The talented Hudson brothers found fame and fortune in the 70’s with their music and own TV show in the US.
Written by: Eric
LABEL: Playboy Records
SERIAL: PB 102
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Bill Hudson – guitar, vocals * Mark Hudson – drums, vocals * Brett Hudson – bass, vocals * Danny Hunt – piano
TRACK LISTING: 01 Lovely Lady * 02 If I Needed You * 03 Woe Is Me * 04 Someday * 05 Whats A Fella Sposta Do * 06 Leavin’ It’s Over * 07 Little Old Man * 08 I’ve Been Told * 09 Help Me * 10 Everybody Sing
Releasing a handful of singles as The New Yorkers and Everyday Hudson in the late 60’s, this Portland, Oregon trio of talented brothers finally found fame and fortune in the early to mid-70’s both musically and with their own television show in the United States.
I’ll be the first to admit, I think I watched ‘The Hudson Brothers Show’ once or twice and never thought much of it. Maybe I was too young and variety shows were never my thing, but who knows? It wasn’t until the early 1980’s that I started picking up their albums in discount bins and was pleasantly surprised with their unique brand of power pop.
Eventually the Hudson’s would sign to Elton John‘s Rocket Records and under the direction of Bernie Taupin would find greater success with a string of hit singles, but their debut as ‘Hudson’ on the Playboy label while not as immediate as their later masterworks, is worth every effort and penny to track down.
This is classic made for AM radio early 70’s pop. Every tune here is catchy as hell dovetailing nicely into the Three Dog Night, Bobby Sherman, and The Osmonds school of pop as well as the UK sound of early Badfinger, The Bee Gees and naturally The Beatles.
Why none of these songs charted significantly is incredible to me and side one is a sheer delight opening with ‘Lovely Lady’, a ballad of the highest order very reminiscent of Three Dog Night at their best.
But it’s clear the Hudson Brothers were followers of The Bee Gees with cuts like the stunning ‘If I Needed You’ and the out-of-this-world ‘Someday’ both complimented with beautiful orchestration.
‘Woe Is Me’ and ‘What’s A Fella Sposta Do’ both capture The Beatles sound and the direction Klaatu would take just a few short years later and I’m in magical mystery heaven.
Side two’s ‘Leavin’ It’s Over’ sounds like an out take from the Thunderclap Newman album and inexplicably as a single failed to get no higher than #110 on the Billboard charts.
‘Little Old Man’ another heavily orchestrated and dramatic ballad reminds a bit of pop master Scott Walker without his at times oppressive moodiness. ‘I’ve Been Told’, ‘Help Me’ and ‘Everybody Sing’ close out the record with three solid tracks all very much influenced by The Beatles and all uniformly excellent.
It’s a shame none of the Hudson Brothers albums have been released on CD, although Varse Sarabande released ‘So You Are A Star – Best of the Hudson Brothers’ in the mid 1990’s. As you can imagine it’s now long out of print and now goes for obscene money whenever and wherever you can find it.
Let’s hope this situation changes with proper reissues sooner rather than later. A bit of trivia – Bill Hudson would go on to work with Ringo Starr and marry Goldie Hawn, a union which produced their daughter and actress Kate Hudson.