Simon Dupree and the Big Sound

- Written by Geir Hasnes. Reorganized and supplemented by Dan Barrett.

Simon Dupree was a pop band with the three brothers Shulman in the lead. Derek called himself Simon Dupree. They reached the British Top 10 with the single "Kites," a psychedelic single in the Beatles vein, and which was hated by the band! Most of the material is a mix of English 60's pop and soul. Suffice to say that the best things they did are listenable but not much more, and the worst things are really terrible, IMHO.

The band hated being a sort of cabaret band in the late 60's, when they even had to open for Beach Boys and at some time had a young piano player called Elton John with them. Derek hated more and more being marketed as Simon Dupree.

More on the Elton John story from Ray Shulman: "Reg (Elton) played with Simon Dupree & the Big sound for a couple of months when our keyboard player Eric Hine was recovering from glandular fever. We toured Scotland during this time and became good friends. One night in a scottish hotel he played us what was to become songs from his first album including 'Your Song' Of course we fell about laughing especially when he said he was changing his name to Elton John. We got on so well that Reg wanted to stay with us. At a session in Abbey Road studios he played on a track called 'Laughing boy from nowhere' featuring Phils son Calvin (laughing) and we recorded one of his songs. We stayed in touch for quite a time after that and I used to go to see Reg and Bernie Taupin in Watford where they lived. I also went down to the studio when he was recording his first album...This would have been around the time GG was forming. One more celebrity highlight: Dudley Moore played piano on a Simon Dupree single 'Broken Hearted Pirates' (terrible song); he was a friend of arranger Chris Gunning."

Martin Smith came in as drummer very late, and he joined them for the first two Gentle Giant albums.

I have worked with having Terrapin release a complete Dupree / Moles CD, but it was too expensive to buy rights and get good enough master tapes.


  1. Without Reservations (1969 Parlophone PMC 7029 or PCS 7029). Has been reissued on CD.
  2. Amen (Compilation album: 1982, See For Miles/Charly CM 109). Has been reissued on CD.

Albums on CD


  1. I See The Light / It Is Finished (1966 Parlophone R 5542)
  2. Reservations / You Need A Man (1967 Parlophone R 5574)
  3. Day Time, Night Time / I've Seen It All Before (1967 Parlophone R 5594)
  4. Kites / Like The Sun Like The Fire (1967 Parlophone R 5646)
  5. For Whom The Bells Toll / Sleep (1968 Parlophone R 5670)
  6. Part Of My Past / This Story Never Ends (1968 Parlophone R 5697)
  7. Thinking About My Life / Velvet And Lace (1968 Parlophone R 5727)
  8. Broken Hearted Pirates / She Gave Me The Sun (1969 Parlophone R 5757)
  9. The Eagle Flies Tonight / Give It All Back (1969 Parlophone R 5816)

As The Moles (the well-known "Was it The Beatles in disguise?" single):

This page is maintained by Daniel Barrett.