The Harder I Try
He Ain't No Competition
Brother Beyond were a British boy band/pop group who had mainstream success in the late 1980s.
The group's first four singles, "I Should Have Lied", "How Many Times", "Chain-Gang Smile" (produced by Don Was from Was Not Was), and an early version of "Can You Keep a Secret?" (which was later remixed and hit the charts), were all written by band members Eg White (then substituted by live session drummer Steve Alexander), or David Ben White in collaboration with Carl Fysh, and performed together by the band, ideally led by vocalist Nathan Moore (though he never took part in the composition process on any of the songs, nor played any of the instruments). These early singles, released between 1986 and 1988, were minor chart successes in the UK Singles Chart.
When the songwriters and producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW), auctioned off their services to charity, Brother Beyond and label EMI won the auction. The first song to be released from this session was "The Harder I Try", a UK #2 hit, that was only kept off the top by the million-seller "A Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins in July 1988. "The Harder I Try" samples the drum intro of The Isley Brothers' "This Old Heart of Mine", and indeed the song as a whole has a distinct Motown feel, as does its successor "He Ain't No Competition", getting to #6 in the UK.
The following releases from the Get Even album failed to make the UK Top Ten: "Be My Twin", which got to #14, and "Can You Keep a Secret?", hitting #22. All these singles were taken from the two different editions of their first album Get Even.
After a brief hiatus, they returned with a brand new single in late 1989, "Drive On", which peaked at #39 in the UK, from their second album Trust. They then released a cover of the ballad by The Three Degrees, called "When Will I See You Again?", which peaked outside the UK top 40 at #43. The final release from their second album was the title track, "Trust", completely self-written, but only peaked at #53 in the UK.
EMI America issued the album Trust in the USA mid-1990 adding two new songs which the group recorded in the USA and with a more American sound in order to break the US market. Both were released as singles there, with the lead single "The Girl I Used to Know" achieving success, peaking at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow up single was "Just a Heartbeat Away", released commercially in Australia and as a promotional single in the US, which failed to chart. "The Girl I Used to Know" was released as a non-album single in Europe in early 1991 and peaked at #48 in the UK. The group disbanded that same year.
In January 2011, an expanded edition of Get Even was released, featuring the original line up of the album, along with four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are extended versions or remixes of "I Should Have Lied", "The Harder I Try", "He Ain't No Competition" and "Be My Twin".
Lead singer Nathan Moore continues to tour singing and keeping alive the songs of Brother Beyond.