Brother Louie (Hot Chocolate song)

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"Brother Louie"
Hot Chocolate Brother Louie RAK single label scan.jpg
Single by Hot Chocolate
B-side "I Want to Be Free"
Released 1973
Length 4:23
Label Rak 149
Songwriter(s) Errol Brown, Tony Wilson
Producer(s) Mickie Most
Hot Chocolate singles chronology
"You'll Always Be a Friend"
(1972)
"Brother Louie"
(1973)
"Rumours"
(1973)

"Brother Louie" is a song about an interracial love affair. The title was written and sung by Errol Brown and Anthony Wilson of the group Hot Chocolate, and was a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart for the band in 1973, produced by Mickie Most.[1] It peaked at number 7 and became the 86th biggest British hit of 1973.[2] Alexis Korner has a spoken word part in this version of the song, Cozy Powell on drums and Phil Dennys arrangement of the string section.

Stories cover[edit]

"Brother Louie"
Stories - Brother Louie single scan.jpg
Single by Stories
B-side "What Comes After"
Released June 1973
Length 3:55
Label Kama Sutra 577
Songwriter(s) Errol Brown, Anthony Wilson
Producer(s) Kenny Kerner, Richie Wise
Stories singles chronology
"Love Is in Motion"
(1973)
"Brother Louie"
(1973)
"Mammy Blue"
(1973)

"Brother Louie" was covered by the American band Stories (featuring singer Ian Lloyd) about six months after Hot Chocolate's UK hit, and the Stories version made number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and sold a million plus copies to earn a gold disk.[3] In Canada, the Stories' version spent three weeks at number one.[4] The Stories' version is often cited as a "one hit wonder".

Chart performance (Stories)[edit]

Other versions[edit]

Another cover was released in 1973 by Roy Ayers on his album Virgo Red, playing vibes instead of singing. It has since been covered by many other artists including The Undisputed Truth, The Quireboys, Peter Beckett, Louie Louie, Matumbi, The Oppressed and Scarecrow. Vandenberg singer Bert Heerink had a top 10 hit in 1995 in the Netherlands with a Dutch version titled "Julie July". More recently, the song has been covered by Bon Jovi and the hip hop group Code Red.

Australian hip hop group 1200 Techniques sampled the riff heavily for their single "Karma" in 2002.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The recording by Stories was featured in the film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006). The same version also appeared in an episode of the series Nip/Tuck. An alternative rendition of the Stories version of the song was included in the soundtrack of the 2007 film Zodiac. It was also on the soundtrack to the 1999 film Dick and in the 2005 French-Canadian film C.R.A.Z.Y, but the song's first movie appearance was in Wim Wenders' 1974 film Alice in the Cities (7:15 into the movie).

The song, with slightly different wording, is used as the theme song to the television series Louie, a sitcom loosely based on the life of American comedian Louis C.K. The word "cry" was changed to "die" in the second repetition of the chorus. This version was produced by Reggie Watts, with the intro emulating the Hot Chocolate version, and with Stories singer Ian Lloyd reprising his vocals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 259. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Top 100 1973 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  3. ^ US Top 100 Music Hits (August 25, 1973). "Brother Louie". Billboard website. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  5. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  7. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.100214&type=2&interval=24&PHPSESSID=dtlhqtcdftn9t40n27r4hds2h0
  8. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-11. Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  10. ^ "1200 Techniques's Karma sample of Hot Chocolate's Brother Louie". whosampled.com. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Stories version)
August 25, 1973 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye