More than 40 years after it was recorded, legendary pub rock outfit Brinsley Schwarz’s final studio album It’s All Over Now is finally hitting record stores in the spring.
The venerable London quintet, comprised of Nick Lowe (vocals/bass), Ian Gomm (vocals/guitar), Brinsley Schwarz (guitar), Bob Andrews (keyboards) and Billy Rankin (drums), had endured their share of trials and tribulations throughout the 1970s. A disastrous pre-release publicity campaign in America, ending with a disastrous gig opening for Van Morrison in New York City, curtailed much of their Stateside success, though British audiences would come to embrace their pioneering back-to-basics, rockabilly-esque sound.
Things seemed to take a turn with 1974’s The New Favourites of…Brinsley Schwarz, the group’s sixth album. It was produced by Dave Edmunds, who then recruited the group to back him on several live dates (captured in part on his own album, 1975’s Subtle As a Flying Mallet, which featured Lowe and Andrews in studio–Lowe and Edmunds would, of course, form Rockpile from the ashes of Brinsley Schwarz). But even with a future classic in the Lowe-penned “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” the group couldn’t move the needle.
But that didn’t mean they didn’t try. Brinsley Schwarz reconvened in Rockfield Studios in Wales later in 1974 for one last go. But the album that would become It’s All Over Now remained incomplete upon release, with the members going their separate ways. Schwarz and Andrews joined Graham Parker & The Rumour, while Lowe and Gomm embarked on solo careers. (Lowe’s was by far the highest profile, with a song recorded during the It’s All Over Now sessions, “Cruel to Be Kind,” becoming a worldwide Top 20 hit in 1979. The original Brinsley Schwarz version had quietly been released on a single B-side by Lowe; that version was resurrected for a reissue of Lowe’s solo debut Jesus of Cool in 2008.)
In the 1980s, Gomm prepared the unmixed tapes for final release, but it never materialized, with Gomm ultimately pressing homemade CD-Rs and distributing them to fans online to get a taste of the Brinsley Schwarz album that never was. But now, U.K. label Mega Dodo, which released a live collection from the band in 2015, will release an official, professionally-pressed version of It’s All Over Now for fans old and new to rediscover (and wonder how the group never hit it big).
The album is due out April 7 on vinyl, with the CD to follow May 12. Order links and the full track list are below.
It’s All Over Now (Mega Dodo (U.K.) BSLP2, 2017 – recorded 1974)
- We Can Mess Around
- Cruel to Be Kind
- As Lovers Do
- I’ll Take Good Care of You
- Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song)
- Do The Cod
- God Bless (Whoever Made You)
- Private Number
- Give Me Back My Love
- It’s All Over Now
All tracks previously unofficially released except Track 2, released on Radar single ADA 12 (U.K.), 1978 and Jesus of Cool: Expanded Edition – Yep Roc Records YEP-2620, 2008