Brood Box (Sony BMG import)
The late, great Herman Brood was a junkie, a porn star, an artist, a rock god and arguably the biggest thing since sliced bread in the Netherlands. Although he had but a moment of fame in the USA (“Saturday Night” was a Top Forty hit in 1978), to the kids in his homeland he was Elvis, loved with the same passion and reverence that Irish kids had for Rory Gallagher. In poor health and unable to shake the consequences of a long-term drug habit he leapt to his death from the Amsterdam Hilton in 2001. Most of his recorded work has never been issued in America and many of the European titles fell out of print.
Now, thankfully, many of the titles have been remastered and reissued, including this boxed set of his first five records plus a sixth disc (Kidstuff) unavailable elsewhere. Reasonably priced at about five dollars a disc, the original cover art is masterfully reproduced and the sound is pristine. A worthy investment for those of us who had the vinyl, it’s a mandatory purchase for any rock’n’roll fan. Brood originals merged old school soul and Motown and jazz with scathing Chuck Berry and Little Richard rave-ups, and he was hip enough to cover John Hiatt, Graham Parker and Lou Reed long before most American artists caught on. The live record Cha Cha is a blistering testament to his energetic live shows and is among the best live rock records ever made.
Frank Black was so inspired by Brood that he unearthed his Black Francis moniker for the first time in twenty years and recorded an album about him (Bluefinger) including a cover of “You Can’t Break A Heart and Have It”. But all you will need for inspiration is your wallet and your ears.