The Beau Brummels 1975 reunion album is reissued and completely re-mastered on Collectors’ Choice Music with extensive liner notes by Richie Unterberger. The eponymous Beau Brummels LP, documenting their short-lived reunion is slated for release on July 17th.

The Beau Brummels are known for their Sly Stone produced 1965 hit “Laugh Laugh” and their top ten hit “Just A little” of that same year. Subsequently, none of their later releases ever entered the top thirty and after recording Triangle in 1967 and Bradley’s Barn in 1968, the band took a seven-year hiatus.

Ron Elliott had recorded a solo album, Candlestick Maker (also available from CCM), and Sal Valentino had recorded a few Warner Bros. albums with Stoneground (their self-titled debut is available from CCM, too). Members Dec Mulligan and Ron Meagher had formed a San Francisco-based band, Black Velvet. Drummer John Peterson, who’d left the Brummels to join Harper’s Bizarre, had also been in a band with Elliott called Crap (for real).

Cut to 1975, The Beau Brummels reunite and play some shows in Sacramento to work up new material. The duo of Lenny Waronker and Ted Templeman from Warner Bros. were tapped to oversee production, Nick DeCaro was hired for string arrangements and a plethora of new material had been written by Elliott (or co-written by Elliott and Butch Engle); all their ducks seemed to be in a row, other than comings and goings among band members.

But unlike other soft rock artists of the 70’s (Poco, Firefall and England Dan & John Ford Coley), the Beau Brummels were not able to cash in on any chart topping hits. The LP peaked only at No. 180 on Billboard’s Hot 200 albums chart – which is still better than any Beau Brummels long-player before it. Although their sound was right on track with the times, The Beau Brummels were soon to derail. Soon after the release, the band split up for good and they soon faded into the racks of discounted records.

Surprisingly, the album turns out to be quite a gem with quality songwriting and the classic signature 70’s sound prominently displayed all the way through. The first song is a remake of their 1965 hit “You Tell Me Why”. A solid beginning to a great album, “You Tell Me Why” features a good acoustic rockin’ beat with soft strings throughout, reminiscent of a Dave Mason song. “First In Line” is a country style tune complete with banjo picking’ and a strolling drum beat which comes together nicely with Valentino’s signature voice. “Wolf” on the other hand is classic rock with ominous driving electric guitar riffs and solid back up vocals. “Down To The Bottom” about lost love, rivals any of the classic melancholy rock ballads of the time. The weak link on the album though is “Tennessee Walker”, a song that tries to be too many things-a country song, a folk song, a waltz? But, have no fear we’re back with “The Singing Cowboy” and the San Francisco themed “Goldrush”, two rock ballads back to back that has Valantino sounding a lot like a cross between Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and Bobby Darin. The last three songs are softer songs with the last one, “Today By Day”, sounding as if Canadian soft rock legend Gordon Lightfoot was playing on it.

Beau Brummels LP remains a worthy swan song and deserves a lot more credit than it did at the time. Thanks to Collectors Choice Music it has a chance to be appreciated and is a true treasure of its time.

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