Sutherland Brothers & Quiver

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1972) as The Sutherland Brothers Band

- Kim Ludman -- bass

- Neil Heywood -- drums, percussion
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019) -- vocals, keyboards, guitar


  line up 2 (1972-73) as The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver

NEW - Cal Batchelor -- keyboards

NEW - Tim Renwick -- guitar, backing vocals
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar
NEW - Bruce Thomas -- bass
NEW - Willie Wilson -- drums, percussion


  line up 3 (1973-74)

- Tim Renwick -- guitar, backing vocals
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar
- Bruce Thomas -- bass
NEW - Peter Wood (RIP 1993)-- keyboards (replaced Cal

- Willie Wilson -- drums, percussion


  supporting musicians:

- John Bundrick --keyboards

- Par Donaldson --

- John Hawken --

- Dave Mattacks --

- Steve WInwood -- keyboards


  line up 4 (1974)

- Tim Renwick -- guitar, backing vocals
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar 

- Peter Wood (RIP 1993) -- keyboards
- Willie Wilson -- drums, percussion


  line up 5 (1974-77)

- Tim Renwick -- guitar, backing vocals
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar
- Willie Wilson -- drums, percussion


   backing musicians (1977)

-  Albhy Galuten -- keyboards 

- "Flaco" Pedron -- percussion


  line up 6 (1977-79)
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar
- Willie Wilson -- drums, percussion


  backing musicians (1977)

- Leonard Arnold -- guitar

- Mike Baird -- drums

- Brian Bennett -- percussion

- John "Rabbitt" Bundrick -- keyboards

- Ray Flacke -- guitar

- Bib Glaub -- bass

- Mick Grabham -- guitar

- ANdy Pyle -- bass

- John Shearer -- percussion

- Billy Smith -- keyboards

- RIck Vito -- guitar

- Rick Willis -- bass

- Willie Wilson -- drums

- Richie Zito -- guitar



  line up 7 (1979)
- Gavin Sutherland -- vocals, guitar, percussion
- Iain Sutherland (RIP 2019 -- vocals, keyboards, guitar

  backing musicians (1979)

- Mike Baird -- drums

- Bob Glaub -- bass

- Jim Horn -- sax 

- Steve Porcaro - synthesizers

- William Smith -- keyboards

- Glen Spreen -- Harmonium 

- Richie Zito -- guitar






- 747 (Cal Baychelor)

- A New Generation (Gavin Sutherland, Iain Sutherland)

- Cochise (Wille Wilson)

- Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Bruce Thomas)

- Junior's Eyes (Tim Renwick)

- Kicks (Cal Baychelor)

- Lazy Racer (Tim Renwick)

- Moonrider (Bruce Thomas)

- Tim Renwick (solo efforts)

- Quiver (Cal Batchelor, Tim Renwick, Bruce Thomas, Willie Wilson)

- Gavin Sutherland (solo efforts)

- Iain Sutherland (solo efforts)
- The Sutherland Brothers Band (Gavin & Iain Sutherland) 

- Bridget St. John (Bruce Thomas and Tim Renwick)

- Village (Bruce Thomas)

- Peter Wood (solo efforts)   




Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Lifeboat

Company: Island

Catalog: SW 9326

Year: 1973

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record):  VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; punch out hole top right corner; US pressing; cut lower right corner

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 302

Price: $15.00


The original "Lifeboat" album was recorded in 1972 and credited to The Sutherland Brothers Band.  By the time Island got around to releasing the album in the US, the band had morphed into The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver.   Island's marketing department apparently decided the original album wasn't suitable for American audiences and subsequently decided to cobble together about half of the original "Lifeboat" LP with a side's worth of newly recorded Sutherland Brothers and Quiver material. Five tracks were salvaged from the original LP: 'Lifeboat', 'Where Do We Go Wrong'. 'Space Hymn', 'Change the Wind', and 'Real Love'.  Five tracks were subsequently dropped from the US release:  'Lady Like You', 'Ireland', 'All I Got Is You', 'Sorrow', and 'Love Is  My Religion'.   Those five songs were replaced by '(I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway', 'Sailing', 'Have You Had a Vision', 'Not Fade Away', and 'Rock and Roll Show'.  Purely speculation on my part, but the changes appear to have been made in an effort to bolster the band's commercial potential and rock credentials.  Both '(I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway' and 'Sailing' had been released as UK singles, while the "new" tracks 'Have You Had a Vision', 'Not Fade Away' and 'Rock and Roll Show' showcased a much more rock oriented direction.  I guess you couldn't blame Island for wanting to ensure sales, but it was a clumsy way to do it, giving the album a somewhat haphazard feel.  Mind you, there were still plenty of classic tracks on the album.  Separately responsible for penning all but one of the songs (that being a cover of the Buddy Holly classic 'Not Fade Away'), the Sutherlands had a distinctive knack for strong melodies and wonderful harmonies; gifts that were not lost even on the more rock oriented tracks.

