Glammish pop take on the soul classic by ex-Angel members
Year of Release: 1975
Well, here's a strange flop from the barren pop wastelands of 1975. According to the ever-reliable Seventies Sevens website, Strawberry Records was a teen orientated label launched by the Vogue Choice management agency in August of that year, but only issued three singles, two of which were by this bunch.
Who were they and why we were only briefly subjected to their charms? That's where things get slightly confusing. Music Week at the time referred to them as an "unknown soul singer" rather than a fully fledged group, which would suggest that Strawberry's press department only did half a job of launching them, as all other sources clearly state they were a pop band. Despite these unnecessary red herrings, it looks reasonably certain that both the guitarist Bob Banasiak and the drummer Brian Johnson were both members, and given that both were previously also involved with the Cube Records signed Angel, it seems safe to assume that Philadelphia Brown were their next project following that group's split.
It's hard to mess up a song as strong as "1-2-3" and they don't, choosing instead to add a bit of teen stomp, sparkle and sunshine to the tracks rather more gritty origins. The repetitious nature of the song means that it doesn't carry quite so well as something slightly less dancefloor orientated, though, and I can't help but wonder if that's half the reason it flopped. Far more interesting to me is the dubby wah-wah instrumental version on the B-side which was probably tossed off in half-an-hour, but showcases the group's abilities in a way that at least makes your feet twitch.