The Bellamy Brothers have enjoyed some successful collaborations over the years -- from the Forester Sisters to the Bacon Brothers. Once again, the veteran duo is excited about a new partnership. Readers' Digest  has just announced the release of "Let Your Love Flow: The Ultimate Bellamy Brothers Collection," a four-disc set that shines the spotlight on Bellamy music -- past, present, and future.
David Bellamy says the set definitely covers all of the bases. "One of the things we liked so much about this idea that is encompassed a lot of eras of our career. A lot of people -- old labels that shall remain nameless -- have put out packages on us that feature twelve to fourteen of the number ones of whatever, but this seems to take into effect a lot of the music we made after we started our independent label, and some of the newer stuff we've done in addition to the hits. It's a pretty comprehensive package."
What goes through Bellamy's mind when he hears such staples of the act as "Lie To You For Your Love," "Kids Of The Baby Boom" and "Sugar Daddy?"
"I mainly listened to it when we were compiling it, so I don't really get to hear it, I guess, in sequence," he admits. "But, I guess it makes you aware of the styles we've done over the years. Those are the styles we like. We've tried not to record material that we didn't like. Most of it has held up pretty well, and we're proud of it."
The association works well with Readers' Digest because, according to Bellamy, they are two brands that have held steady over the years (find more on the box set here  ). "We were really happy that Readers Digest was the ones that wanted to do this. I like to be involved with people who have stood the test of time, like I think we have."
When asked if there were any surprises among the duo about how big some of their hits became, David started at the beginning. "Well, we really didn't know that 'Let Your Love Flow' would be the hit that it was. We were new to the music business. We had been playing music for a while, but the business was new to us at that time. What we did know is that we really liked it, and it was something we knew we could perform. On a worldwide level, I don't think there was anyone more surprised than we were."
Another song that went above his expectations is one of their biggest live songs. 'Well, I think 'Old Hippie' surprised us. I didn't think that would have ever been a hit, and I don't think we would have recorded it except that Howard liked it a lot. We included it on an album, and Jimmy Bowen heard it. We were on MCA at the time. He loved it, and it took roots and grew. After I wrote it, Howard was the only person I showed it to. I didn't think it would be a hit. I think originally, the reason I didn't really show it to anybody was that I didn't think anybody could relate to it. It was something that we had lived, but I was amazed how many people related to it."
The set also includes some rarities, as well as some unreleased material. "There are a few things on there that have never been out. Howard wrote a song on there called 'What A Country.' Then, there's one called 'The Spanish Bible,' which is an alternate mix of a song that will be on our upcoming Gospel album," said David.
Though the Bellamys still play their classic hits 180 dates a year on the road, they still love getting in the studio to record new material. "I think that's probably something we enjoy and see as necessary. When we go out, people want to request those twelve to eighteen songs, but if you do a new song, they'll respond to it. We keep trying to do that."
And, from time to time, they may get a little topical. Bellamy says the political nature of some of their newer material, such as "Where Did The Common Sense Go?" is something they enjoy. I think that's probably something that is fun for us. Acts that our age, you can't get any serious radio play, so you have to go to other formats. YouTube has been something that we have used successfully. There's ways to get music out there, and those songs get into those markets than the more straight-ahead ones. It's fun to do things that are political. I figure everyone has a view, and we're no worse off than they are. Everyone's pretty much full of it anyway."
- The 615