You might know the interracial British band Hot Chocolate from their 70s hits including “You Sexy Thing,” “Emma,” and “Brother Louis.” But did you know that their first recording was a reggae version of “Give Peace a Chance”? And that when John Lennon heard it, he insisted they be signed to Apple Records? And that it was Mavis Smith, Apple press office colleague of The House Hippie and The Debonair Drug Aficionado, who named them “The Hot Chocolate Band”? (Later iterations of the band dropped the “Band” and then the “The.”)

It’s all true. “Give Peace a Chance” was released as Apple 18 on this day.

It’s not a revelation, exactly, but it is a damn sight more musical than the Plastic Ono Band’s version. The B side was an original called “Living Without Tomorrow”:

Sadly, this was their only release on Apple; they would get lost in the chaos of the post-Beatles era and have to start all over again. But after relaunching their career with the help of Animals and Donovan producer Mickie Most, Hot Chocolate did very well for themselves. In fact, “You Sexy Thing” became the only song to make the British Top 10 in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Not too shabby. Here they are lip-syncing it in 1975; try to watch without cracking a smile, I dare you.

0 0 votes
Article Rating