Why the Valentine Brothers truly love their British fans

PUBLISHED: 23:25 04 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:40 05 June 2014

John, left, and Billy Valentine (Pic credit: Gemini Xperience Photography)

John, left, and Billy Valentine (Pic credit: Gemini Xperience Photography)


With Valentine as a family name it is no surprise that siblings Billy and John are behind a string of sultry soul love songs.

The Valentine Brothers released their first album in 1979 The Valentine Brothers released their first album in 1979

Better known as the Valentine Brothers, this successful duo continue to draw in the crowds even though its been more than 30 years since they last released an album together.

Between 1979 and 1987 they recorded four albums with two namely First Take and Have A Good Time being the source of heralded rare groove tracks Lonely Nights and Let Me Be Close To You.

“When we write our songs they are loving and sexual,” Billy said.

“We want people to listen to them and feel the love and want the love. We have been told our songs have helped make many, many babies.”

Born into a family of 13 in Ohio, USA, the brothers shared their home with their seven sisters and four other brothers.

They grew up in a musical household with their father running a nightclub but it was their late older brother Alvin who really wet their appetite.

John said: “I could play the guitar and the piano so I was on the stage from around the age of seven or eight.

“We really looked up to Alvin and decided we wanted to make music just like him.”

The brothers spent three years on a tour of stage musical The Wiz before they entered the recording studio to release their self-titled first album.

Their biggest commercial hit Money’s Too Tight (later covered by British band Simply Red) was included in their second album among the rare groove classic Let Me Be Close To You and John’s favourite track This Kind of Love.

“I like the way that song is arranged.” he said.

“I love playing instruments while Billy is more of the songwriter so we sometimes listen to music in a different way.”

While John had to think of his favourite track Billy doesn’t hesitate to declare its Let Me Be Close To You.

Since the release of their last album Billy has worked with several artists behind the scenes including Britain’s very own Paul Weller.

Billy said: “It was great working with him. I loved the stuff he did with the Style Council. I love working with you Brits.”

Another thing they like about us Brits is the passion we hold for their music.

Billy said: “When we first started touring in the UK back in the early 1990s we were blown away by the appreciation shown to us.

“I mean we were being asked to sing songs we recorded more than 20 years ago. It was amazing.

“We were even being asked to sing songs we had forgotten we had recorded.”

“I couldn’t believe how much love people over here have for us,” John added.

“We were playing to packed crowds and thinking wow.”

Last Saturday the brothers continued to wow us Brits by performing at the O2.

The pair supported legendary artist Leroy Hutson at the sold-out event.

Their biggest tunes may have been recorded more than 30 years ago but their voices have lasted the test of time and without a doubt they can sell out a venue on their own.

Such is their love for Blighty that Billy is currently working on a colourful project that will see him taking on British songs and making them their own.

He said: “We have picked out a selection of classics and will record them RnB style. “We’ve done the Bee Gees, The Beatles and John Lennon and some other artists. It’s been fun.”

So if there was an artist they would love to collaborate with dead or alive who would it be.

“Michael Jackson. I have never met him even though I played basketball with his brothers when we were young,” John says.

“It’s strange we never met and his death is a big loss to us all.”

Billy picks Marvin Gaye, saying: “He had that sexual feeling we were talking about going on. His songs made many babies too.”

Brit-eyed soul by Billy Valentine will be released later this year.

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