"Lifeboat" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) (I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:00
   rating: **** stars

Okay, the song title was a bit clunky, but once the glistening folk-rock melody and the group harmonies kicked in it really didn't matter.   Still hard to believe this one wasn't a massive hit for the band though it managed to hit the US top-50 charts.   Easy to see why Island tapped it as a single.

- 1973's (I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway' b/w 'Not Fade Away' (Island catalog number WIP 6157)


The second single also saw a US release with a different 'B' side:

- 1973's (I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway' b/w 'Rock and Roll Show' (Island catalog  number 1217)

2.) Sailing  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:00   rating: **** stars

Credit Rod Stewart for having the smarts to spot and cover the tune (and enjoy one of his biggest hits with it).  That said, the Sutherland Brothers original is way better - to my ears it had an appealing Celtic edge (love the spare drumming) that Stewart ditched in favor of a more conventional and commercial arrangement.  This version also has the advantage of the Sutherland Brothers' amazing vocal harmonies.   Classic tune that should have made them massive stars.  Geez, I can actually remember hearing this on Radio Caroline.   Another single:

- 1972's 'Sailing' b/w 'Who's Crying Now' (Island catalog number WIP 6136)

3.) Where Do We Go Wrong  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:45   rating: *** stars

With a breezy, fun melody, 'Where Do We Go Wrong' was one of their more rock-oriented efforts.  Nice barrelhouse piano from Peter Wood and Tim Renwick underscored his gifts with a short, but biting guitar solo

4.) Space Hymn  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:30   rating: *** stars

'Space Hymn' was certainly one of the odder lyrics Gavin Sutherland ever came up with ...  interesting concept, but strange.   Kind of a gospel-meets-UFO concept.   My version sounds like it was recorded in a gym shower ...   very echoy. 

5.) Real Love  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:45   rating: **** stars

'Real Love' was another song that had commercial potential slapped all over it.  A wonderful mid-tempo ballad, the song showcased some wonderful jazzy keyboards and giving it a Stevie Winwood/Traffic flavor.    One of the album highlights.  


(side 2)
1.) Have You Had a Vision
  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:00   rating: **** stars

One of the 'new' songs added to the US release, 'Have You Had a Vision' was clearly intended to highlight their rock credentials - witness the prominent Renwick lead guitar.  The overall results were quite impressive, managing to successfully meld the band's melodic gifts and glistening vocals with a harder edge. 

2.) Lifeboat  (Gavin Sutherland) - 2:55   rating: ** stars

With a mild country/folk feel, I've got to admit the title track didn't do a great deal for me.  Interestingly lyrics helped, but didn't save it for me.

3.) Not Fade Away   (Hardin - Petty) - 3:30   rating: *** stars

Their cover of the Buddy Holly classic sounded like it was recorded live and wasn't bad (Renwick turned in a nice performance), but given the hundreds of cover versions out there, this one didn't bring much to the table.

4.) Change the Wind  (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:05    rating: ** stars

I've always wondered why Scottish bands are attracted to country material ...  This one at least had a carefree melody, though it didn't do anything for me.  

5.) Rock and Roll Show  (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:15   rating: **** stars

In case the title didn't give it away, 'Rock and Roll Show' was the album's most rock oriented number.  Another track showcasing Renwick (this time displaying some killer slide guitar), the song wasn't much in the lyric department, but was fun; especially the second half where they kicked into instrumental high gear.   


