Underrated Pop Gems Revisited: Champaign - 'How 'Bout Us'

24 February 2020, 15:46

Chapaign - How Bout Us
Chapaign - How Bout Us. Picture: Columbia/YouTube

By Tom Eames

The latest in our Underrated Pop Gems Revisited series sees us head back to 1981 for an R&B soul favourite.

It was the debut single - and easily the biggest single - by American R&B band Champaign, and we still love hearing it nearly 40 years later.

  1. Who wrote 'How 'Bout Us' and was it a hit?

    The song was originally released in 1975 by an earlier version of the group, named the Water Brothers Band.

    It was then re-recorded by the band when they morphed into Champaign, and it was their version that became a hit single.

    'How 'Bout Us' peaked at #12 in the US, and #5 in the UK in 1981.

    The song was written by band keyboardist Dana Walden. It was only one of two songs on their debut album of the same name written by Walden.

    Listen to the original version below:

  2. Who sings the track and where are Champaign now?

    Pauli Carman in 1984
    Pauli Carman in 1984. Picture: Getty

    The song is performed by Champaign's lead vocalist Pauli Carman.

    The band named themselves after their hometown of Champaign, Illinois, and included Carman and Rena Jones on vocals, Michael Day and Dana Walden on keyboards, Leon Reeder on guitar, Michael Reed on bass, and Rocky Maffit on drums.

    In a romantic twist, members Rena Jones and Michael Day would eventually marry.

    Through various guises, Champaign have continued to record new music (their most recent album being 2014's Eyes of the Spirit), and tour around the world, with Carman being the main remaining star from the original group.

  3. What is the song about?

    'How 'Bout Us' is a contemplative ballad that sees the singer ponder whether their relationship is on the way out.

    However, instead of giving up and ending the relationship, they attempt to reignite the spark by asking the eternal question: 'how 'bout us?'.

  4. What are the lyrics?

    Ooh, short and sweet
    No sense in draggin' on past our needs
    Let's don't keep it hangin' on
    If the fire's out, we should both be gone

    Some people are made for each other
    Some people are made for another for life, how 'bout us
    Some people can hold it together
    Last through all kinds of weather, tell me can we

    Now don't get me wrong
    'Cause I'm not tryin' now to end it all
    It's just that I have seen
    Too many lover's hearts lose their dreams

    Some people are made for each other
    Some people are made for another for life, how 'bout us
    Some people can hold it together
    Last through all kinds of weather, tell me, can we

    How 'bout us
    How 'bout us, baby
    How 'bout us
    How 'bout us, baby

    Some people are made for each other
    Some people are made for another for life, how 'bout us
    Some people can hold it together
    Last through all kinds of weather, tell me, can we