In 1973, Protheroe was playing the part of a pop singer in Death On Demand, a play in which he would perform some of his own compositions and it was during this time that he was spotted by a representative from Chrysalis Records who would sign him up for three albums over the next three years.
For me, the best song on the album (and Protheroe's best tune) is "Fly Now" which was the second single, released in early 1975 backed with "Clog Dancer" (also on the LP). "Fly Now" borrows a bit of piano from Lynsey De Paul's "Sugar Me" and grooves like McCartney's "Monkberry Moon Delight", bouncing along for a modest two minutes and twenty seconds. This should've been a big hit but failed to make an impression on the charts and ending up in the bargain bins across the country.
1975 saw the release of a second album "Pick Up", a less jazzy affair than the debut and sounds like a cross between mid 70's Elton John and Bill Joel. This is my favourite of the three Brian Protheroe albums and contain a couple of his best compositions, "Gertrude's Garden Hospital" a Gilbert O'Sullivan-esque tune (any song that ends with the line "Shut ya gob!" is fine by me) and "Good Brand Band", which was his final single released by Chrysalis.
"You/I" was Protheroe's third and final album and he went all out with some epic production and lengthier songs, four of the ten tracks exceed the five minute mark and sounding a lot like Christopher Rainbow in places. "Every Roman Knows" has always reminded me of a Pilot song but I can't think which one. "Under The Greenwood Tree" is a great folk track with flute and features a guest appearance from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, a nice song but sounding a bit out of place on here. Album closer "Face And I" is a big ballad with Abbey Road guitar lines and a grand exit to his music career. Quite possibly, Brian had had enough of the music business rather than the music business having enough of Brian by 1976 and following the "You/I" album he returned to the stage where he remains to this day.
I'd featured Brian Protheroe's "Fly Now" on my 3rd Bite It Deep mix back in July, but here it is again. Diggg...