Having heard both versions of the album, I'd suggest the original UK version was the version to go with.  Yeah, the US release was more commercial, but it had a "stitched together" feel.   Regardless of which version you track down, they're both worth owning, providing a nice introduction to one of the best mid-'70s UK pop groups you've never heard of.  





Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Reach for the Sky

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PC 33982

Year: 1975

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/+VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 3

Catalog ID: 4828

Price: $15.00


There aren't many albums I readily keep two copies of, but this is one of those rarities. Perhaps even more of a surprise, most folks have never heard of The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver and this album didn't sell worth a cr*p when released. That's unfortunate, since 1975's "Reach for the Sky" may be the best mid-1970s album you've never heard.  


Say what you will about Rod Stewart, but you have to admit the guy knew how to identify hit records. That was certainly the case when he elected to make a lame cover of Gavin Sutherland's 'Sailing'. Even though Stewart's cover version sucked, it went top-40; in the process getting Sutherland Brothers and Quiver signed by Columbia. 

Produced by Howard and Ron Albert, "Reach for the Sky" is one of those rarities; an album where every track is worth hearing. Admittedly, there isn't anything particularly i
nnovative or groundbreaking to be found here. That said, penned by namesakes Iain and Gavin Sutherland, material such as "When the Train Comes", "Dirty City" and "Love On the Moon" found the quartet turning in an impeccable set of pop-rock. While all ten tracks were worth hearing, best of the lot were the single "Arms of Mary" (which hit #81 on the pop charts), and the the reggaefied "Dr. Dancer" (with some great lyrical and musical nods to classic rock hits). If you like great melodies, smooth group vocal harmonies ("Something Special") and cutting guitar (courtesy of Tim Renwick), this stands as an album you need to add to your collection . By the way, long time fan David Gilmour provides the pedal steel guitar on "Ain't Too Proud". (Back by strong critical reviews, the album actually managed to crash the American charts, peaking at # 195.)

"Reach for the Sky" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) When the Train Comes (Iain Sutherland) - 3:56
2.) Dirty City (Iain Sutherland) - 3:32
3.) Arms of Mary (Iain Sutherland) - 2:36
4.) Something Special (Iain Sutherland) - 4:08
5.) Love On the Moon (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:18


(side 2)
1.) Ain't Too Proud (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:20
2.) Dr. Dancer (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:48
3.) Reach for the Sky (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:16

4.) Moonlight Lady (Iain Sutherland) - 3:06
5.) Mad Trail (Iain Sutherland) - 4:06




Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Sailing

Company: Island

Catalog: ILPS-9358

Year: 1976

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; UK pressing with original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4827

Price: $15.00


I really haven't done any research on this one, but my guess is that Island Records released 1976's "Sailing" in an blatant effort to cash-in on Rod Stewart's hit cover of the title track and  the band's mid-1970s UK and US chart successes following their defection to CBS/Columbia.  In terms of material this compilation pulls together a couple of early singles ('I Don't Wanna Love You (But) You Got Me Anyway' and the original 'Sailing'), coupled with eight tracks from the band's four albums for Island ("The Sutherland Brothers", "Lifeboat", "Dream Kid" and "Beat of the Street").  Nice introduction for anyone curious about what these guys sounded like.  I believe this was a UK-only release.  Anyone know?


"Sailing" track listing:

 (side 1)
1.) I Don't Wanna Love You (But) You Got Me Anyway   (Iain Sutherland)

2.) Sailing   (Gavin Sutherland) - 

3.) Beat of the Street   (Gavin Sutherland) - 

4.) Real Love   (Iain Sutherland)

5.) World In Action   (Gavin Sutherland) - 


(side 2)
1.) Dream Kind   (Iain Sutherland - Gavin Sutherland) - 

2.) Saviour In the Rain   (Iain Sutherland)

3.) Medium Wave   (Gavin Sutherland) - 

4.) The Pie   (Iain Sutherland) - 

5.) Laid Back In Anger   (Iain Sutherland) - 




Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Slipstream

Company: Columbia

Catalog: JC-35293

Year: 1977

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: custom lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $15.00


