|The Brady Bunch
"Meet the Brady Bunch"
Paramount LP (1972)
We'll Always Be Friends
Day After Day (Badfinger)
Baby, I'm A Want You (Bread)
I Believe In You
American Pie (Don McLean)
Time To Change
Love My Life Away
Come Run With Me
Ain't It Crazy
I Just Want To Be Your Friend
Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
We Can Make The World A Whole
...For the most outrageous Brady LP, however, we chose their second album, Meet The Brady Bunch,
because it offers so much more than mere bad singing. After all, anyone who ever attended a school
Christmas pageant has heard kids sing carols off-key. But this album wedded the Bradys' ragged singing
to some of the most ridiculously inappropriate material they were ever handed. It was the bright idea of
the bigwigs at Famous Music Publishing and the album's producer, Jackie Mills, who thought the Brady
assignment was beneath him (why, we don t know, since his great claim to fame was producing Bobby
Sherman's "Easy Come, Easy Go"). The disgruntled Mills felt he should have been producing bands like
the Rolling Stones, but since he was stuck with the Brady Bunch, he made them cover a load of songs
that had already been hits for more respected, and much more mature, artists.
Imagine six squeaky-clean, squeaky-voiced kids yelping songs of sexual longing, regret and nostalgia,
like Badfinger's hit song "Day After Day" ("I remember finding out about you"? As if these singing fetuses
could possibly remember anything that happened before last Wednesday!), Bread's "Baby, I m-A Want
You," and Lobo's "Me And You And A Dog Named Tiger"... oops, sorry, "Boo" (they can still recall the
wheat fields of St. Paul, because they read about them in geography class).
But the cut that earned this LP its place in our hearts is the Bradys' blissfully empty-headed romp
through (drumroll, please) "American Pie"! Don McLean chronicled sixteen years of rock 'n' roll in this
song, but the Bradys mercifully lop off the first thirteen years and start at the "Helter Skelter" line,
probably because they weren't alive for the first decade of rock and don t even know who Buddy Holly
was. Hearing all those cracking adolescent voices attempting to negotiate the ascending note on "Eight
miles high and falling faaaaaaaaaaaast" is one of the great moments in inadvertent humor. The day this
was recorded was "the day the music died." It's too bad the producer rejected Susan Olsen's suggestion
that they cover "Satisfaction," since it would have fit Cindy Brady at least as well as it fit Phyllis Diller.
Combine "American Pie" with all the other horrid covers, add some sticky bubblegum originals actually
written by staff composers for Josie and the Pussycats, toss in a title stolen from Meet The Beatles, and
you have one of the all-time milestones of seventies showbiz schlock. It's a chunk of pure Velveeta that
the Bradys would not equal until their 1977 ABC variety show, in which they sang "Shake Your Booty"
beside a swimming pool full of Krofft puppets while wearing sequined, fringed, pastel, polyester,
bellbottom, disco jumpsuits! With white boots!...
For a scholarly overview of this whole inexplicable phenomenon, we recommend the MCA compilation CD,
It's A Sunshine Day (oxymoronically subtitled, The Best Of The Brady Bunch). It features all the major
cuts, plus some oddities (alas, no duet between Alice the maid and Pepino). There s also a full
discography and a witty booklet that tells "the story...of a band named Brady."
Excerpt from Hollywood Hi-Fi...
All material copyright 1995-2007 by Pat Reeder & George Gimarc. All rights reserved.
To buy or hear sample "musical" clips from
these albums, click on the covers!
The CD reissues of "Meet the Brady
Bunch" and the two albums directly
above all feature bonus tracks from the
understandably rare "Chris Knight &
Maureen McCormick" LP.