Thursday, March 28, 2024

I'm So Old I Remember Nick Lowe When He Was a Hippie

From 1970, and their insufficiently critically celebrated eponymous debut album, please enjoy the incomparable Brinsley Schwarz and their exquisite Nick Lowe-penned and sung "Mayfly."

I bring this up for two reasons. For starters, because Nick turned 75 over last weekend, and so just shoot me now.

And secondly, because it's always tickled me that Nick is usually name-checked with subsequent currently hipper musical trends -- pub rock and wise-guy New Wave -- even though, as you can hear from the above, he initially came to public attention with a characteristically counter-culturish blend of psychedelic-prog rock-and country-meets-CSNY.

I mean, the Brinsleys of "Mayfly" would have gone down an absolute storm at Woodstock. Seriously.

And just to prove the point, here's my favorite of several songs from their stylistically similar followup album, also from 1970.

How's this for inspirational verse?

Just like tomorrow/We were divided

You on your side/And me on mine

Lovely lady/Of the wildwind

May our branches/Still intertwine

Wow. The smell of incense and patchouli oil really is all over that one, n'est-ce pas?

In any case, I absolutely love both of those records -- have I mentioned that Brinsleys keyboardist Bob Andrews is right up there as an organ guy with his hero Garth Hudson? -- and have from the minute I first heard them. Which was, in case you were wondering, as a fledgling rock critic at my college (CW Post) newspaper, where I was fortunate enough to be on the mailing lists of all the major labels. Those were the days, BTW -- when I write my memoirs there's gonna be a big chapter about that shit.

In any case, you can -- and should -- get those two LPs in a terrific CD package also featuring all the Brinsleys other studio albums save, alas, for the last (the one with the original "Peace, Love and Understanding") over at Amazon HERE.

You're welcome.


ChrisE said...

Steve - Agree on Brinsley S. From their SILVER PISTOL album, the song "Unknown Number", which Nick Lowe also wrote and which you have posted before, is one of my favorite songs EVER by ANYBODY.

Anonymous said...

Both of these are great songs. On Mayfly, Nick sounds more like the voice of 10cc than himself.

- Paul in DK

Anonymous said...

Or, for a few dollars more, you could do as I did.

Anonymous said...

Great band, they never really hit in the US. All of their records are fun to hear, especially the first two when they sound like the Eagles. Cleveland Jeff

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing Moondance/Tupelo Honey-era Van in The Slow One.
C in California