Sutherland Brothers & Quiver's previous album "Reach for the Sky" was such an unexpected pleasure that anything they released afterwards was bound to disappoint me.  That was certainly the case for 1977's Ron and Howard Albert produced "Slipstream."  Written separately by Iain and Gavin Sutherland, material like the title track, 'Saturday Night' and 'Secrets' effortlessly demonstrated the band's knack for crafting catchy pop-rock tinged material.  Sure, by now most of their earlier country and folk influences were gone; replaced by a much more commercial sound and a couple of unexpected outings in to disco ('Dark Powers') and reggae ('Something's Burning').  The songs remained catchy.  Iain and Gavin both had highly commercial voices and were great harmony singers.  Tim Renwick remained a first rate guitar player; though this time he wasn't featured very often, though that was slightly offset by the inclusion of a Renwick original  - the closing instrumental 'High Nights.'   Best of the lot were the rocking 'The Prisoner' and Renwick's 'High Nights.'   Yeah, the Albert Brothers ensured a crystal clear sound and also introduced some jaunty horn arrangements.  And in the end it all sounded a bit calculated.  The set wasn't without it's charms, but I kept coming back to comparing it to the prior album.  It just sounded like The Sutherlands had found a formula and decided to stick with it, even when the formula was beginning to turn stale. I'm left to wonder if I would have felt the same way about the album had it been released prior to "Reach for the Sky."


"Slipstream" track listing:

 (side 1)
Slipstream (Iain Sutherland) - 2:31    rating: *** stars 

The title was a nice example of the Brothers' knack for tossing out commercial pop-rock tunes.  With a jangling melody and Iain's nice voice it would have made a strong single.  Extra star for the combination of Tim Renwick's blazing guitar solos, the Stax-styled horns, and the sweet harmony vocals.  

2.) Wild Love (Iain Sutherland) - 3:44    rating: *** stars

I can remember hearing this and rather disappointedly thinking it sounded like something The Sutherlands had written with Rod Stewart in mind.  The song was certainly commercial, but also a good example of mid-'70s commercial influences on song writing.  Admittedly over the years my initial skepticism has begun to fade.   Great refrain and I even like the horns.  The track was tapped as a German 45:





- 1976's 'Wild Love' b/w ''High Nights (CBS catalog number CBS 5129)







3.) Saturday Night (Gavin Sutherland) - 2:28   rating: *** stars

Kicked along by some nice horn charts and featuring Ian and Gavin sharing lead vocals, the bouncy pop-oriented 'Saturday Night' could have been mistaken for a Bay City Rollers performance.  Interesting that CBS didn't tap it as a single.

4.) If I Could Have Your Loving  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:28     rating: *** stars

If it had appeared on any other album the country-tinged ballad If I Could Have Your Loving' would probably have been the stand out performance and a massive hit.  It was released as a UK single, but did little commercially.




- 1977's 'If I Could Have Your Loving' b/w 'Midnight Rendezvous' (CBS catalog number CBS-S-4934)







5.) Love on the Side  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:15   rating: *** stars

The 100 hardcore Sutherland fans will rank 'Love On the Side' as one of their favorite  ballads.  Admittedly it's pretty.  Iain's heartbroken vocals were touching and Tim Renwick's guitar was sparkling.  I'm not as big a fan.  The song always struck me as being a bit too supper club-ish.  


(side 2)

1.) Secrets  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:08    rating: *** stars

The pop-oriented 'Secrets' was the album's obvious shot at commercial success.  All of the ingredients for commercial success were here - catchy melody; lovely chorus, bubbly performance and another nice Renwick solo.  YouTube has a lip-synch performance taken from the German Musik Laden television show.  Drummer Wilson looks like he's just going through the motions.  Sutherland Brothers & Quiver - Secrets (1976) - YouTube   Released world-wide, the single managed to go top-40 in the UK.

- 1976's 'Secrets' b/w 'Something's Burning' (Columbia catalog number 3-10460) 

2.) Dark Powers (Iain Sutherland) - 4:50     rating: *** stars

With a slight disco feel 'Dark Powers' was one of the album's most interesting tunes.  Admittedly I'm not a big fan of the genre, but it was interesting to see these guys were able to effortlessly adapt to the genre.  Loved Renwick's brief solo. 

