The Music Lounge

Brother Louie by ‘Stories’

The one hit wonder of 1973…

lo“She was black as the night. Louie was whiter than white. Danger, danger when you taste brown sugar. Louie fell in love overnight”

The lyrics of Errol Brown and Hot Chocolate who first had the hit in the UK with ‘Brother Louie’ in 1973. A lyric highlighting the issues of mixed race relationships to a funk-rock soundtrack, it was covered in the same year by the American group, Stories whose version was a Billboard smash across the States in a decade renowned for the one hit wonder.

Released on the Kama Sutra label six months after the Hot Chocolate version it showcased the awesome vocal of Ian Lloyd, a gritty early Rod Stewart style which gave the song a harder edge than the original. Stories were short lived and never managed another hit. In 1972 the band released the album ‘Stories’ with founder member Michael Brown who left before the recording of Brother Louie. The new line-up consisted of Lloyd, guitarist Steve Love, drummer Bryan Madey, bass player Kenny Aaronson and Ken Bichel on keyboards.

I have long been intrigued by the subsequent history of those artists who have one huge hit song only to descend into obscurity. In the 1970s many of those ‘wonders’ were, thankfully, never to be heard of again and rightly so but this song deserved the record sales. Lloyd’s rasping vocal grabs the attention. It’s worth another listen or two…

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