Errol Brown, MBE, of the musical group Hot Chocolate, has died at his home in the Bahamas, no thanks to liver cancer. He was 71.
Brown, I think, was just slightly ahead of his time. He got his band signed (briefly) to Apple Records after recording an unauthorized version of “Give Peace a Chance”; John Lennon thought enough of it to send them a contract, but things got buggered while the Beatles were breaking up, and Hot Chocolate went to work for megaproducer Mickie Most (Donovan, Herman’s Hermits).
The HC hit that got least notice in the States, I think, was “Brother Louie,” eclipsed by a cover by the American band Stories, founded by Left Banke genius Michael Brown, who left before “Louie” was recorded. The song got yet another lease on life with the arrival of Louie, the TV series starring comic Louis C. K.; the TV version sounds more like Errol Brown than like Ian Lloyd of Stories.
Of course, you know this song:
Brown left Hot Chocolate in 1985 to go solo; he staged a farewell tour in 2009.