3.) Something's Burning (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:56   rating: ** stars

Opening up with some tasty Gavin bass, 'Something's Burning' found the band dipping their toes into reggae.  Ever heard 10.c.c's 'Bloody Tourists'?  Well, this wasn't all that different.  Scottish white guys should probably stay away from the genre.

4.) Sweet Cousin (Iain Sutherland) - 3:00    rating: *** stars

The rocker 'Sweet Cousin' was a return to a more conventional sound.  Not a great song, but it was better than the disco, or reggae stabs.

5.) Midnight Rendezvous (Gavin Sutherland) - 2:45    rating: *** stars

Back to a reggae rhythm, though  'Midnight Rendezvous' was saved by the sweet harmonies and Renwick's lead guitar.

6.) The Prisoner (Iain Sutherland) - 4:08   rating: **** stars

The album's hardest rocking tune, 'The Prisoner' was also the standout performance.

7.) High Nights (instrumental)   (Tim Renwick) - 2:32    rating: **** stars

Renwick's first and only solo composition (?), the instrumental 'High Nights' has always reminded me of something Mark Knopfler might have written.  In fact this one would not have sounded out of place on the "Local Heroes" soundtrack.  Beautiful melody.




Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Down To Earth

Company: Columbia

Catalog: JC-35293

Year: 1977

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: custom lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $15.00


While billed as a Sutherland & Quiver release, 1977's "Down To Earth"  found the group essentially paired back to Iain and Gavin Sutherland.  True, the album's back cover photo reflected the Sutherlands along with Quiver drummer Willie Wilson.  Elsewhere Quiver guitarist Tim Renwick was listed in the performance credits, but the extent of his participation was questionable since the credits also listed lead guitarists Ray Flacke and Mick Grabham.  Recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios with Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch serving as producer, this was another one of those collections where the label decided to tinker with the track line-up in an effort to make it more appealing to US audiences.  In addition to reordering the ten tracks, three of the original performances were dropped: 'Oh Woman', 'Rock 'n' Roll People', and 'Where Lies Your Soul.'  Those selections were replaced by three tracks recorded in Los Angeles with producer Glen Spreen and support from guitarist Rich Zito and a bunch of studio musicians.  


I can actually remember being mildly disappointed when I first heard the set. It wasn't that the songs were bad, rather there didn't seem the be a magical track like 'Arms of Mary' and their patented sound was starting to sound a little predictable. On the other hand, given the album was recorded while the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver line-up was disintegrating, the results proved surprisingly enjoyable.  With Iain again responsible for the majority of the ten tracks, their patented folk-rock sound remained intact.  Sure, 'Sunbird' and 'Situations' may not have captured The Sutherlands at their creative peak, but material like 'Dark Ship' (with an awesome chorus)', the UK single 'Every Tear I Cry', and the goofy 'Fun On the Farm' would have easily slotted into a "best of" compilation.  As for the three "US" tracks, their remake of 'The Pie' (re-titled 'When I Say I Love You (The Pie)') was quite commercial, but not as good as the original.  'One More Night with You' was radio-friendly, while 'Sunbird' was bland.  Given all the effort to fine tune the album for US buyers, ultimately nobody was paying attention and the LP quickly vanished into cutout bins.  That's an unfortunate outcome since the album's continued to grow on me over the years; to the point where today I would give it a fourth star.    


With the release of their next album "When the Night Comes Down" they reverted to The Sutherland Brothers nameplate


"Down To Earth" track listing:

 (side 1)
1.) One More Night with You   (Iain Sutherland - Gavin Sutherland) - 3:41   rating: **** stars

I wasn't crazy about the syndrums and the opening guitar briefly reminded me of Heart's 'Crazy On You', but 'One More Night with You' remains one of my favorite Sutherland tunes. I've always felt it was recorded just a tad too fast.

