Monday, April 09, 2007

Just a Little

Song: Just a Little
Artist: The Beau Brummels
Album: Introducing The Beau Brummels

Influenced by the British Invasion, The Beatles, and the folk-rock scene, San Francisco’s The Beau Brummels made a name for themselves as they pre-dated the Byrds, arguably the most popular (and influential) on the folk-rock scene in the 60’s. The band took their name from a 19th Century Englishman whose name conveniently came JUST after The Beatles alphabetically, and therefore would be next in the record bins.

The band only had three top forty hits, the biggest being “Just a Little” which was produced, along with the rest of their debut, “Introducing The Beau Brummels” by a young Sly Stone. Their small record label Autumn Records, owned by local DJ Tom Donahue who discovered the band, couldn’t compete with the majors as far as getting the band additional exposure while they were having mild top 40 success. Autumn was sold to Warners, who had the band record an album of top 40’s covers. In 1967 they released the critically acclaimed experimental album “Triangle,” and then their swan song, 1968’s “Bradley’s Barn.”

A few years ago, in my initial stage of discovering the Pixies’ Frank Black’s solo work, I became hooked on his cover of “Just a Little” which was on his B-sides album “Oddballs.” I didn’t realize it was cover at first, but did seem a bit too poppy for what Frank was doing at the time so I did some research and found out about the band. He does a very faithful cover, which does not stray very far from the original. The Beau Brummels only other chart hits were “Laugh Laugh” (Featured in the John Candy comedy “Uncle Buck”) and “You Tell Me Why.”


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