OMG, HMLKD!





:: United We Stand ::

Some time ago, I did a post about The Pipkins, "Gimme Dat Ding" album. Basically, some of the people involved with that record were also involved with the making of this one. There could not be two more different records though. The Pipkins were strictly from noveltyville, and The Brotherhood of Man couldn't have been more earnest. The song, "United We Stand" was a huge hit in it's native Great Britain, and a fairly big hit in the States, but whereas here The Brotherhood of Man were considered a one hit wonder, in Europe they are considered second only to Abba in the boy/girl band world domination sweepstakes.

Music publisher and song writer Tony Hiller was the brains of the operation. Seeing an unfilled niche for anthemic choral pop, Hiller and his partner Johnny Goodison started in to writing, while Hiller used his music biz connections to secure a recording contract. Various singers were enlisted including frequent Hiller collaborators Roger Greenaway and Tony Burrows, and they were on their way. After a couple of false starts, they came up with "United We Stand", and a formula was born.

The Brotherhood went on to score another hit with "Where Are you Going To My Love", then faded away. Tony Hiller never gave up though, and eventually brought the band back to the top, winning the Song for Europe songwriting competition in 1976 with "Save Your Kisses For Me", giving the BHM their biggest worldwide hit ever, and extending their hitmaking career well into the 80s. The band is still going strong to this day.

As the liner notes on the United We Stand album state: "At a time when the world is torn between polarized feelings of love, hate, peace and war, The Brotherhood of Man emerges with an eloquent and convincing plea to unite." Sure, this kind of stuff is too corny to fly these days, but if we ever needed an eloquent and convincing plea to unite, it's now. And although the song was bastardized in airline commercials, and copycat jingles like "I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke" ultimately killed off the genre, today the song sounds earnest and fresh again, at least to these world weary ears.


Mike
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