Thursday, June 30, 2022

"Stop!" by Sam Brown

Song#:  3865
Date:  04/15/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  65
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  Born into a musical family, English singer/songwriter Sam Brown got started in the business at an early age. Just into her teens, she began to work as a session background vocalist for artists like Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Dexys Midnight Runners, Tina Turner, David Gilmour, and others. Along the way she perfected her writing skills and by '86 she was able to sign a contract with A&M Records. Her first single for the label, "Walking Back to Me," would be issued out early in '88. It failed to chart. Next up for release was "Stop!" It would get a little attention and make it to #52 in the UK. Her debut album Stop! would be issued out in August of '88 along with a third single "This Feeling," which could only scrape the UK chart at #91. Still believing in Brown and thinking she just didn't get the right break, A&M would reissue "Stop!" near the beginning of '89. With a better push, the song finally caught on and got to #4 in the UK. The hit prompted A&M to then release the song in the US. It would make the Pop chart, but was unable to catch on in a major way and stopped short of the halfway mark. With that result, the album failed to chart in the US. Back at home in the UK, the LP would become a #4 gold seller and feature another Top 20 hit.

ReduxReview:  By the time Brown was ready to release her debut album, she had already been in the music business for almost a decade and that experience paid off. Brown had a terrific voice and she sounded confident and in charge on her debut. She had the ability to write some good tunes as well and this scorching ballad was one. The dark soul tune had a retro feel and featured a star-making vocal turn by Brown. The Hammond organ solo was also a nice add. Thankfully the song got a second chance in the UK and became a hit. It was too bad that the US didn't catch on in the same way. It really should have done far better, but a fiery old school soul tune was going to be a tough sell to US pop stations and indeed the single stalled early. It's still a cool song and is way overdue for a revival.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Brown's second album, 1990's April Moon, wouldn't match the success of her debut. It featured one UK Top 30 single and could only manage to reach #38. Brown would write music for her third album at a time when her mother was dying from cancer. She would begin recording the tracks in '92 following her mother's death. Brown finished the LP 43 Minutes and turned it into A&M. It seems they thought artistically it was a good album, but that it had no commercial viability. They asked that she record a cover tune for the LP so it could have a potential hit. Brown decided to stand by her work and refused the label's request. In the end, Brown would leave the label and purchase the rights to the album. She would release it on her own in '93. Without the backing of a sizable label, the album would only sell a few thousand copies. However, several critics were impressed with Brown's work. She would record a few more indie albums over the years while working with other artists as a featured or backup singer, which included performing on Pink Floyd's 1994 The Division Bell and touring with the band.  2) Brown's parents were both music artists. Her mother, Vicki Brown, had been a member of two popular 60s UK female vocal groups, The Vernons Girls and The Breakaways. She also began a career as a session vocalist and appeared on many recordings including ones by The Kinks, Elton John, Robert Palmer, and George Harrison. She would also sing backup vocals on her daughter's Stop! album. Sam Brown's father was rock 'n' roll singer/guitarist Joe Brown. His peak of popularity as a recording artist came in the early 60s when he scored three UK Top 10 hits. He would later branch out to TV as a game show host.



  1. Late to the game sorry, but I was looking through your older posts again and noticed that you spelled, “Nightingale” wrong for the Everly Brothers song. You spelled it like Nightengale. LOL.