Sam Brown

Samantha Brown was the daughter of rocker Joe Brown and singer Vicki Brown, a backing vocalist for T-Rex. She joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and then moved to London and recorded some demos of songs she'd written with Paul McCartney........'s keyboardist Wix. She eventually got picked up by A&M and recorded a debut album, "Stop!", with her guitarist brother Pete producing.

"Stop" was musically varied and featured jazz, dance and music hall styles (including the wonderful 40 second song "Tea") and wound up shifting two and a half million copies. It's lead-off single, the title track, became huge and went Top 10 in the UK. Other singles from the album were less successful, though she returned to the Top 15 with "Can I Get A Witness?" the next year.

"April Moon" was the follow-up album to "Stop" and failed to produce a single as huge as "Stop" - the highest charting song was "Kissing Gate", which only made #23. Sam was finding success a tricky fish to keep hold of. If only she'd bought a bigger net.

The problem was that "April Moon"'s success was always going to appear muted by comparison with "Stop". However, it was a roaring chart topper compared with her third album "43 Minutes".

The "43 Minutes" album - it looks like something to put on in the car

Sam's Mother got ill with cancer, and she turned in a sombre, uncommercial effort about death. Her record company asked her nicely to "stick some hit singles on it". She smiled, went away and wrote another song like "Stop" and tacked it onto the end except of course that she DIDN'T REALLY. Instead she bought the album back, released it on her own 'Pod Records' label and let their tyres down (probably). "43 Minutes" didn't sell millions, and remained largely unavailable until 2004 when it was re-issued. She did play it solo in Churches though. Sounds like they were jaunty gigs. "Do that one about stopping!" the audience must have cheered.

Sam - the Independent Years. Record sales not pictured.

More independent releases, "Box" (in 1997) and "Reboot" (2000), did surprisingly well, notching up 17,000 sales (although a piddle to a waterfall compared to her debut) thanks to Sam touring through Chelyabinsk. It's a venue!

"Box" - the mad old badger's latest proper album

She also had two kids and moved to a Scottish Village. She would.

In one of the most unlikely collaborations of recent years, in 2003 Sam decided to join a new group lead by Beautiful South guitarist Dave Rotheray - Homespun then produced two albums (to date), a self-titled debut and "Effortless Cool", two great efforts.

In 2006 she did an EP of songs on the Ukulele! She's the sort! It's a "refined and intimate journey with Sam, stripped down to the powerful simplicity of her remarkable voice and expressive ukulele". Which means they simply couldn't afford a band.

In recent years, pop/r'n'b strumpet Jamelia has covered "Stop", taking an inferior version into the Top 10 (though royalties for Sam so that's good) and onto the Bridget Jones soundtrack, natch.

She's touring Braintree this May. We could go and pick up the Hi Fi on the way.

The Sam-picked Best Of with the slightly iconic cover shamelessly bears a huge sticker mentioning Bridget Jones. It features the hits "Stop", "Can I Get A Witness" and "Away With The Faeries". She also bunged "Tea" and "Stop (Demo Version)" on the end because she's nice like that.

There's also this:

We tried to watch it once but sleep won. We shall try again soon, yes we shall.

www.onecandle.co.uk is a top fansite named after her famous song "One Candle". Presumably www.stop.co.uk had already been commandeered by Erasure or the Road Safety people.


Sam, today. Oh how she loves her tea, in the afternoon.