Friday, May 29, 2009

ALAN BOWN not Andy Bown or Andy Brown

The Illfolks coverage of ANDY Bown drew over one thousand fans of ALAN Bown asking, "What about a plug for our beloved and equally obscure ALAN?"
Would you believe one hundred?
How about one comment from some guy named Milligan complaining, "Wasn't Andy a well known typing error, and didn't you mean Alan, you swine?"
To make up for any disappointment, real or imagined, here's another dollar bin denizen who never quite got the attention he deserved.
In the USA, whether it was Andy Bown or Alan Bown, nobody was exactly bown away with the music, and radio stations weren't exactly bown' in the wind.
Alan was a trumpet player who first blew people away as a member of the John Barry Seven (yes, the guy who wrote all the James Bond themes). After that group broke up in 1964, Alan's jazz leanings led him to name his own outfit The Alan Bown Set, and as a touring band got a deal to co-release a live album with Jimmy James. Each got one side. The band scattered a half-dozen singles before breaking up.
In 1967 Alan went with the more commercial "psych" and Cream-blooze sound of the day, and the name was shortened to the hipper The Alan Bown! (that's what was happenin' baby!). Sadly, all kinds of problems beset the band, from line-up changes (let's confuse matters and have a lead vocalist named Andy Brown) to indifferent record labels, to bizarre twists of fate (like a strike at the record factory just when he was getting hot via "Top of the Pops" broadcasts).
And so by 1972, Alan decided to shift behind the scenes in the music biz, and leave the spotlight and the headaches to someone else...Like, maybe, Andy Bown, who was gaining attention with solo work, at least before he too decided to seek safety in numbers, and become a member of the Status Quo.
Three phases of Alan Bown via the early album of live tracks and singles, and two albums from the Psych era:

Early Alan Bown: Emergency 666 singles & LIVE


Alan Bown '69

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