Samantha Brown (born 7 October 1964) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and record producer.
In a music career spanning more than 30 years, Brown is a ukulele player, and was a blue-eyed soul and jazz singer. Brown came to prominence in the late 1980s as a solo artist, releasing six singles that entered the UK Singles Chart during the 1980s and 1990s. Her solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love included “Stop!”, “This Feeling”, “Can I Get a Witness”, “Kissing Gate”, “With a Little Love” and “Just Good Friends”. She worked as a session backing vocalist, working with artists such as Small Faces, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave.
Brown released her debut album Stop! in 1988. Since then, she has released five studio albums, one EP and three compilation albums, but lost her singing voice in 2007 and has since been unable to sing. She has married once and is the mother of two children.
Samantha Brown was born on 7 October 1964, in Stratford, east London, England. She is the daughter of musician Joe Brown and session singer Vicki Brown. Brown’s first work in the music industry was in 1978 at the age of 14, when she sang backing vocals on the final studio album by the Small Faces, 78 in the Shade. She also worked as a backing vocalist with several other bands, including Spandau Ballet and with her mother on former Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s third solo album Before I Forget.
Brown signed a recording contract with A&M in 1986. Her most successful song with A&M was “Stop!”, released as a single in 1988. She issued an album of the same name that same year. Other singles taken from the album included “Walking Back to Me”, “This Feeling” and her cover version of “Can I Get a Witness”. The album Stop! has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide, doing particularly well in the UK and Australia. Brown’s second studio album, April Moon (1990), included two hit singles, “Kissing Gate” and “With a Little Love”. Three further singles were released from the album: “Mindworks”, “Once in Your Life” and “As One”. She also played the ukulele.
Brown’s third studio album, 43 Minutes…, was made around the same time that her mother was dying from breast cancer. A&M, Brown’s record label at the time, were not satisfied with the album and wanted some potential hit singles recorded and added to the track listing. Brown, unwilling to compromise and after a protracted legal battle, bought back the master recordings of the album and released them in 1992 on her own label Pod Music, a year after the death of her mother. Few copies were initially released, although it was re-issued in 2004.
Brown provided backing vocals for Pink Floyd on their fourteenth studio album, The Division Bell, released in 1994 and accompanied them on their tour to promote the release. Her involvement was documented on the following year’s Pink Floyd release, Pulse, in which she sang backing vocals and was the first lead vocalist on the song “The Great Gig in the Sky”. In 1995, she had a minor chart hit with a duet with fellow singer-songwriter Fish, entitled “Just Good Friends”. In 1997, Brown returned with her fourth studio album Box, released via the independent record label Demon Music Group. Tracks on this album included “Embrace the Darkness”, “Whisper” and “I Forgive You” which was co-written with Maria McKee. McKee’s version of the song originally appeared on her second album, You Gotta Sin to Get Saved.
In 2000, her fifth studio album ReBoot was released via another independent label, Mud Hut, and the single “In Light of All That’s Gone Before.” In 2003, Brown formed the band Homespun with Dave Rotheray, releasing three albums. Brown also released several solo recordings in this period, including an EP, Ukulele and Voice. In 2004, Jon Lord released Beyond the Notes, for which she wrote almost all the lyrics. In late 2006, she undertook an extensive UK tour as special guest of her father, Joe Brown. The shows also included appearances by her brother, Pete Brown.
In 2007, seven years after her last album, Brown released Of the Moment. She also returned to the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart in October 2007, when “Valentine Moon” was included on Jools Holland’s hit album Best of Friends. That same year she lost her singing voice, and for as yet unknown reasons has not been able to sing since. In an interview from 2013 she explained that “I can’t get vocal cord closure and achieve the proper pitch simultaneously. It feels like there are some muscles that aren’t working.”
After a cyst was found on her vocal cords, she had the cyst successfully removed, but problems with her voice persisted, leaving her unable to hold a note.
Brown currently runs the International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common, the North London Ukulele Collective and the People’s Ukulele Brigade (PUB). Brown is also a patron of Tech Music Schools in London, made up of Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Keyboardtech and Drumtech.
As well as her solo career, Brown has had a successful career as a backing vocalist and collaborator with other artists. She has worked with the band Barclay James Harvest (1984), David Gilmour (David Gilmour in Concert) and Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra), Jon Lord, The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave. She has often appeared as a member of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and achieved further prominence with her 2002 performance at the Concert for George, which was a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death, where she sang “Horse to the Water”. This song is included in the film of the concert, not on the album. In 2002, she was a backing vocalist at Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II’s concert, Party at the Palace.