- 1977's 'One More Night with You' b/w 'When I Say I Love You (The Pie)' (Columbia catalog number 3-10758)

2.) Ice In the Fire  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:17   rating: **** stars

Another album highlight, the rocker 'Ice In the Fire' actually sounded like it could have been one of the "US" tunes.  Super commercial refrain and excellent lead guitar from Alan Ross.  YouTube has another live performance from their 1977 BBC's The Old Grey Whistle Test appearance: Sutherland Brothers & Quiver: Ice in the Fire - YouTube

- 1977's 'Ice In the Fire' b/w 'Where Lies Your Soul' (CBS catalog CBS-S-5553)

3.) Sunbird   (Iain Sutherland - Gavin Sutherland) - 3:05  rating: ** stars

One of their sappier ballads, I will admit to liking the George Harrison-styled slide guitar segment.

4.) Harbour Light  (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:31   rating: **** stars

One of two Gavin solo-penned efforts, powered by John Bunderick's electric piano and Renwick's melodic lead guitar, the breezy 'Harbour Light' would have been a wonderful follow-on to 'Arms of Mary.'   Probably the album's most commercial track, it's always struck me as odd that it wasn't tapped as a single.

5.) Dark Ship  (Iain Sutherland) - 5:33

I remember thinking 'Dark Ship' was another pretty, but forgettable mid-tempo ballad and then the combination of Renwick's guitar and the chorus hit, propelling the song into another standout performance.  The song was tapped as a promotional single in the UK:




- 1977's 'Dark Ship' b/w 'Oh Woman' and 'Every Tear I Cry' (CBS catalog number S SBQ-1)





(side 2)

1.) Situations  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:15   rating: *** stars

'Situations' found the band hitting the accelerator with an up-tempo number.   A nice change of pace, but the song itself lacked that certain "gotcha'" moment and the female backing vocalists were shrill and irritating.  Extra star for Tim Renwick's closing solo.

2.) Somebody's Fool  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:32   rating: *** stars

Yes, I complain about the overabundance of ballads, but there were few bands that could churn quality ballads as effortlessly.  Kicked along by chiming 12 string guitars and a touch of pedal steel, 'Somebody's Fool' was a perfect vehicle for Iain's forlorn voice.

3.) Every Tear I Cry  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:11  rating: **** stars

'Every Tear I Cry' captured Iain at his top-40 best ...  With an upbeat, bouncy melody, the song was was tapped as a UK single. YouTube has a clip of the band performing the song on the BBC's The Old Grey Whistle Test: Sutherland Brothers & Quiver: Every Tear I Cry - YouTube    Not sure whether it was a good thing, or not, but The Bay City Rollers subsequently covered the track.  Their version stayed close to the original.





- 1977's 'Every Tear I Cry' b/w 'Rock "Roll" People' (Columbia catalog number S- CBS 5818)








4.) Fun On the Farm   (Gavin Sutherland) - 4:57  rating: **** stars

Funky and funny ... With a wonderful Beatle-esque chorus and a great Renwick guitar solo, 'Fun On the Farm' was one of the album highlights.

5.) When I Say I Love You (The Pie)  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:14   rating: *** stars

The last of the three US sessions tunes, 'When I Say I Love You (The Pie)' was a remake of their debut 1971 single 'The Pie.'   I'm guessing the title was some sort of Scottish derogatory slang ...  The remake was nice enough, but to my ears it lacked some of the original's folky charm.




Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  When the Night Comes Down

Company: Columbia

Catalog: JC-35703

Year: 1979

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: custom lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $15.00



Having formally parted ways with the remnants of the band Quiver (meaning drummer Willie Wilson), 1979's "When the Night Comes Down" found The Sutherland Brothers back to operating as a duo.  While 1977's "Down To Earth" included three tracks recorded in California with producer Glen Spreen, this time around the entire album was recorded in California with sessions players.   In spite of the shift to California, musically the set wasn't a major departure from their last couple of releases.  Iain and Gavin again handled all of the songwriting chores (seven tracks credited to Iain; five to Gavin).  Unfortunately the results exhibited a highly polished sheen that was probably a bit too close to "yacht rock" for the brothers' own good.  Individual songs like 'Natural Thing', 'I'm Going Home' and 'On the Rocks' were still quite good.  Iain remained an awesome singer and the brothers' harmonies were still excellent, but there was something lacking this time around.  It all seemed a little too professional; a little too calculated.  It felt like they'd become corporate products, surrendering their individuality in search of American commercial success.  Nothing wrong with commercial support, but exemplified by tracks like 'First Love' and 'Easy Come, Easy Go' there were too many sweet ballads and too much of the album came off as anonymous and bland.  Check out the dull pop tune 'As Long As I've Got You.'  Not to sound overly cynical, but the forgettable cover art (who thought that was a clever marketing campaign?) was a perfect example of what was wrong with the whole album.


