Song Of The Day 1/13/2014: Brinsley Schwarz - "The Ugly Things"


British Pub Rock Week: A whole bunch of my teenage-to-young-adult experience in music inhalation sprang directly from the brainstems of the band Brinsley Schwarz. Nick Lowe was in the group. He produced a lot of the music that dragged me away from consumerist rock as a pre-teen, including Elvis Costello's first five albums. And his own Jesus of Cool and Labour of Lust, which threatened to make him a pop star in America for a bit when "Cruel To Be Kind" slipped into some Top 40 rotations. And he was in Rockpile, the discovery of whom led me to Dave Edmunds, which went well. Other people in Brinsley Schwarz, including Brinsley Schwarz the actual human being, went on to join Graham Parker's backup band The Rumour. I'm still frustrated that Squeezing Out Sparks remains on the cult level of popularity, though Parker probably, rightfully couldn't care less.

But before that, they were Brinsley Schwarz, the pub rock band who evolved from the slightly less pubby Kippington Lodge, and they played straight-ahead rock and pop songs like "The Ugly Things." This was a favorite of Costello's, and it appeared on the same album that first gave the world "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding," which if you haven't been briefed yet was actually written by Nick Lowe and originally performed by Brinsley Schwarz. (It also made Lowe a millionaire when Curtis Stiger recorded it for the soundtrack album for The Bodyguard. Get your points, artists, make sure you get your points.)

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