An over-looked band in the early 70's was the influential band, Brinsley Schwarz whose first exposure to America came at the expense of the infamous incident that became known as, "the Brinsley Schwarz hype". The band's manager flew a plane full of British journalists to New York for a show as the band was opening for Van Morrison on April 3rd and 4th, 1970. The band was to arrive in NY a few days before the gig to rehearse, but instead were delayed because of visa problems and only arrived shortly before the gig with rented equipment. The journalists were due the next day, but the flight was delayed for four hours and with a free bar the journalists eventually arrived drunk or hung-over. The band received negative reviews from the critics for the show and panned their debut album. So much for the hype and this drove the band into seclusion before coming back with a different sound and a follow-up album. The band played a more loose, pub rock sound and went on to release six records in total (not counting compilations etc.) before disbanding in 1975. The members of the band went onto other projects, guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and Bob Andrews to the Rumour with Graham Parker and Ian Gomm and Nick Lowe both pursued solo careers.
Brinsley Schwarz's final album, The New Favourites Of, was produced by Dave Edmunds and this was as close to a hit as the band came. It received positive reviews and the slicker, more polished pop sound provided a glimpse of the brilliance of Nick Lowe as a songwriter and performer. This album contained the original version of the Nick Lowe-penned, (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, which became more identified with Elvis Costello (he recorded it for the Nick Lowe produced, Armed Forces album), than Brinsley Schwarz. Lowe and Costello recently played a pair of shows where they both performed each others songs, of course they closed with Peace, Love and Understanding. This album is one of my favourites from the 70's that shouldn't be overlooked when you talk about the whole pub rock, new wave, punk movement of the 70's because without the Brinsley Schwarz band, the careers of Graham Parker and Elvis Costello may not have existed. Enjoy!
1. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? 2. Ever Since You're Gone 3. Ugly Things 4. I Got the Real Thing 5. Look That's in Your Eye Tonight 6. Now's the Time 7. Small Town, Big City 8. Trying to Live My Life Without You 9. I Like You, I Don't Love You 10. Down in the Dive 11. I've cried my last tear (bonus track) 12. (It's gonna be a) Bringdown (bonus track) 13. Everybody (bonus track) 14. There's a cloud in my heart (bonus track)