Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stories: Brother Louie

During the summer of 1973 a song recorded by Stories took America by storm and within weeks landed at the number one spot for two weeks, required the record company to reissue the album to add the single, and it was certified gold.

Still controversial in 1973, the song was about an interracial relationship between a black woman and her white boyfriend. Although an uncommon situation in the early 1970s, it didn’t prevent radio and the buying public from wanting to hear this song.

Although a colossal hit in the US for Ian Lloyd and Stories, it was an anomaly – as it didn’t follow the typical style of the band. Since they became defined by “Brother Louie,” they never came close to repeating its success and were typecast from this one-hit wonder.

Original Version

What most people don’t realize that “Brother Louie” was not an original song for Stories. They covered a song written and performed originally by Hot Chocolate. The original was a top 10 hit in the UK; however, a song about an interracial relationship sung by a predominantly black band was not going to be released as a single in the US – leaving the opportunity for a white band to try their hand at recording “Brother Louie.”

In addition to Hot Chocolate’s performance, they enlisted British blues artist Alexis Korner to provide the speaking parts in the song. These were eliminated for Stories version of the song for obvious reasons.

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