The Beau Brummels

Laugh, Laugh

Composed by Elliott / Ron Elliott

Song Review by

From right out of the gate, the Bay Area-based Beau Brummels scored a Top 20 entry with the markedly English-influenced "Laugh, Laugh." Guided by Declan Mulligan's conspicuous mouth harp, the track adopted a rural feel informed by the budding folk-rock synthesis, possibly foreshadowing the pastoral direction that the combo members' music -- specifically Ron Elliot -- would take over the next few years. The relatively straightforward melody and compact harmonies blended perfectly with the onslaught of British Invasion acts, who all but dominated the airwaves and singles charts when "Laugh, Laugh" was issued in late 1964. An apparent element separating the Beau Brummels from most of their one-hit wonder contemporaries was the quality of Elliot's writing. On this selection, he has adopted the typical boy/girl subtext and adeptly tweaked the lyrics to be a kind of open-letter "I told you so" to a former amour whose role as "the jilter" has changed to becoming "the jilted." However, the harshest sentiment is saved for the undeniably catchy chorus of "Laugh, laugh, I thought I'd cry/It seemed so funny to me/Laugh, laugh you met a guy/Who taught you how it feels to be lonely." Also notable is the unique rhyme of "me" with "be," leaving the resolution for the following measure. This flies in the face of the conventional method of quaintly fitting all the words into the anticipated A-B-A-B pattern. The discernibly sad tone, coupled with the prominent mournful harmonica wail, added to the tune's distinctiveness, during a time when all pop sounded pretty much alike. Another force that may have given the title a competitive edge was the production skills of Sylvester Stewart (aka Sly Stone), who was a staff engineer at the Beau Brummels' Autumn Records label. Almost a year after its release, both the quintet and "Laugh, Laugh" were immortalized on the December 5, 1965, Shinrock-A-Go-Go episode of The Flintstones. Under the guise of "the Beau Brummlestones," the bandmembers made an appearance on the teen dance show "Shinrock" -- a takeoff of the program Shindig -- where they sang the song. Two worthwhile covers include the hard to find R. Stevie Moore version from the album Crises (1983) as well as an amiable reading by the Astronauts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Introducing the Beau Brummels 1965 Rhino 2:56
No Image 1985
Various Artists
Rhino
Nuggets: A Classic Collection From the Psychedelic Sixties 1986
Various Artists
Rhino 3:04
The Best of the Beau Brummels: Golden Archive Series 1987 Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros. 3:03
Classic Rock: 1965 - The Beat Goes On 1988
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:05
History of Rock: The 60s, Pt. 2 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 3:05
History of Rock, Vol. 3 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 3:03
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
Heartbreakers, Vol. 5: Dreaming of the '60s 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
Sensational 60's, Vol. 4 1994
Various Artists
Dominion / Dominion 3:01
CBS-FM Oldies 93: History of Rock, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Collectables 3:05
Rock Classics, Vol. 3 [Chicago Music] 1995
Various Artists
Chicago Records Dist. 3:30
'60s Rock Classics, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Rhino
Wild Thing: 60s Rock Bands 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:01
San Fran Sessions 1996 Sundazed 3:21
Groovin' Greats: Hits of the 60's, Vol. 7 1996
Various Artists
Creative Sounds 3:04
20th Century Rocks, Vol. 7: '60s Rock Bands - Wild Thing 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:01
Sun Jammin' 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 3:01
'60s Rock: The Beat Goes On 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 3:04
Born to Be Wild [Madacy] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 3:01
Global Rock, Vol. 9: From London to L.A. 1997
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:01
Best of the 60's [Beacon] 1998
Various Artists
Beacon Records
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 [Box Set] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
The 60's Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1  [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Collectables
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Image Entertainment
Greatest Hits 2000 Classic World Productions, Inc. 2:53
Power Trip 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:00
Don't Talk to Strangers 2000 Get Back Records 2:53
Live! 2000 DIG Music 3:15
Cry Just a Little 2000 Aim Records 2:53
Nuggets from Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 2000
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:59
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:54
History of Rock Box 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 3:05
Rock N Roll Reunion 1965 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:52
Turn Up the Rock! 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:52
20 Rockin' Hits of the 60's [Disc 3] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:50
I Love Rock & Roll, Vol. 3 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 3:03
Good Time Music 2004 Wonderful Music Of / WMO (Netherlands) 2:52
1960's Happy Days [2004] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:53
20 Best of Rockin' 60's 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:52
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Collectables
100 Rockin' Hits of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:50
Magic Hollow 2005 Rhino 3:25
1960's Happy Days [2005 #3] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:53
Best of the 60s Rock and Roll [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:04
Rhino Hi-Five: The Beau Brummels 2006 Warner Bros. 2:57
Happy Days of the 60s [4-CD] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:50
Folk Music: From Roots to Rock 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:53
The Greatest Groovy 60's Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:04
60s Summer of Love 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
Happy Days of the 60's  [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
No Image 2008 K-Tel Distribution 2:59
100 Hits Of The Swingin' 60's
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:59
No Image
Various Artists
Roulette Records 2:52
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:53
Essential Radio Hits of the 60s
Various Artists
Classic Music Company / MVD Audio 3:02
Essential Radio Hits of the 60s, Vol. 7
Various Artists
Hampton Records / MVD Audio 3:02
Global Rock, Vol. 7-9: From London to L.A.
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame, Vol. 4: Sixteen Candles
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
Audio Fidelity
No Image
Various Artists
blue highlight denotes editor's pick