Brother Louie (Hot Chocolate song)

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"Brother Louie"
Single by Hot Chocolate
B-side"I Want to Be Free"
LabelRak 149
Songwriter(s)Errol Brown, Tony Wilson
Producer(s)Mickie Most
Hot Chocolate singles chronology
"You'll Always Be a Friend"
"Brother Louie"

"Brother Louie" is a song by British soul band Hot Chocolate. Written by members Errol Brown and Tony Wilson and produced by Mickie Most, the song discusses an interracial love affair between a white man and a black woman, and the subsequent rejection of both by their parents because of it. Upon its release as a single, "Brother Louie" peaked at No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart in 1973.[1] Alexis Korner has a spoken word part in this version of the song.[2] Phil Dennys arranged the string section.

Stories cover[edit]

"Brother Louie"
Single by Stories
from the album About Us
B-side"What Comes After"
ReleasedJune 1973
LabelKama Sutra 577
Songwriter(s)Errol Brown, Tony Wilson
Producer(s)Kenny Kerner, Richie Wise
Stories singles chronology
"Love Is in Motion"
"Brother Louie"
"Mammy Blue"

"Brother Louie" was covered by the American band Stories (featuring singer Ian Lloyd) about six months after Hot Chocolate's UK hit. The Stories version reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and sold a million-plus copies to earn a gold disk.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Hot Chocolate
Chart (1973) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 19
UK Singles (OCC)[7] 7
Chart (1993) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[15] 32

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, notably Vandenberg singer Bert Heerink who had a top 10 hit in 1995 in the Netherlands with a Dutch version titled "Julie July".

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.

The Stories recording is used as walk-up music by New York Mets baseball player Luis Guillorme.[16]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 259. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Brother Louie by Hot Chocolate". Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  3. ^ Smith, Troy L. (14 December 2021). "Every No. 1 song of the 1970s ranked from worst to best". Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  4. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (April 16, 2019). "The Number Ones: Stories' "Brother Louie"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 18, 2023. In Stories' hands, it's a tense funk vamp, a satisfying rhythmic squelcher. Between those strings and Lloyd's histrionic's basically a disco song.
  5. ^ US Top 100 Music Hits (August 25, 1973). "Brother Louie". Billboard website. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Brother Louie". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Official Charts Company". 1973-04-14. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 - August 25, 1973" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Top 100 1973-08-25". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  11. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (December 26, 2017). "Image : RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada.
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1973". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  14. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Official Charts Company". 1993-02-20. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  16. ^ "Mets Walk-Up Music Playlist". MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved 2022-10-07.

External links[edit]