Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Name Like No Other

Actually, Brian is a name like any other, and that's exactly why Ken Sweeney named his band something so mundane. It worked for the Smiths, after all. JC's inclusion of Brian in his excellent mix of Irish bands on St. Patrick's Day inspired me to pull the 1992 album 'Understand' and 1999 album 'Big Trouble' off the shelf on the weekend for the first time in a good long while. My recollection of 'Understand' was timeless sad-sack music of the highest order. If anything, I was even more struck by its beauty this time around. "Understand" has always been my go-to song, but I just got this one stuck in my head. It was a single that went nowhere in 1991:

"You Don't Want a Boyfriend"

The EP "Planes" followed 'Understand,' and Sweeney thought it was his best piece of work. Its failure hit the artist hard, and he disappeared for several years. When he reemerged with 'Big Trouble' at the end of the decade, the shift in sound was a shock to some of Brian's veteran followers, but it had a beat you could dance to, and there were new fans after "Turn Your Lights On" was BBC Radio One Single Of The Week. There was success on Irish radio and a nomination for Irish Single Of The Year at the Irish Music Awards as well. The overall feeling, though, was Brian was better at music for the melancholy, and Sweeney must have agreed because he never recorded as Brian again. Here are a couple from 'Big Trouble.'

"Turn Your Lights On"
"Right Through Tuesday"

I have spent the last few days catching up with my favorite blogs, and I'll be back next time with another post inspired by a post I read.


MisterPrime said...

Hey, Brian, glad you're feeling better. Thanks for this recommendation - I've not come across this feller before but he seems worthy of investigation. The new Secret Shine album is very good btw if you've not heard it yet... Cheers

Brian said...

Up your alley for sure, Misterprime, especially Understand. Everything I have heard from the new Secret Shine has been excellent, but I don't have it yet. On the list.

friend of rachel worth said...

Love the Brian stuff especially Right Through Tuesda. Remember when I go the lp thinking that it reminded me a bit of depressed Ian Broudie , which was no bad thing. Then Ian Broudie showed what a depressed ian broudie sounded like with 4 winds

JC said...

I only have the 1991 album so thanks for these great songs from later on. Hugely appreciated.

Brian said...

That's the one you want, JC, but I'll be more than happy to get you the later one if you want. No problem at all.