Wednesday, June 19, 2013

let it bee

The Voice of the Beehive rang around the world with the pure pop post punk girl group pleasure of this hip and hilarious honeycomb happening.  The group was started by California step sisters Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland, the daughters of Bruce Belland, lead singer of the group The Four Preps.   Tracey had gone to England with her boyfriend for a vacation and decided to stay, playing in a group called the Lovebombs for a spell until they broke up.  She invited her sister Melissa to visit and they decided to pursue their childhood fantasy of being in a band together.  
They became involved in the London music scene and did 
backup vocals on a song by Bill Drummond which credited them as "the Voice of the Beehive".  Thusly queened, the duo met Welsh guitarist Mike Jones who had a four track studio and they began recording demos as a trio bringing in various bassists and drummers.  They were offered a deal with independent label Food Records to make a single.  In the meantime, they caught the attention of the rhythm section for Madness, Mark 'Bedders' Bedford and  Daniel 'Woody' Woodgate.  The duo asked to play with the trio and ended up recording with them on their first single:  'Just a City'.  The single became such a sensation that they were offered a deal with London Records.  Food Records founder and former member of the Teardrop Explodes David Balfe became their manager.   Bedford quit the band to start Butterfield 8and Martin Brett took over on bass.

'Let It Bee' was recorded with three different producers:    Pete Collins on "The Beat of Love", "Sorrow Floats", "Don't Call Me Baby", "Man in the Moon", "I Walk the Earth", "Trust Me", & "I Say Nothing";    Hugh Jones on "Just a City", "There's a Barbarian in the Back of My Car", & "What You Have Is Enough"; Marvin Etzioni on "Oh Love";    and Mike Jones on "This Weak" & "Jesus".  The sessions featured Tracey Bryn on vocals and guitar; Melissa Brooke Belland on vocals; Mike Jones on guitars, vocals, keyboards, and keyboard programming; Martin Brett on bass guitar and piano; D. M. Woodgate on drums, percussion, triggers, and keyboard programming; with Henrick on keyboards; Dave Swarbrick on fiddle; The Kick on horns, Ladbroke Grove Man on "The Beat of Love" intro; and Marvin Etzioni on mandolin, piano.   The album had singles chart in Australia, the UK, and the US; with 'Let It Bee' peaking at number thirteen in the UK. 

"The Beat of Love" (Tracey Bryn, Brad Nack, temptation rap by Melissa Brooke) - 4:02

"Sorrow Floats" (Bryn) - 4:16

"Don't Call Me Baby" (Bryn, Mike Jones) - 3:05
forty-eight in Australia and fifteen in the UK.

"Man in the Moon" (Bryn, Brooke) - 3:12
charted at ninety-three in the UK.

"What You Have Is Enough" (Bryn) - 2:33

"Oh Love" (Brooke, Jones) - 2:58

"I Walk the Earth" (Nack) - 3:40
strolled to number forty-two in the UK.

"Trust Me" (Bryn) - 3:17

"I Say Nothing" (Bryn, Jones) - 3:24
crept to number seventy-three in Australia and number forty-five in the UK.  It was re-released a year later, going to twenty-two in the UK and eleven on the US modern rock tracks chart.

"There's a Barbarian in the Back of My Car" (Bryn, Zodiac Mindwarp) - 2:35

"Just a City" (Bryn, Jones) - 4:26
never charted; but it got them a major label deal.

"This Weak" (Bryn, Jones) (bonus track, U.S. only) - 3:14

"Jesus" (Lou Reed) (bonus track, U.S. only) - 3:24

'Let It Bee'

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