The Vault: May The Schwarz Be With You

Dec 28th, 2006 // 4 Comments

brins.jpgBefore Nick Lowe became a ’70s power-pop pioneer, he fronted Brinsley Schwarz, a rock-country-soul outfit that opened for the likes of the Grateful Dead and Wings, and recorded “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding” five years before Elvis Costello made it a hit. Though they only lasted five years, the Schwarzes are often credited with popularizing “pub-rock,” a genre that takes its name not only from its roots-music ethos, but also because it happens to sound particularly good when you’re up to three pints at a crowded dive bar:

Brinsley Schwarz – Country Girl [MP3, link expired]
Brinsley Schwarz – The Ugly Things [MP3, link expired]
Brinsley Schwarz – (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding [MP3, link expired]

  1. Chris Molanphy

    Speaking of “What’s So Funny…,” I think everybody knows this, but Nick Lowe was the beneficiary of the greatest nice-guys-finish-first story in pop-music history: the financial windfall that came his way when the now-forgotten schlock-balladeer Curtis Stigers covered that song for a little album called the Bodyguard soundtrack.

    Every time I hear “I Will Always Love You” come on the radio (just before I flip the station), I think to myself, This is the song that made Dolly Parton rich directly and Nick Lowe rich indirectly. So it can’t be all bad.

  2. The Riffage

    I was just listening to BS’s “Silver Pistol” the other day. And while we’re talking Nick Lowe projects, let’s give a shout out to Rockpile.

  3. incarag

    Elvis Costello also covered “The Ugly Things”. It showed up as a B-side on the 12″ version of “The Other Side of Summer” back in 1991. I think it was an outtake from Kojak Variety, which was recorded two years prior to that but didn’t get released until 1995.

    Anyway I’ve never heard the BS version, so thanks for this.

  4. incarag

    Elvis Costello also covered “The Ugly Things”. It showed up as a B-side on the 12″ version of “The Other Side of Summer” back in 1991. It was an outtake from Kojak Variety, which was recorded two years earlier, though it didn’t get released until 1995.

    Anyway, I’ve never heard the original version, so thanks!

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