Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Song of the Week: The Beau Brummels - Can It Be

The Beau Brummels hailed from the North Beach section of San Francisco where they had a residency at El Cid. But it was in San Mateo, California at the Morrocco Room where they were discovered by the owner of Autumn Records, a largely soul based label. The Beau Brummels' 1964 debut album on Autumn Records was one hell of a great debut album and their two singles from that album --  Laugh Laugh and Just A Little --both charted in the Billboard Top 10 despite Autumn Records' distribution limitations.

A year later The Beau Brummels were back in the studio to record their sophomore album, the obtusely named Volume 2. The singles from that album failed to light the world on fire, but it's a superior album to the equally cryptically named first album, Introducing. The 100% original composition album was spearheaded by guitarist and songwriter, Ron Elliot. If there is a flaw to the album it is that singer Sal Valentino doesn't sing lead on each and every song. Bassist Ron Meagher and Ron Elliot handle vocal duties on selected songs just fine, but neither is a patch on Valentino and his far ranging voice. Today we pluck a non-45rpm song from the album: Can It Be. Written by Ron Elliot, the song shows off the bands' skill at their original jangly sound that was surely an influence on The Byrds who were just taking flight at this time. 

Shortly after they recorded this album, Autumn Records was purchased by Warner Brothers who forced the band to record an album of covers. What a stupid idea. This was one of the few bands -- Rolling Stones, Byrds, and Beatles included -- that was capable of releasing full length albums of original compositions. But nope, Warner had them cover Beatles, Sonny and Cher and even do a rendition of Louie, Louie. Ugh. Damn Record company executive weenies.

Declining record sales, Ron Elliot's medical problems and the Vietnam War draft savaged the band who ceased to exist by 1969.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!