Sunday, 25 January 2009

Brother Louie

If 'encyclopaedic' covers a volume of books, all water-stained, pages stuck together & showing signs of having been used as a substitute hammer (amongst other misuse); then yeah, I spose have an encyclopaedic knowledge of music. A minor surprise then, to find that Hot Chocolate's 1973 hit - Brother Louie was never popular in the USA, but did reach #1 of the Billboard Hot 100 when covered by Stories.

The Stories version is a bit odd when you know the original, insofar as the question/response thing near the start "Hey man,what's wrong with that? - nothing in fact it was good...", and other spoken interludes, like "I don't want no honky in my family, You dig?" aren't there at all. They kinda made the song what it was, for me, and the US hit, while pleasant enough, is a bit pale in comparison.

Easily as obscure & unimportant, is the fact that Hot Chocolate started out on Apple Records as 'The Hot Chocolate Band' doing a reggae cover of Give Peace a Chance - who knew?

Brother Louie - Hot Chocolate
Cicero Park (1973)

Brother Louie - Stories
About Us (1973)

Naturally, there have been a whole lot of other covers - for a not necessarily exhaustive list, look at Louie Louie Web

Here's one more, perhaps more in the spirit of doing a song people already know, than re-interpreting a classic.
Brother Louie - Quireboys
Bitter, Sweet & Twisted
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and the somewhat crackly & yes, rambling...  pretty awful actually
Give Peace a Chance - The Hot Chocolate Band
7" single (1969) - Apple
If you've an interest in early Apple singles, you'll find most of them at A Beatles' Hard-Dies Site, along with a ton of Beatles & related rarities.

I've posted this next one (again!) just cuz it fits in with the Brother Louie theme, of taking a girl/boy home & finding your parents are horrified... different reasons of course, but it's a fine song.

Girl from Germany - Sparks
A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing (1972)

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