Simon Dupree & The Big Sound

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound were an English R&B–beat group from Portsmouth that released nine 1966–69 singles and the 1967 album Without Reservations on Parlophone. They scored a UK Top 10 hit with their third single, the psych-tinged “Kites” with guest vocals by actress Jacqui Chan. In 1968, they disguised themselves as The Moles for the 7″ two-parter “We Are the Moles.” Their complete recordings are compiled on the 2004 double-CD Part of My Past – The Simon Dupree and the Big Sound Anthology.

Simon Dupree was vocalist Derek Shulman, who harmonized on most tracks with his multi-instrumentalist brothers Phil and Ray Shulman. In 1970, the brothers formed Gentle Giant, releasing 11 studio albums over the ensuing 10-year period.

Members: Phil Shulman (saxophone, trumpet, vocals), Derek Shulman [aka Simon Dupree] (vocals), Ray Shulman (guitar, violin, trumpet, vocals), Tony Ransley (drums, percussion), Peter O’Flaherty (bass), Eric Hine (keyboards, mellotron)


Background

The Big Sound started on the Portsmouth club circuit as The Howling Wolves, which specialized in Wilson Pickett, Don Covay, and Otis Redding covers. After a brief spell as The Road Runners, they settled as Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, a name chosen for its marquee-like ring.

Despite the non-existence of an actual band member named Simon Dupree, audiences attributed the name to lead vocalist Derek Shulman (b. 1947). His multi-instrumentalist brothers Phil (b. 1937: vocals, saxophone, trumpet) and Ray (b. 1949: guitar, violin, trumpet, vocals) rounded out the lineup with bassist Peter O’Flaherty, drummer Tony Ransley, and keyboardist Eric Hine (all born in 1944).

“I See the Light”

On December 2, 1966, “I See the Light”
B: “It Is Finished”

“Reservations”

On February 24, 1967, “Reservations”
B: “You Need a Man”

“Day Time, Night Time”

On May 5, 1967, “Day Time, Night Time”
B: “I’ve Seen It All Before”

Without Reservations

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound released their only studio album, Without Reservations, in June 1967 on Parlophone.

“Medley: 60 Minutes of Your Love/Lot of Love” Hayes, Porter
“Love” Edwards
“Get Off My Bach” King, Shulman
“There’s a Little Picture Playhouse” Hine
“Day Time, Night Time” Hugg
“I See the Light” Ezell, Rabon, Durrill
“What Is Soul” Gallo, King
“Teacher, Teacher” Shulman, Dupree, Shulman
“Amen” Cooke
“Who Cares” King, Shulman
“Reservations” Hammond

“Kites”

On October 27, 1967, “Kites”
B: “Like the Sun Like the Fire”

“Kites” reached No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls”

On March 8, 1968, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
B: “Sleep”

“Part of My Past”

On May 24, 1968, “Part of My Past”
B: “This Story Never Ends”

“Thinking About My Life”

On September 20, 1968, “Thinking About My Life”
B: “Velvet and Lace”

November 1968

A: “We Are The Moles – Pt. 1”
B: “We Are The Moles – Pt. 2”

“Broken Hearted Pirates”

On February 7, 1969, “Broken Hearted Pirates”
B: “She Gave Me the Sun”

“The Eagle Flies Tonight”

On November 14, 1969, “The Eagle Flies Tonight”
B: “Give It All Back”

1968 German best of


Discography:

  • Without Reservations (1967)
  • Part Of My Past – The Simon Dupree And The Big Sound Anthology (2CD comp, 2004)

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