Formed by Ian Lloyd and Michael Brown (a founding member and principal songwriter of the Left Banke) when they were introduced by their session musician fathers, Stories was one of those bands that could have been, should have been big.
And for a brief time, they were, thanks to a song that did not remotely represent their sound at all: Brother Louie, a cover of a Hot Chocolate song.
Up to that point, they had made a couple of albums of Beatles-inspired rock and pop, and nearly hit the top 40 with I’m Coming Home.
But those two albums–the first was self titled (or untitled) and the second, About Us, had Brother Louie appended to it when it hit the charts, are worth rediscovering.
Although I prefer the second album, the first one has a moody, churning rock song, Step Back, that I swear sounds like what Crazy Horse might have been had they been fronted by Robert Plant or Rod Stewart.
Lyrically, it’s not much–Lloyd is basically confronting a woman who has ‘changed,’ (many Stories songs find him begging, pleading, persuading, putting down, and moving on from some woman) but musically, Step Back (and the majority of their first two album) is a kinetic delight.
Their other songs tended to be a bit more regal and dynamic, but Step Back has a compelling primal energy about it, a neanderthal-style wallop topped with melancholic piano ruminations that suggests Stories could have been a slightly eccentric cock rock band.
But that, as they say, is another story.