We here at rock nyc are really upset to hear about the passing of the great Errol Brown, Hot Chocolate lead singer, the man behind “You Sexy Thing”, “You Win Again”, “Brother Louie”, “Every 1’s A Winner”, “Emma” …
In 1970s terms, Errol was to disco what Phil Lynott was to rock: a soul pinnacle of sound with its heart in Manchester and its feet in the world.
Hot Chocolate had the distinction of performing truly soulful UK disco, they sounded like nobody else as they stretched their way through 15 hits in the 1970s and while I never saw them live on stage, Hot Chocolate exuded a more knowing egotism then either the white disco of the Bee Gees, or the more universal black disco of Tavares. They were like the last line of defense before Chic changed the landscape.
Errol brought a level of art to disco, the sound was roto soul but with a spikey intelligence, they didn’t sound like coked out disco manipulators but rather like soulmen of the first order specialiing.
On a personal basis, I was on a head nodding basis with Errol, who was a regular at George Best (the legendary Irish soccer player) disco in Manchester (I saw Iggy, Bowie, Lynott and many more there as well) “Slack Alice. He was always very polite to me, and I was a bit of a fanboy.
Errol died of pancreatic cancer today. He was 71 years old.
a nightmare that becomes a dream
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1976 (Volume 8, Number 6)
Roger Daltrey expressed his desire to set Lester Bangs on fire and “piss on him.”
“can’t we at least be the Black Iggy Pops.”
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