Julie Brown

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- Julie Brown -- vocals


  supporting musicians:

- Steve Appel -- drums, percussion

- Chuck Berkinshaw -- drums, percussion

- Babcy Bouche -- backing vocals

- Lorrain Feather -- backing vocals

- Dan Grenier -- guitar

- Craig Hull -- guitar

- Linda Lawley -- backing vocals

- Leslie Livrano -- backing vocals

- Kevin McCormack -- bass

- Chris Mostert -- sax

- Sterling Smith -- keyboards

- Jeff Steele -- bass

- Steve Thoma -- keyboards





- none known



Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Goddess In Progress

Company: Rhino

Catalog:  RNEP 610

Country/State: Van Nuys, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: 5 track EP

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 3552

Price: $15.00

I'm normally not a big fan of comedy-oriented music, but I'll make an exception for this five track EP by Julie Brown.   Yeah, the material may not have aged all that well, but tracks like 'I Like Them Big and Stupid' and ''Cause I'm a Blond' bring back pleasant '80s memories for.  Moreover, while it was one-dimensional, Julie Brown's sense of humor was relative harmless, calm and inoffensive; particularly compared to what the future held.


Unable to interest a major label in signing her, Brown eventually formed the Southern California-based Bulletz Records label to release her own material.  She made her recording debut with 1983's ''I Like Them Big and Stupid.'



  7" pressing

- 1983's 'I Like Them Big and Stupid' b/w 'Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' (Bulletz catalog number BR 767-7)

  12" pressing

- 1983's 'I Like Them Big and Stupid' b/w 'Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' and 'I Like Them Big and Stupid' (extended dance mix)' (Bulletz catalog number BR 767-D)



The independent 45 attracted the attention of Rhino Records which signed her to a recording contract.  Brown promptly made her label debut with a promotional single:


- 1984's 'The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' (censored version) b/w 'The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' (uncensored version)  (Rhino catalog number RN-610 7A)





The single attracted enough attention for Rhino to finance a five track EP - 1984's "Goddess In Progress".   With Don Dan Lawson, Steve Thomas, and Kevin McCormack producing, I'm not going to even attempt to convince anyone these are awesome performances, let alone hysterically funny.  Brown's nasally, little-girl voice wasn't going to blow you away.  In fact, taken in more than small doses, there was a good chance you were going to get a headache. These tracks were very much a "big hair and short skirts" time piece and if you weren't part of the timeframe, there's a good chance this exercise was going to strike you as totally lame.  If you were part of the generation, there is still a chance you'll shake your head with the realization that not everything '80s was great.  To be honest, I can remember thinking 'I Like Them Big and Stupid' and 'Earth Girls Are Easy' were goofy and forgettable when I bought the EP, but taken in small doses and you should be okay.  A "one-trick-pony" where Brown quickly went from funny, to trying-too-hard obnoxious.


"Goddess In Progress" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Like Them Big and Stupid   (Julie Brown - Charlie Coffey - Terrence McNally - Ray Colcord) - 2:39   rating: *** stars

If you were going to pick  a tune that captured the '80s Southern California Valley Girl zeitgeist, I'd suggest 'I Like Them Big and Stupid ' would be a great contender for the title.   Pounding synthesizers, heavy metal guitar solo and Brown's inane lyrics made for a hysterical send up of the genre.   Here's the accompanying video: I Like 'em Big and Stupid - Julie Brown - YouTube

2.) The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun   (Julie Brown - Charlie Coffey - Terrence McNally - Ray Colcord) - 4:37   rating: *** stars

Opening up with a standard '50s melody, the abrupt shift to more topical (and troubling) lyric may have once sounded kind of comical.  Can't say I remember another song which included the lyric "I was really excited I almost wet my jeans ..."  Unfortunately, as the parent of two children, in the post Sandy Hook environment, I'm not sure I hear the song in the light I once did.  Listeners will have to judge for themselves.  The track was tapped as a promotional single with an accompanying video:  Homecoming Queen's got a gun (Unedited!!!) - YouTube

- 1984's  'The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' (censored) b/w 'The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun' (uncensored) (Rhino catalog number RN-610-7A)  


(side 2)

1.) Will I Make It Through the Eighties?   (Julie Brown - Charlie Coffey) - 2:20   rating: *** stars

With her squeaky, little girl vocals and the skitterish, synthesizer-powered melody, 'Will I Make It Through the Eighties?' has always reminded me of a second-rate Cindy Lauper track.  No, it hasn't aged well.

2.) 'Cause I'm a Blond   (Julie Brown - Charlie Coffey - Poore)  - 2:14   rating: *** stars

Mildly funny with the "Magnum PI" shout out ...  The song was also used in  the film "Earth Girls Are Easy":   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Wi3A3skb0   The sound and video quality is poor, but YouTube also has a live performance taken from 1988 performance at the Montreal Comedy Festival.  I wonder if the edited the clip for television?   Julie Brown - 'Cause I'm A Blond (Live) - YouTube



3.) Earth Girls Are Easy   (Julie Brown - Charlie Coffey - Terrence McNally - Sterling Smith) - 4:44    rating: *** stars  

Interestingly, the song became the basis for a movie starring Brown, but the tune didn't appear on the resulting soundtrack.  Featuring Genna Davis and Brown, the video was mildly entertaining:  Earth Girls Are Easy (1/10) Movie CLIP - Brand New Girl (1988) HD - YouTube



Brown has an interesting website at: http://www.juliebrown.com/