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The Joe Brown Story: The Piccadilly/Pye Anthology Box set, Double CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Mar. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Box set, Double CD
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B000E8NQLS
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

The Joe Brown Story - Joe Brown [CD]

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joe Brown was almost unique in being just about the only artist in Larry Parnes' stable of stars - some real and some wannabes - to retain his own name. Amidst the Fury's, the Wilde's, the Eager's, the Gentle's, the Power's, the Pride's and the Fame's, he strongly resisted the attempt to rechristen him ELMER TWITCH (!) and he remained plain old Joe Brown, a name which far better matched his uncomplicated and unpretentious character. This compilation reminds us, not only what a good guitarist he was ( and still is ), but also that he was a more than passable vocalist, often singing original material at a time when cover versions were still very much the preferred choice for many an artist's management team. He had some fairly modest chart success (only three UK Top Ten hits, as it turned out), and also recorded many good other sides that deserved a better showing in the Hit Parade, but perhaps he was slightly undone by his practical, self-deprecating and less-than-flashy performing style, when all about him were becoming more and more off the wall. There are a few tracks on this compilation that I don't care for very much, but a lot of it is very enjoyable of excellent musical quality and fills a gaping hole I had in my CD collection of an artist who rightly still commands respect and affection to this day.
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By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Originally making his name as a musician, Joe Brown eventually made his name as a singer with a string of UK hits in the early sixties. Most of these were minor hits but three made the top ten, these being A picture of you (a number one hit in some charts but not the one now most widely recognized), It only took a minute and That's what love will do. Unlike many pre-Beatles British singers, these major hits were not covers of American songs but original material. Despite this, Joe failed to make it in America but his songs were covered by such American acts as the Kalin twins, Paul Evans and Bobby Goldsboro.
As the sixties progressed, Joe focused more on acting than singing. He later became interested in country music and performed on the British club circuit. His marriage to a member of the Breakaways (a British all-female sixties group) produced a daughter, Sam Brown, who had some success in the late eighties and early nineties.

This compilation includes the three major hits together with I'm Henry the Eighth I am (Joe's version is the original, recorded two years before Herman's Hermits covered it), Darktown strutter's ball (a distinctive cover of an American jazz song that gave Joe a minor UK hit), Shine, Your tender look, Nature's time for love, Sally Ann and With a little help from my friends (Joe's other minor UK hits of the sixties). A minor UK hit recorded for a different record label in the seventies (Hey Mama) is missing, but it's not important.

With very few covers and plenty of original material, Joe's music has plenty to offer sixties pop fans, especially those who are tired of hearing the same old songs.
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Format: Audio CD
In terms of what he recorded in the early days, Joe Brown was most unlike other early Brit rock stars. Whereas they tended to find a style, often related to the sort of music that was reaching us from across the big pond, and stick with it. Think Billy Fury and the big ballads, or Cliff with the immaculate light pop, or Adam with the pizzicato strings, or even Emile and doo wopped oldies. And there are plenty more. Brown, on the other hand, managed to create records that showed him to be more than capable in at least four different stylings within the first dozen or so singles, that's looking at both sides.

There was the country rock as on his very first release "People Gotta Talk" plus its flip "Comes the Day". His much deserved breakthrough, "Picture of You" was of just this type and it was a genre he'd come back to over the years, as in Brown's Home Brew.

Then there were the cockney records, usually but not always rocked up. They started as early as "Jellied Eels" his third single (and reportedly, on autobiographical lines). Only Tommy Steele had dared to release cockney songs before Joe so I'd guess this took a bit of daring on behalf of the man and his producer. Who really knew whether the public wanted this? It would appear that they didn't judging by the lack of sales. He injected a rock beat into the excellent "Henery the Eighth" though sales wise that didn't do much either which was a shame. If you're looking for an original British rock record then this one beat most hands down and it didn't owe very much to the US.
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Joe Brown is one of the U.K.s most enduring and adored rock and roll entertainers. He is still touring and playing to full auditoriums throughout the country. I was lucky enough to see him a couple of years ago when he was playing alongside his daughter Sam. They were just magic together. This compolation c.d. entitled "The Joe Brown Story" is of course not the whole story but it does cover the years 1959 - 1967 (therefore it excludeds Joe's minor 1973 hit "Hey Mama") when Joe was most innovative and productive. Joe is very proud of his Plaistow East End roots. As I'm from Mile End I am so pleased with him and his success because for some unacountable reason the East End did not produce many notable Rock and Roll performers. This c.d. contains an excellent overview of Joe's work from the cockney music hall styled "Jellied Eels" and "I'm Henry The Eighth I Am" to his minor hits including "Dark Strutters Ball", "What A Crazy World We're Living In", and "Sally Ann". And then there are his major hits "A Picure Of You", "It Only Took A Minute" and "That's What Love Will Do". All three are sang in Joe's distinctive Rock a Billy style which show off his excellent guitar skills. On this c.d. is Joe's redition of "All Things Bright and Beautiful" from his successful 1962 Christmas e.p. Also, in that year Joe was voted the U.K. Music Personality of the Year. In all there are fifty tracks on this double c.d. and it is well worth buying.
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