Brooks (group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brooks
Origin London, England
Genres Pop
Years active 1976–1980
Labels Polydor
Associated acts Bucks Fizz
Kajagoogoo
Past members Mike Nolan
Chris Hamill
Peter Pereira
Ricky Gallahad
John Humphreys
Ben Ellison

Brooks was a London-based pop vocal group formed in the late 1970s. The group is noteworthy since two of its members went on to have successful musical careers, independently of each other: Mike Nolan, of Bucks Fizz, and Chris Hamill, a.k.a. Limahl, of Kajagoogoo.

The group was put together in 1976 by manager Freya Miller and husband Peter Pereira. Miller had previously worked with The New Seekers, and Pereira had been a member of Co-Co. They recruited singers Nolan, Hamill, and Ricky Gallahad through ads in The Melody Maker and The Stage, to complete the line-up.[1]

In 1978 Hamill was replaced by John Humphreys. Shortly after, the group signed a contract with Polydor Records.[2] Tony Eyers, who had worked with the group 5000 Volts, was hired as producer. The first single, released in 1979, was "The Sound of Your Love", with Pereira singing the lead. Nolan's voice was featured in the second single, "Cry (Till My Eyes Run Dry)". Both singles were arranged by Steve Gray. Despite television appearances on ITV's The Saturday Morning Show, The Dick Emery Show, and the BBC's Lena Zavaroni and Music, neither of the group's first singles made an entry into the pop charts.[3]

Roger Greenaway took over as producer for the group in late 1979. Greenaway had written a string of hits with Roger Cook, including "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" and "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." Brooks' next single was "What a Great Night For Making Love", a Greenaway/Barry Mason composition. The BBC expressed reservations over the title and lyrics, so the single was re-recorded as "What a Great Night for Falling in Love". Once again, Nolan sang the lead. By 1980, singer Gallahad had been replaced by Ben Ellison.

The group released two more singles written and produced by Greenaway; "Don't You Know a Lady (When You See One)?", featuring Nolan, and "We Are United", with Humphreys taking the lead. The single "Don't You Know a Lady", is notable, as it had been previously been released, by former Sweet lead singer, Brian Connolly. In the end, neither artist made much progress with it, in the charts.

During this time, the group continued to promote themselves with television and radio appearance. The members appeared individually on the covers of Oh Boy! magazine. In 1980, the group travelled to Yugoslavia as the U.K. entry in the Ljubljana '80 song festival, which was telecast over most of Europe. Despite these efforts, none of the group's later singles fared any better than their previous offerings, when it came to breaking into the charts.

After considerable investment, and two years without a hit, Polydor declined to take up the options on their contract. Miller's interest in Brooks waned after she split with Pereira, and began managing Shakin' Stevens. The members had little in common musically or personally, and without their contractual obligations holding them together, there was nothing left.

As mentioned previously, Mike Nolan went on to success with Bucks Fizz, winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, with "Making Your Mind Up". Chris Hamill, transformed into Limahl, had a huge hit with "Too Shy", with Kajagoogoo in 1983, as well as with his solo record "The NeverEnding Story", the theme song to the film of the same name. Ben Ellison returned to his acting career, appearing on stage and television, and in film. His best-known work is his lead role in the 1989 film Looking for Langston. John Humphreys performed at folk clubs and on radio with "Home and Colonial" before returning to his native Canada in 1981.

Discography[edit]

Singles: (all released on Polydor Records)

  • 1979 "Sound of Our Love"
  • 1979 "Cry (Till My Eyes Run Dry)"
  • 1979 "What a Great Night for Making Love"
  • 1980 "Don't You Know a Lady (When You See One)?"
  • 1980 "We Are United"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce, Mandy; "Packaged Pop", London Evening News, November 18, 1978.
  2. ^ Fallon, Gerry; "Babbling Brooks", Superpop, April 14, 1979.
  3. ^ Wigg, David: "Rocking rollers", London Daily Express, March 31, 1979.