United We Stand

Album: United We Stand (1970)
Charted: 10 13
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Brotherhood of Man is a British pop quartet which was formed in 1969 by the songwriter Tony Hiller, who told us: "I had two jobs at that time - I was General Professional Manager of an American Music Publishing Company, Mills Music, and I was also a record producer for Decca Records UK. I produced the record at Decca Studios, London. At the recording I had great musicians, wonderful arrangement, terrific engineer, and the exceptional voices of the Brotherhood of Man which I had founded and put together. They were Roger Greenaway (who went on to become a hit songwriter and was inducted into the US Songwriters' Hall of Fame), Tony Burrows (who was unique in that he had three major hits in three different bands in the same period - 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),' 'My Baby Loves Love' and 'United We Stand' - making musical history.

    Johnny Goodison was the first member of my band and co-writer of many of the titles I wrote for them. After this, he went on to write and produce many hits, including the Bay City Rollers. Plus two sisters, who were the top session singers of the day and were on numerous hits for major artists at that time, Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie. I also recorded tracks with them and Sunny went on to have a hit with 'Doctors Orders.' I was so honored and LUCKY to have worked with such a wonderful array of talent. When I played back the recording I had made, there was thunderous applause in the studio. We all knew that there was magic in the air."
  • Tony Hiller wrote this song in 1969 with his friend Johnny Goodison, who was part of the original Brotherhood of Man lineup. Tony told us: "The inspiration for the song was definitely in the title, 'United We Stand.' It was during the time of Flower Power, the Vietnam War, the founding of lots of movements, including gay liberation and civil rights. It was in fact immediately taken up and used as the rallying call for the US Democratic Party presidential campaign. Over the years, 'United We Stand' has been recorded by upwards of 150 artists worldwide. So you can see, that something that started out as a pure love song went on to become an important anthem of our times, and helped so many people to heal their pain and suffering after the 9/11 attacks. This is the Brotherhood of Man song of which I am most proud."
  • The group performed throughout the 1970s with other songs making the charts, but their lineup changed frequently, with Burrows leaving the group in 1972, and they were increasingly compared with the Swedish quartet ABBA. This emotional song became a huge worldwide hit. Although it's about a couple who vow to stand together in the face of whatever challenges they encounter, it wound up taking on a political tone. The opponents of the Vietnam War sometimes appropriated it. After the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, it made a big comeback as a national unity theme in the United States. The song was also adopted as an anthem by the Gay Liberation Front. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Tony Hiller also produced the group. Regarding his production techniques, he said, "What I did on the productions which I had never tried before - when it came to the choruses, I double tracked the voices and between each chorus did a little reverb. It was an experiment and it worked well for me."
  • When the group performed this on the BBC music show, Top of the Pops, a pre-famous Elton John appeared as a backing singer.
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Comments: 3

  • Paul from North CarolinaI arranged and recorded the song registered BMI, Copyright Wahington D.C. U.S.A.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhBeautifully sung song with lyrics to match.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandThis Brotherhood of Man was a completely different unit to the Brotherhood of Man from later years!
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