Brian Protheroe


Brian Protheroe

I first heard Brian Protheroe in approx. 1976, when first working in a record store.  Part of the job in those days was to try and hear anything / everything that was “new”.  Initially, “I/You” looked interesting merely because it was on Chrysalis Records.  Then we played it!

LP                PINBALL                                          CHRYSALIS UK   CHR 1065  1974 13 TRKS

CD                PINBALL                                          BASTA NL             30-9047.2   1974 13 TRKS (’96 issue)

7″                 PINBALL / MONEY LOVE              CHRYSALIS UK   CHS 2043   1974 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

LP                PICK-UP                                          CHRYSALIS US   CHR 1090  1975 11 TRKS

CD                PICK-UP                                          BASTA NL             30-9046.2   1975 11 TRKS (’96 issue)

LP                I/YOU                                                CHRYSALIS US   CHR 1108  1976 10 TRKS

CD                I/YOU                                                BASTA NL             30-9045.2   1976 10 TRKS (’96 issue)

LP                LEAVE HIM TO HEAVEN (O.C.)   CHRYSALIS UK   CHR 1118  1976 20 TRKS

CD                UNRELEASED                               BASTA NL             30-9055.2   1996 10 TRK Collection

If you are familiar with Brian Protheroe’s work, you already know what I’m talking about.  If not, I will suggest trying to find his 3 x original US Chrysalis LP’s in a bargain bin somewhere near you.  None of the Chrysalis LP’s should cost more than $3.  The above listed records / CD’s are nearly everything he ever had released – I am missing 2 more Chrysalis UK 7” 45’s.

“I / You” truly has the sound of state-of-the-art 1976 England – reminds me now a bit of 10cc, but with less of a Manchester accent.  Protheroe was / is a stage actor in England – a singing, superlative songwriting one.  This explains his Original Cast LP, “Leave Him To Heaven” – the only one of his original releases to not make it to CD.  Thankfully, it is the weakest of his original releases, so no loss there.

I recently found a UK 7” of “Pinball” – I knew that it existed, but had never seen a copy before (Yes, the B-side is on the “Pinball” LP, too).  Playing the 45 at my GF’s place last weekend – it really sounded to me like The Beatles!  But, of course, I know it is Protheroe’s singing and songwriting excellence.  It sounded like The Beatles because of where & how it was recorded in London, circa 1973 / 4.  I believe Protheroe tried to use the same musicians, whenever possible.

About the only other artist I can like to Brian Protheroe is Ian Anderson, from Jethro Tull.  Anderson appears on the “I / You” LP, likely because both he and Protheroe were signed to the same record company.

Happily, Basta Records in Holland re-issued his albums on CD in 1996!  No bonus tracks, but there was some great enlightenment from Mr. Protheroe himself in the form of “new” liner notes for each release – and an entire disc of previously “Unreleased” (1996) songs – including demos he wrote for Soho (remember “Hippy Chick”?).

So, Brian Protheroe is a one-off who had 3.5 original LP’s released in the 1970’s.  He’s got a great voice, and his records have the sound of expensive London recording studios and well-paid musicians.  Definitely not hard to listen to!

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3 Responses to Brian Protheroe

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    Congrats at digging up a musician I certainly have never heard of. I may not have heard much in my years, but I’ve certainly read about many things by now, but not Brian Protheroe.

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    Until his stuff got re-issued on CD in the 90’s, I had never heard of anyone knowing about Mr. Protheroe. It was something I heard only of because of the time I was working in a record store – i never heard him on the radio, never saw him written about.

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