Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tell me what you're after

Michael Brown is a pianist/songwriter who wrote two amazing hits for his first band the Left Banke - Pretty Ballerina and Walk Away Renee. And in fact just about everything he wrote for that band is top notch. His father was a violinist and Michael often added string arrangements to his songs, lending the "baroque pop" moniker to the Left Banke.

Several years after leaving the band his father introduced him to Ian Lloyd, a singer who was the son of a colleague. They formed a band known as The Stories and released two albums of classical-tinged rock. Michael left the band just as their record company foisted upon them what would become their only radio hit, the despicable Brother Louie. The band soldiered on for one more LP without Mr. Brown, but without his keyboard magic they faded into oblivion.

Those first two albums have a high percentage of listenable Beatlesque pop-rock and some killer string arrangements. Here is Please Please from their second LP About Us. That heavily reverbed piano opening is just so lovely.


tbrough said...

Alice Cooper did a nice cover of "Prett Ballerina" a few years back on his Dirty Diamonds album....

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Ha! I sure remember Brother Louie, and I sure thought that was exactly the Stories sound. Thanks for the late-course correction :-)