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Brinsley Schwarz (Group): Nervous on the Road

Album Notes

Silver Pistol wrote the blueprint for Brinsley Schwarz's pub rock, but Nervous on the Road perfected the group's sound, helping Brinsley to become the definitive pub rock band in the process. Nervous on the Road has a fuller, more detailed production than its predecessor, as well as a looser feeling -- even with the smooth production, it sounds like the band was captured on a good night at the Tally Ho. But what really makes the record is its excellent selection of songs, almost all of which were written by Nick Lowe. "Happy Doing What We're Doing," "Surrender to the Rhythm," and "Nervous on the Road" are all great rock & roll songs about rock & roll, spiked with an off-kilter sense of humor. "Don't Lose Your Grip on Love" is Lowe's first great ballad, while Ian Gomm's "It's Been So Long" is one of his best songs. And the covers of "I Like It Like That" and "Home in My Hand" are wonderful pub rockers, giving the album the feeling of an excellent concert. Nevertheless, what makes Nervous on the Road such a fine record is the combination of empathetic performances, unpredictable songwriting, and charming unpretentiousness, all of which help make the album one of the great forgotten rock & roll records. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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