Brother Beyond’s single Can You Keep A Secret? was their first at PWL, produced by Harding and his colleague Ian Curnow. In addition to the standard 7”, a ‘Miami mix’ version of the song was prepared by Harding for a special edition 7”, the Miami sound happening to be popular at the time of the single’s release. “The Miami sound is hard to define, as it crosses over with the Chicago and London house sounds with various similarities,” Harding wrote. “The real difference, I suppose, is the choice of percussive sounds, with the agogo bell being a big feature of the Miami mixes and the addition of Latin-style grooves and percussion on top of that. Roland TR-808 [a commercial synthesizer, a programmable drum machine that sounded nothing like real drums] handclap sounds would feature on both Miami and House records and the kicks would often be the same, though generally the kick pattern on Miami mixes would move away from the straight fours-on-the-floor kicks [a ‘kick’ is what adds the extra energy to a dance track, with ‘four-on-the-floor’ being a bass drum hit on every beat] to something more stuttery and Latin.”
As for Brother Beyond themselves: “We forged a good working relationship with them. Nathan Moore was a great guy, a good singer and a great front man but the beating engine of the band was their guitarist David White, whom we got on really well with and he appreciated the energy that Ian and I put into his songs from a production perspective.” But unfortunately, Can You Keep A Secret? wasn’t a big hit, reaching #56 – at least, that’s as far as it got the first time around. “We thought Brother Beyond were going to be massive with the tracks we did with them but it took the magic touch of SAW for them to break through really big,” Harding said. After a couple of SAW-produced songs reached the Top 10 for Brother Beyond, Can You Keep A Secret? was remixed and reached #22.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 21
BROTHER BEYOND Can You Keep A Secret? (Parlophone R6174)