Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Tree: You Could Have Been A Lady

Most Americans would not become familiar with this staple of Canadian rock until Big Tree Records released their second album in 1972. “You Could Have Been a Lady” was the band’s first US single.

While it was not a colossal hit, the single peaked in the US at #32. It was one two of the band’s three songs to peak at #5 in Canada – the highest position the band achieved in their native land. April Wine would not return to Billboard’s Hot 100 until 1979 with the release of the single “Roller.”

The Original Version by Hot Chocolate

The English band Hot Chocolate, who would later become Big Tree artists, released the original version of the song earlier in 1972. Although released as a single on RAK Records in the US, their version faced the same fate as another song they had written and released as a single – “Brother Louie.”

Both songs were covered by North American bands that had a better run with their releases. While Hot Chocolate’s label, RAK Records, was established in the UK, its American arm never delivered any hit records and only operated from 1971 to 1973. Later American releases by the band were licensed to Big Tree Records and later to Infinity and EMI America labels. Although a little funkier than April Wine’s version, the original is great in its own right.

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