Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Brook Brothers - Warpaint: The Pye Anthology





The Brook Brothers, England's answer to the Everly Brothers, scored their biggest hit with a cover of an obscure Barry Mann song titled "War Paint." With their superior remake, the brothers climbed to the British Top Five and created one of the most memorable hits of early British rock & roll. War Paint: The Pye Anthology is a two-disc set that reissues all of the brothers' recordings for the label -- a catalog of Everly Brothers soundalikes so well-produced and well-performed that the anthology easily ranks among the best in Castle's Pye series.



 The first disc rounds up 13 singles from 1960-1963, including the group's five British hits. All of the Brook Brothers' hits are covers of American songs by artists such as the Crickets, Shelley Fabares, Bobby Vinton, and Eddie Hodges, but their interpretations are so fresh and energetic, they often equal or even transcend the originals. Their arrangement of "One Last Kiss" from Bye Bye Birdie, for example, makes Bobby Vee's rendition seem limp by comparison. The non-hits and B-sides, too, are mostly covers of American hits, although the brothers penned a handful of originals and recorded British songs such as Tony Hatch's "Tell Tale." The second disc contains all 14 songs from The Brook Brothers Album (1961), which boasts the brothers' interpretations/updates of pop oldies ("The Trolley Song"), classic country hits ("Please Help Me, I'm Falling"; "Half as Much"), current hits (Gene Pitney's "I Wanna Love My Life Away") and the original song "I Love Girls." Two alternate takes of singles from the first disc appear at the end as bonus tracks. Recommended for Everly Brothers fans, who are certain to wonder why "War Paint" didn't cross the pond and become an American hit as well

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