Saturday, June 7, 2008

THE BRIANS - My Brother's Famous

Who ARE these people? As a child I used to frequent local record stores in and around Huntington Village, Long Island, where I grew up. Sometimes all it took for me to purchase a new 45 was an interesting picture sleeve. I think this cover qualifies...There's Frank Sinatra, John Travolta, Elvis Costello and Marlon Brando...IN THE SAME BAND? I don't care WHAT it sounds like...I'm buying it.

Lucky for me that the music was great as well.....a nice MADNESS style bit of English whimsy who's message is " Hey....My brother is famous and has a lot of money and I should have it.....". I'm sure we can all relate....actually....NO...I can't relate to that at ALL, but it doesn't matter really now does it?

The sleeve of THE BRIANS' single "My Brother's Famous" (DinDisc [UK] 7) lists the group members as Brian Sinatra, Brian Travolta, Brian Costello, Brian Brando, and Brian Stewart; producer credit on the B-side goes to Brian Spector. I wish I knew more about them....who they really are, what they all became, if they ever released anything else...I guess I'll never know.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cartoon Themes That Time Forgot

Perhaps this was an EXTREMELY local thing, but sometime in the late 70's/early 80's in New York in the afternoon channel 5 used to show " Popeye And Friends". It was a nice little collection of cartoons made God knows how long ago. ( We used to watch ANYTHING back in the 70's...cause we didn't have more than 5 choices of channels at the time......ah those were the days).
The unique thing about this show was it's theme song.........It took me a couple of years to discover that the theme was, in fact PAUL McCARTNEY's " Hot As Sun"....but it sure sounded different...... I have a feeling WYNY Channel 5 in New York couldn't actually get the RIGHTS to a McCatney track, so they sped up the album version ( playing it at 45RPM instead I LOVE records). I'm sure that Paul still has no idea they used this instrumental track from his debut solo album MCcCARTNEY, and because this was the first version I ever heard of this song THIS one sounds " right" to me, while the LP version sounds too slow.........

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Kissing the Pink were just another New Wave synth-pop goup from the United Kingdom. Members included Nick Whitecross, John Hall, George Stewart, Josephine Wells, Pete Barnett, Sylvia Griffin, Steve Cusack, and Simon Aldridge.
Their first single was "Don't Hide in the Shadows", made with Martin Hannett, but it wasn't until they dropped their first manager (celebrated in their song "Michael"), and signed with Magnet Records that they began to get any airplay. They recorded their first album in AIR studios with producer Colin Thurston, who had engineered David Bowie's Heroes and later worked with Duran Duran amongst others. Kissing the Pink had wanted Brian Eno to produce the album but Magnet thought Thurston would make a more commercial impact. After a series of near-misses with tracks off the upcoming album the single "Last Film" reached the top 20. The album, Naked, didn't sell a lot of copies but was a favourite with the college crowd who presumably appreciated its intelligence and wit. Most people when they talk of Naked marvel at the sheer variety of songs on the album, and while this may be its abiding strength, at the time it probably made the album too hard to classify, and thus it was largely ignored.
Their first Hot 100 entry was "Maybe This Day," which hit #87 in 1983. Also from that year they released "Love Lasts Forever" whioch got a LOT of airplay on WLIR in New York. This is where I most certainly heard it. In 1985 following the departure by some of the members they shortened their name to KTP and began having hits on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The most successful was "Certain Things Are Likely," which spent three weeks at #1 in 1987. That song also became their second Hot 100 entry when it peaked at #97 later that year. From the same album "One Step" was the biggest selling single in Italy that year when they were given an award on an Italian television show they mistook it for an ashtray.
But, hey.....let's celebrate 1985. What a year for music!!


Vocalists Martin Brammer born in Seaham, County Durham and Paul Woods, plus multi-instrumentalist Dave Brewis formed the trio in 1982, after meeting in small local bands, and signed to a small record label, whiReleased in 1985. " Gun Law " was a minor hit both in the U.K. and here in the US. I don't know too much about these guys, and personally I have never heard anything else from them.

But that's OK....let's all enjoy this jem from 1985. That magical transitional period for music Just before the " Eighties " were about to become a decade of Mullets and Guns "N" Roses. YUK!!!