In 2015, Brown started teaching backing vocals classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, Surrey, a school for rock and pop musicians.
Brown has two children, Vicki (1993) and Mohan (1995), with her ex-husband, producer and musician Robin Evans.
On 16 June 1991, Brown’s mother Vicki Brown died at 50 from breast cancer.
Stop! is the debut studio album by the English female singer-songwriter Sam Brown. It was originally released in June 1988, on the label A&M, and was distributed by Festival in Australia. Produced by Sam Brown, her brother Pete Brown, Pete Smith, Danny Schogger, and John Madden the album was recorded at the Power Plant, in London, England, with then-Pink Floyd member David Gilmour’s guitar parts on “This Feeling” and “I’ll Be In Love” being recorded at Greene Street Studios, in New York, United States. The track “Merry Go Round” has lyrics slightly adapted from W. H. Davies poem “Leisure”. The CD edition of the album includes cover versions of Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get a Witness and Ike & Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits.
On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics. Brown’s most commercially successful solo album, it went on to peak at #4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached #13 on the Australian ARIA Charts. The album also reached the top ten in five other countries including Austria, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The album launched three charting singles in the UK. “Stop!” peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart; “This Feeling” peaked at #91; “Can I Get a Witness” at #15. The album has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide. The album was certified platinum by Music Canada. In the UK, it sold more than 100,000 copies and was certified gold by the BPI.
A fine debut, full of original songs with much more depth and things going on than your average pop record. A few songs like “This Feeling”, I’ll Be in Love” and “High as a Kite” may be slightly pedestrian, but there’s nothing here I would call filler. (by Kim Alsos)
This is indeed a real nice album featuring pretty good songs with a touch of Soul music and featuring musicians like David Golmour, Jim Leverton and Danny Thompson.
Jim Abbiss (pedal stell-guitar))
Bob Andrews (organ)
Dave Bishop (drums)
Stuart Brooks (saxophone)
Joe Brown (guitar, mandolin)
Pete Brown (guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals)
Sam Brown (vocals. keyboards)
Ken Craddock (organ)
Danny Cummings (percussion)
Jeff Daly (saxophone)
Christopher Dean (trombone)
Peter Esswood (cello)
Paul Fishman (keyboards)
Simon Gardner (trumpet)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals)
David Hancock Trumpet
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion)
John Huckridge (trumpet)
Jakko M. Jakszyk (guitar, vocals)
Roland Vaughan Kerridge (drums)
Jim Leverton (bass)
Ian Maidman (bass)
Kevin Mazpas (synthesizer)
Kate Musker (viola)
Richard Newman (drums, vocals)
Rex O’Dell (trombone)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
Ed Poole (bass)
Chris Pyne (trombone)
Danny Schogger (keyboards)
Steve Sidwell (rumpet
Peter Smith Trombone)
J. Stringle (cello)
Stan Sulzmann (saxophone)
Jamie Talbot (saxophone)
Danny Thompson Bass
Bobby Valentino (violin)
Mark Wazton (violin)
Alan Wicham (trumpet)
Vicki Brown – Margo Buchanan – Amy Caine – Helen Chappelle . Philip Saatchi – Peter Smith – Billy Vanderpuye
01. Walking Back To Me (Brown/Sutton) 3.44
02. Your Love Is All (Brown/Buchanan) 4.09
03. Stop! (Brown/Sutto/Brody) 4.56
04. It Makes Me Wonder (Brown/Buchanan) 4.36
05. This Feeling (Brown/Buchanan) 3.17
06. Tea (Brown) 0.45
07. Piece Of My Luck (Brown) 2.57
08. Ball And Chain (Brown/Schogger) 4.36
09. Wrap Me Up (Brown/Schogger) 3.13
10. I’ll Be in Love (Brown/Schogger) 5.16
11. Merry Go Round (Brown/V.Brown) 3.09
12. Sometimes You Just Don’t Know (Brown/Malloy/Brennan) 3.08
13. Can I Get A Witness (E.Holland/Dozier/B.Holland) 3.01
14. High As A Kite (Brown/Schogger) 3.26
15. Nutbush City Limits (Turner) 3.13
And here´s a pretty good acoustic version of “Stop” from 2003: