“Now the time is moving on and I really should be gone
But you keep me hanging on for one more smile
I love you (I love you) all the while
With your cute little way will you promise that you’ll save
In comparison to today the mid-seventies were a time of innocence, a time when honest songs could get the hearing they deserved, a time when international politics didn’t reflect on music, a time when music could reflect proudly upon a nation, a time when countries didn’t gang up on the UK – in short it was a time when it was still possible for a UK group, like the Brotherhood of Man, to win the Eurovision Song Contest with a wholesome song and without ripping off the female singers’ skirts mid-song.
The Brotherhood of Man were originally formed in 1969 by the record producer and songwriter Tony Hiller as a vehicle for some of Hiller’s songs. Made up of session musicians and fronted by four singers the group had a couple of hits in the early seventies (most notably “United We Stand” in 1970) but despite playing the NME Poll Winners Party in 1970 didn’t really make the big time.
Fast forward to 1976 and after personnel changes the Brotherhood of Man, still guided by Tony Hiller, now consisted of Nicky Stevens, Sandra Stevens, Martin Lee and Lee Sheriden. This was the classic line-up, all they needed was the classic song and it arrived in the form of “Save Your Kisses For Me”. Written by Lee, Martin and Tony the song not only won the Eurovision Song Contest but also became the biggest UK seller of 1976 spending six weeks at Number 1, hit the top in 26 other countries and won the writers three Ivor Novello awards. The only downside to the song, if I remember correctly, was the group wearing white dungerees as they sang – not exactly Cheryl Baker but you can’t have everything I suppose.
The group followed up this massive hit with another five top thirty hits (two of them Number 1s) but whilst the songs were well written and performed they didn’t reflect what was happening on the music scene with punk/new wave. It was inevitable that the groups time in the charts would come to an end.
Whilst the group parted company with Tony Hiller in 1983, they continue to tour with the classic lineup reminding us how we used to be Eurovision contenders.
For more info visit Brotherhood of Man