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Shane’s Music Challenge: SAM BROWN – 1992 – 43 Minutes

| 26 March 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Music Challenge: SAM BROWN – 1992 – 43 Minutes
9.5/10

Sam Brown - 43 Minutes cover

Inspired by the sad passing of her mother – including a dream Brown had in which her mother visited her – 43 Minutes is exactly that: 43 gorgeous, challenging, dark, emotional minutes where she deals with love and loss and grief in the best way she knows how: musically, and with the backup of husband Pete Brown and bassist Herbie Flowers (T-Rex, David Bowie, Lou Reed – yep, that’s him on Walk On The Wild Side) amongst others, you know it’s going to sound great.

After dozens upon dozens of listens over twenty years, the power of this sad but never melancholy record can still bring me to tears… fuck knows how I’ll deal with losing my folks when the time comes – I can hope I do so with some of the magic and grace, honesty and humanity, and dignified mourning that Sam Brown shows here.

Of course, by this point in her career she was still most well known for pop smash Stop, and her then-label refused to release this work of art unless she added some ‘hit singles’ to the track listing – rather defeating the point of the title, for starters. Record company greed and narrow mindedness is nothing new though, and Brown dug in her heels and took it to court, eventually buying the masters back and releasing it on a subdued level on her own Pod Music label.

I had the wonderful joy of seeing her perform this album at the Jazz Café in Camden, London, and noticed a fella recording it up the front of the teensy venue. I tapped him on the shoulder and gave him a fiver and he mailed me a copy of the cassette tape of the show, which I still have somewhere. Bloody fantastic stuff, and emotional as it is, the songs are uplifting and encouraging and speak of finding a way through to the light than ever hinting of wallowing in darkness.

It really should be listened to as a whole piece of music, so choosing favourites is very hard indeed, but after listening to all that has gone before, the last two tracks have a special resonance, uplifting after the grief, where Letting Go sees Brown’s dream visited by her late Mum, and Sleep Like A Baby finally sees her able to take one step forward through her grief. It’s mighty powerful stuff.

Shane

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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