Sunday, May 20, 2012

One Hit Wonders # 7 - Stories

Many times it's hard to predict which songs will or will not become a hit. A surprising number of hit songs began as out and out rejects, or as in the case of Stories' hit song "Brother Louie", a mere afterthought. The band was formed in the early 70s when Brooklyn native and keyboardist Michael Brown and Seattle-born vocalist/bassist Ian Lloyd were introduced to each other by their respective fathers, two friends who had worked together as session violinists. Brown had been a member of the 60s-era band The Left Banke, known for the hit "Walk Away,Renee". Lloyd had been a locally successful singer for several years. They recruited guitarist Steve Love and drummer Brian Madey, and not long after secured a deal and released a self -titled album on the Kama Sutra label in 1972. This debut was not particularly well received, but the label gave them another shot releasing their sophomore effort About Us, this time with producer extraordinaire Eddie Kramer at the helm. Shortly after the album's release Brown left the band to pursue another project. He was replaced by bassist Kenny Aaronson and keyboardist Ken Michel. "Brother Louie" was not included on either album, languishing as an out-take for some time. The label finally released the song as a single in mid-1973,  whereupon it went to #1 on the U.S. charts for two weeks and stayed on the charts otherwise for eighteen weeks total, earning a gold record. Interestingly enough, the song, which was about an inter-racial love affair, had been a hit in the U.K. for the band Hot Chocolate earlier that year.

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