Wayback Wednesday

Back when glam and metal were rock’s genres of choice, a bunch of Brits decided that it was time to raise hell in a retro fashion and have a good time.  Pub rock was the answer to over-indulged rockers in tight jeans, or tights and futuristic costumes and makeup.  It was music you could raise your glass to and say, “Hell, yeah, let’s rock and roll.”

One of my favorite bands of the pub rock scene, Brinsley Schwarz, was a proving ground for another one of my favorites: Nick Lowe.  As a Brinsley, Nick honed his songwriting talents and dabbled in the production end of things.  He wrote Cruel To Be Kind for Brinsley Schwarz, but they never recorded it, and it became Lowe’s biggest (often covered, too) hit in 1980.

This Brinsley was included in their final album, from 1974, The New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz, and was later covered by my favorite Elvis (Costello) on 1979’s Armed Forces.  The original shines, with its upbeat pub rock beat, but the snarky Costello cover is the definitive recording. Still, this one’s worth a visit in the wayback machine.

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?

5 thoughts on “Wayback Wednesday

  1. Lyndon 03.10.10 / 7:46 pm

    I never knew that Elvis’s version was a cover!!

    What next Hipster, your going to tell me the Easter Bunny isn’t real?? 😀

    • agedhipster 03.10.10 / 9:45 pm

      Psst, Lyndon. The tooth fairy won’t be leavin’ you any dough under your pillow either!

      • Lyndon 03.11.10 / 2:19 am

        Damn!! There goes retirement 😦

  2. Holly A Hughes 03.13.10 / 2:40 am

    Four years ago, my family is in Venice CA, sitting in a beachside restaurant. A musician is playing, just a guy on a stool with a guitar, playing for tips. “This next one is by Elvis Costello,” he mumbles into the mike, certain that nobody is listening, and begins to play “What’s So Funny.” Well, I sit bolt upright and start to whisper, “That’s not by Elvis, that’s by Nick Lowe,” and my family is shushing me and my kids are like to sink through the floor. The guy finishes the song — and very nicely, too (that’s the sad thing about L.A., how many talented and no-longer-young musicians are playing for tips in the bars out there). He leans to the mike, adjusts his glasses, and adds shyly, “Well, actually, I should mention that that song was written by Nick Lowe.” And he smiles at me. Because at least SOMEBODY was listening!

    • agedhipster 03.13.10 / 1:39 pm

      That’s a great story, Holly! And, yes, so sad that talented people end up playing for tips. All they need to do is dress like Lady Gaga and they’d make it big and boast a massive following.

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