The May 20 release of 40 Years: The Vinyl Album, marks another nod to the hit-making journey of the Bellamy Brothers, the duo that soared to success with the ’70s No. 1 pop hit “Let Your Love Flow” and then found country fame in the ’80s with the Grammy-nominated “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me).” It’s been over three decades since David and Howard Bellamy released a vinyl, but returning to a familiar format was a welcome one.
“It sounds like it did when we [first] recorded,” says David Bellamy about the new vinyl sound. “There’s 12 of our biggest hits there. So you know, they’re kind of tried and true.”
“It’s really a cool thing to go back in and hear it on that format,” notes Howard Bellamy. And yeah, it’s kind of a flashback for you.”
40 Years: The Vinyl Album is a compilation of the duo’s greatest hits captured in their 2015 two-CD collection 40 Years and features 12 tracks including “Let Your Love Flow,” “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me),” “More of You,” “Dancin’ Cowboys’ and “Redneck Girl,”—a tune that other country artists, like Blake Shelton have incorporated into their tours.
The Bellamy Brothers recently joined Shelton on his Friends and Heroes Tour and The Voice judge can be spotted in the upcoming season of the Bellamy’s reality show Honky Tonk Ranch on Circle. Filmed at the family ranch in Florida, the show follows the brothers’ crazy day-to-day antics from cow pens to concerts. The duo laughingly describe the production as “rural nonsense.” But it’s a production that keeps intriguing viewers and snagging guests like Shelton and actor/musician Dennis Quaid. Never a dull or quiet moment, they’re deep in tour mode this year with shows in the United States, Norway, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
Watch an episode of Honky Tonk Ranch via Circle All Access YouTube channel.
Over the course of their career, the 1980 CMA Most Promising Group of the Year Award winners, have had 10 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. With 26 Top Ten hits, the Bellamy Brothers place second among duos, surpassed only by Brooks & Dunn’s 41 Top Tens. Helping pave the way for dynamic country duos, with record-breaking nominations for a duo in both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association Awards, David and Howard Bellamy seem to have avoided sibling rivalry to form an enduring music partnership that began in childhood and was marked by humor.
Was it difficult remaining a duo knowing the option of solo careers was out there?
“We’re kind of worthless otherwise, so we’re stuck with each other,” laughs Howard.
Known also for double entendre lyrics and playful tunes, David Bellamy, co-writer of Jim Stafford’s 1974 hit “Spider’s and Snakes” admits that family might have played an influential role in the brothers’ signature sense of humor. “Our family did have a real weird sense of humor, there’s no doubt. And it was kind of a strange, you know, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that they all had.”
Comedy seems to have always swirled around the duo.“Oddly enough…when we lived in LA, we lived in a basement with Gallagher the comedian,” says Howard.
With respect to the music business, David believes humor has helped keep things in perspective. It’s also likely helped them stand out in a competitive industry.
The Bellamy Brothers have have long steered their own ship. Shifting from pop to country wasn’t a traditional move, but it was music-driven and logical for the pair who’ve never felt genre-restricted.
Says David, “We ‘crossed under’ we say instead of ‘crossing over’ because our first record was the pop hit. And it was a huge international hit. I’m not certain but it was close to 20 countries, it was the No. 1 pop record. And so you know, it was a hard, no matter what format, a hard record to follow— it was so big. But we were basically raised to country…we grew up with our dad singing, playing country.”
That’s not say they’ll never step outside of country. Adds David, “We love doing it all, you know, and really boils down to us if it’s a good song or not, regardless of the format.”