through "Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue."Exposé performed backing vocals on Barry Manilow's 1990 Arista album Because It's Christmas on the track "Jingle Bells" and also appeared in Manilow's long-form music video of "Because It's Christmas." This version of "Jingle Bells" was patterned after the 1943 Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters version with Exposé taking the Andrews Sisters' part. In August 1990, while touring with Exposé, Bruno began having throat problems—later linked to a benign tumor on her vocal cords—and which caused the group to cut the tour short. The group took time off from their schedule in hopes that she would recover. Ultimately, Bruno lost her voice, and could not sing at all for several years—she also had to keep talking to a minimum. She was replaced by Kelly Moneymaker in 1992, though she later rejoined the group after entirely regaining her voice in 2003.
Exposé (1992–1995) After Kelly Moneymaker joined Exposé, the group released their self-titled, third album Exposé, which integrated more adult-contemporary material in addition to their established Freestyle, house, R&B, pop, and love ballad repertoire. It was the first album to use producers besides Martineé, with Clive Davis taking over as Executive Producer and Martineé only doing four songs. The album was aimed to demonstrate musical growth for the group as well as to compete with the success of Wilson Phillips, who had great success in 1990 with their debut album.The album was not as commercially successful as their previous albums, but still achieved Gold status, and several singles fared better on the adult-contemporary charts. They did manage to crack the U.S. Top 40 pop chart with "I Wish the Phone Would Ring" and "I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)", which also reached #1 on the adult-contemporary chart (Jurado performing lead vocals). Subsequent releases "As Long as I Can Dream" and "In Walked Love", featured Curless in the lead vocal spotlight. A final, club-marketed single saw the release of the group's first remake. "I Specialize in Love" featured Jurado on lead with Curless and Moneymaker each supporting lead vocals towards the song's conclusion. The original version was performed by Sharon Brown. Among their television appearances during this period include Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Les Brown Show, and the Brazilian actress/singer children's show Xuxa. In 1995, Exposé recorded the Diane Warren-penned song "I'll Say Good-Bye for the Two of Us," which appeared on the soundtrack of the film Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home with Jurado performing lead vocals; that same year, the song was issued on its Greatest Hits. The song is distinctive for the group as Jurado performs solo without backing vocals. With label inactivity and solo projects toward the end of 1995, Arista dropped the group, with the members disbanded at the beginning of 1996 to pursue their own projects. However, over time, labels part of licensing music from the Sony/BMG group have released two other variations of greatest hits collections, as well as a collection of popular remixes from their 12-inch singles, including the extended versions of the original "Point of No Return" (Lorenzo on lead vocals) and "Exposed to Love." After the group broke up, Jurado performed in the stage play "Mad Hattan," supplied vocals for Contemporary Jazz guitarist Nils and Safe Sax; Moneymaker married soap opera actor Peter Reckell and released two solo albums (Like a Blackbird and Through These Basement Walls); Curless engaged in song writing, supplied vocals to several club/dance projects and also provided academic instruction on music and the music business. Eventually, both Jurado and Curless married and had children, temporarily retiring from performing. In 1997, Bruno fully recovered from her throat tumor and began singing again. After a small stint with the band Wet, she worked on a solo career focused mostly on dance-oriented material. Her first album, Expose This, was released in the spring of 2004. The reuniting of Exposé after a long hiatus, on August 1, 2003, the lineup of Curless, Jurado, and Moneymaker, reunited briefly for a reunion concert at the Mid State Fair in Paso Robles, California. Members of Safe Sax, including music director/guitarist Steve Fansler, were part of the live band Exposé used. While there was a desire to do more shows, according to Moneymaker they were unable to gets things active at that time. In the year 2006, Jurado announced on MySpace they had signed with a major booking agency, and Bruno announced she was back with Exposé for the first time in 15 years. Moneymaker has stated she might fill in for any member who may not be available, or to appear with the full lineup on special occasions.On October 21, 2006, Exposé kicked off its tour at the American Airlines Arena in Miami for the Freestyle Explosion concert, with the lineup of Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno. On November 29, 2006, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Northern Lights Theater in Milwaukee, Exposé performed a 16-song show with a full band led by Steve Fansler, marking their first full concert together with Bruno since 1990. Other noted appearances included sets at freestyle concerts and gay pride events throughout the country. The group continues to perform at special events throughout the United States. In December 2007, Exposé was named in a lawsuit by Crystal Entertainment and Filmworks. At issue is the trademark licensing agreement for the rights to use the name Exposé. In October 2007 and October 2008, Exposé performed at Walt Disney World as part of the concert series during the annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
1. Come Go With Me
2. Let Me Be the One
3. Exposed to Love
4. Seasons Change
5. Extra Extra
6. Point of No Return
7. Love Is Our Destiny
8. I Know You Know
9. You're the One I Need
Playing Time: 42 min.
Producer: Lewis A. Martinee
Distributor: BMG (distributor)
Recording Type: Studio
Recording Mode: Stereo
Personnel includes: Nestor Gomez (guitars), Steve Grove (saxophones), Lewis A. Martinee (keyboards, percussion, drum programming), Fro Sosa (synthesizer), George Finess (guitar). A variety of singers are present on this album from the original line up as well as the new. Ale Lorenzo, Laurie Miller, Gioia Bruno, Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, Beverly Mathis, Valarie Rouse Pratt and many other back up singers.
Recorded at New River Studio & BRT Studio, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; International Studio & Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida.
Exposé's debut album, Exposure, set the stage for one of the hottest female groups of the '80s, with no less than four Top Ten singles, one of which soared all the way to number one. The album was a massive dance floor sensation, and Exposé was the biggest group in their genre (and one of the biggest of the rock era), which also included acts like Sweet Sensation and the Cover Girls.
"Come Go with Me" and "Point of No Return" were massive club hits as well as Top Five pop hits, and typify late-'80s freestyle/pop and Miami-based dance music. Note, however, that the version of "Point of No Return" on this album is different than the hit single -- this version had been released to clubs in 1985 (as was "Exposed to Love"), and featured Ale Lorenzo on lead.
The single re-mix of "Point of No Return," with Jeanette Jurado's vocal, can be found on their 1995 Greatest Hits album. Also on Exposure is the aggressive, soulful Top Ten hit "Let Me Be the One," which featured strong lead vocals from Gioia Bruno, although the single version was considerably beefed up from the version found here. Bruno also lends her powerhouse vocals to the dramatic ballad "December," originally penned for Laurie Miller. The wide array of styles on this album exemplifies how this trio differed from the rest -- all Expose' members were talented and effective lead singers, and were just as adept tackling club tunes, R&B songs, and pop ballads.
Original member Ale Lorenzo again takes the lead on the club hit "Exposed to Love." A request from Arista to keep her originally sound on this release.
Finally, this set includes their most famous ballad, "Seasons Change," a number one smash from early 1988 which further showcased the group's versatility. This album typifies the essence of '80s pop/dance music, and no accurate '80s collection would be complete without these hits from Exposé, one of the biggest acts of their time. ~
Jose F. Promis