Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sam Brown 'Stop!'

Chart Peak: 4

Her father Joe Brown had 11 Top 40 hits between 1960 and 1973... 'Stop' wasn't a hit when first released, but second time around it had raced to No.5 by 19 February 1989.
Quick note on the title: Now 14 refers to the track without an exclamation mark, but it's clearly there on the original single cover and the album. This demonstrates one of two notable coincidences oddly unmentioned in the sleeve note - for the first time in the history of the series, two songs of the same title are on the same Now album (and even the same side, in fact). The other coincidence is that this is the second consecutive track by the daughter of a 1950s rock and roll singer.

Ms Brown, though, seems a less pop-oriented type of singer - whereas many of the Kim Wilde singles are brilliant attempts to catch the zeitgeist, Sam Brown obviously thinks of herself more as a jazz singer, and I remember this seemed to have a certain classicism about it even a quarter of a century ago. Even if some elements of the production seem to betray its recording date (and the video certainly does), it isn't exactly typical late-80s fare. You could make some connections to the wine-bar soul of the era, but this goes a step further along. Above all it's a masterclass in how to concentrate on the strongest parts of the track - mostly her extraordinary vocal of course, but also the powerful organ solo. One of the most intense things ever to appear on a Now album, despite its MOR trappings.

Available on: Stop!

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