Gomm, Ian


Band members               Related acts

- Barney de Soza - drums, percussion

- Herbie Flowers -- bass

- Ian Gomm -- vocals, guitar

- Chris Parren -- keyboards

 

 

Brinsley Schwartz

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Summer Holiday

Company: Albion

Catalog: ALBG-100

Year: 1978

Country/State: Ealing, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: original UK pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4842

Price: $20.00

 

 

If they know Ian Gomm at all, most American's probably associate him with one song - 'Hold On'.  That's a shame since Gomm's made more than his share of wonderful music over a career that stretches back to the early 1970s.  

 

As a member of Brinsley Schwartz, Gomm was largely responsible for kicking the band into a more commercial rock mode.  After the band's 1975 breakup he took some of his money, moved to Wales and opened up his own recording studio.  Gomm also found time to record his own material, eventually finding a corporate sponsor in the former of the London-based Albion Records.

 

Released in 1978, "Summer Holiday" is a near perfect pop album (one of the few albums in my collection to get a four star rating).  First let you warn you that if you're looking for complex, sophisticated, and earth-shattering art, then you're going to hate this album.  Similarly, if you want to hear 'clever' pop a la Nick Lowe, this ain't the place to go.  On the other hand, boasting great melodies, pounding beats and Gomm's radio friendly voice, originals such as 'Hooked On Love', 'Sad Affair' and 'Dirty Lies' are nothing more than straight forward pop.  That's not exactly a rare commodity, but what makes this different is the overwhelming sense of craft and fun. This is one of those rare albums where it sounds like everyone involved had a great time. So what are the highlights?  Well, to my ears Gomm's always been at his best when he rocks out.  'Black and White' sounds like it was ripped off of a Chuck Berry song but has energy to burn and his cover of Berry's 'Come On' is equally impressive.  (For you trivia fans, 'Come On' had previously been released as a UK single and Albion decided to included it on the album at the last minute.  The decision came so late in the process that the album sleeves had already been pressed, meaning that this track isn't even shown on the liner notes.)  Okay, okay I'll admit it.  The highlight is Gomm's laconic cover of The Beatles' 'You Can't Do That'.  Simply magical and worth the price of admission alone.

 

"Summer Holidays" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hooked On Love   (Ian Gomm) - 2:13

2.) Sad Affair   (Ian Gomm) - 2:46

3.) Black and White   (Ian Gomm) - 1:50

4.) Come On   (Chuck Berry) - 2:40

5.) Hold On   (Ian Gomm) - 2:44 

6.) Airplane   (Ian Gomm) - 2:05

 

(side 2)
1.) 24 Hour Service   (Ian Gomm) - 3:07

2.) That's the Way I Rock 'n' Roll   (Ian Gomm) - 2:34

3.) Dirty Lies   (Ian Gomm) - 2:30

4.) You Can't Do That  (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 2:50

5.) Chicken Run   (Ian Gomm) - 2:38

6.) Another Year   (Ian Gomm) - 2:20

 

In the States the album was re-titled and resequenced as "Gomm with the Wind".  Curiously, the US package subsequently replaced the original and superior UK version.  An opening slot on the US leg of Dire Straits' "Sultan of Swing" tour generated considerable media attention with Gomm enjoying a massive hit with 'Hold On'.  Released as a single b/w 'Another Year' (Epic/Stfff catalog number 950747), the 45 went top-20 in the States.  Unfortunately, that was essentially the end of Gomm's tenure in America.

 

 

 


Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Gomm with the Wind

Company: Epic/Stiff

Catalog: JE 36103

Year: 1979

Country/State: Ealing, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: US pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4843

Price: $9.00

 

 

Originally released in the UK with the title "Summer Holidays", in the States the album was re-titled and re-sequenced (with two extra tracks) as "Gomm with the Wind".  Curiously, the US package subsequently replaced the original and superior UK version.  An opening slot on the US leg of Dire Straits' "Sultan of Swing" tour generated considerable media attention with Gomm enjoying a massive hit with 'Hold On'.  Released as a single b/w 'Another Year' (Epic/Stfff catalog number 950747), the 45 went top-20 in the States.  Unfortunately, that was essentially the end of Gomm's tenure in America.

 

"Gomm with the Wind" track listing:

 

(side 1)

1.) Hold On   (Ian Gomm) -

2.) Hooked On Love   (Ian Gomm) -

3.) Sad Affair   (Ian Gomm) -

4.) Black & White   (Ian Gomm) -

5.) Come On   (Chuck Berry) -

6.) Airplane   (Ian Gomm) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) 24 Hour Service   (Ian Gomm) -

2.) Thatís the Way I Rock and Roll   (Ian Gomm) -

3.) Dirty Lies   (Ian Gomm) -

4.) You Canít Do That   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) -

5.) Chicken Run   (Ian Gomm) -

6.) Another Year   (Ian Gomm) -

 


Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  What a Blow

Company: Epic/Stiff

Catalog: JE 36433

Year: 1980

Country/State: Ealing, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: US pressing; promo stamp on back cover; minor ring and edge wear on cover

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4987

Price: $9.00

 

 

Given the success Ian Gomm enjoyed with 1979's "Gomm with the Wind" you would have expected his follow-up album do to equally well.  Unfortunately that wasn't the case, leaving 1980's "What a Blow" as a largely unknown '80s pop gem.  Largely self-produced, the album was every bit as appealing as the earlier release with Gomm easily underscoring his credentials as the best pop artist in the Stiff Records entourage (yes he was more consistent than Nick Lowe and far more commercial than Elvis Costello).  Literally all twelve of these track had commercial potential, with the only real misstep being a poorly advised cover of Jack Tempchin's appalling sappy '(Swayin' To the Music) Slow Dancin''.  Highlights included the opening rocker 'Man On a Mountain', the Chuck Berry-ish rocker 'It Don't Help' and the should've-been-a-hit 'Here It Comes Again (That Feeling)'.  And the best-of-the best was ...  Gomm's collaboration with Nick Lowe 'I Like You, I Don't Love You'.  While the album spun off a number of hits in the UK and the rest of the world, in the States Stiff tapped the set for one single:

 

- 'Here It Comes Again (That Feeling)' b/w 'Jaguar' (Stiff/Epic catalog number 19-51006)

 

The label did little to promote the 45 and even less to support the parent album, ensuring a quick commercial death.  As an aside, Stiff Records marketing again elected to repackage the album for US release.

 

"What a Blow" track listing:

 

(side 1)

1.) Man On a Mountain  (Ian Gomm) - 2:35

2.) Do It In Style  (Ian Gomm - R. Demmick) - 3:16

3.) Jealousy  (Ian Gomm) - 3:15

4.) It Don't Help  (Ian Gomm) - 1:58

5.) Here It Comes Again (That Feeling)  (Ian Gomm) - 3:12

6.) What a Blow  (Ian Gomm) - 2:16

 

(side 2)

1.) Nobody's Fool  (Ian Gomm) - 2:46

2.) (Swayin' To the Music) Slow Dancin'   (Jack Tempchin) - 4:30

3.) (I'm In a) Heartache  (Ian Gomm - R. Demmick) - 3:23

4.) I Like You, I Don't Love You  (Ian Gomm - Nick Lowe) - 2:49

5.) I Just Wanna Stay Here  (Ian Gomm) - 3:35

6.) Jaguar  (Ian Gomm) - 2:35

 

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