"When the Night Comes Down" track listing:

 (side 1)
1.) Natural Thing  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:27
   rating: **** stars

'The album's most commercial offering, Natural Thing' offered up a nice slice of pop- rock.  The combination of Rich Zito's lead guitar and the Sutherlands' harmonies was impressive, if perhaps a couple of years too late to hit the charts.

2.) Have You Ever Been Hurt?  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:37   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some angelic harmonies, 'Have You Ever Been Hurt' was interesting in that the power-pop structure and vibe retained a distinctive English flavor, as opposed to some of the album's more corporate sounding tunes.  With a bouncy melody and those wonderful harmonies, it was with my favorite song. 

3.) First Love  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:45

Admittedly sappy, but the breezy ballad 'First Love' was a nice reflection on the increasingly rare phenomena of long-term relationships. Nice example of Iain's lovely voice. The track was released as a UK single:





- 1979's 'First Love' b/w 'Crazy Town' (CBS catalog number CBS-S-7915)





4.) Easy Come, Easy Go  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:34   rating: ** stars

Released as a UK single, the track briefly hit number 50 on the English charts.  Personally I'm not a big fan.  The ballad 'Easy Come, Easy Go' sruck me as representing the Sutherlands at their most morbid.  Sure it was a pretty tune, but the MOR arrangement could easily have been mistaken for any one of the multitude of one-hit wonders churning out late-'70s power ballads.  If you're a hardcore fan, or merely curious, check out Merle Haggard's cover of the song.  





- 1979's "Easy Come, Easy Go' b/w 'On the rocks' (CBS catalog number CBS-S-7121)







5.) As Long As I've Got You  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:16   rating: ** stars

I once saw "When the Night Comes Down" described as their "American album."  I remember laughing at that description, but the vapid 'As Long As I've Got You' was the perfect example of US influences on the group.  Swamped in industrial orchestration, this one could have easily been mistaken for the soundtrack to some faceless US television program.  Mindless and totally forgettable.

6.) I'm Going Home  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:26   rating: **** stars

'I'm Going Home' was as close to a rocker as these guys came.  Shame since it was one of the album's standout performances.  Nice Rich Zito guitar solo.


(side 2)
1.) When the Night Comes Down
  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:52  rating: *** stars

The country-rock tinged title track served as the album's "good timey" radio-ready performance.  Bouncy, pleasant, and radio friendly the track also sounded somewhat sterile.  It almost felt like a write-by-numbers exercise.  What ingredients do we need to mix to get them a US radio hit?   Surprisingly it wasn't tapped as a single.

2.) Dreams of Your  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:34   rating: *** stars

'Dreams of You' started out sounding like it was going to be yet another pretty ballad.  Luckily the track suddenly shifted into a more up-tempo refrain.  A bit disjointed, but the harmonies were wonderful.

3.) Cruisin'  (Iain Sutherland) - 4:05   rating: ** stars

Perhaps it was Jim Horn's sax, but the breezy 'Cruisin'' has always reminded me of a Gerry Rafferty performance.  That's not been to throw shade since I'm a big Rafferty fan.  At the same time, this one just lacked anything special to distinguish from the waves of adult contemporary music washing ashore.  

4.) On the Rocks  (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:57   rating: **** stars

The ballad 'On the Rocks' was prime Sutherland Brothers.  It was a particularly innovative or stunning arrangement.  Strumming guitars, accordion and those amazing harmonies made it the perfect soundtrack for a cold, snowy weekend evening with your honey.

5.) Crazy Town  (Iain Sutherland) - 3:50   rating: *** stars

The closer 'Crazy Town' was an  impressive example of effortlessly The Sutherlands seemed to craft commercially viable pop-rock tunes.  The only problem was there was so much of this stuff packed on the album this one just kind of fell by the wayside.