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Summer Holiday

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Album Review

The British version of the U.S. Gomm With the Wind album, Summer Holiday boasts one of the best sleeves on the era, a collection of happy snapshots presumably taken on the Gomm family's last summer vacation, and alive with all the thrills and spills of a couple of weeks at Butlins.

The music, too, has a bright, summery feel. Gomm's past as a member of Brinsley Schwarz is seldom far from view, as he drives down the same pop-rocking avenues as that band was wont to, and which fellow refugee Nick Lowe was now perfecting. But, whereas both of Lowe's albums to date labored ever-so-slightly beneath their maker's reputation for "clever" songwriting and sneaky pilfering, Summer Holiday remains radiant throughout. And, just in case any last doubts should still be lingering, one of the album's most powerful numbers answers any questions that the Lowe comparisons might raise — "That's the Way I Rock 'n' Roll."

Elsewhere, Gomm's take on the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" rates among that song's most inspired retakes, and inspired what would become his own best-loved recording, a similarly rearranged rendition of Chuck Berry's "Come On." Issued as a single shortly after the album appeared, "Come On" came so close to landing Gomm a major hit single that it was hastily added to the album; oddly, however, the sleeve was never updated to reflect the change, rendering the addition a shade redundant, to say the least. But that really should be beside the fact. With or without "Come On," Summer Holiday remains a terrific album, one of the best of all fruits of the original Schwarz cabal.


Born: 17 March 1947 in Chiswick, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Perhaps best known as one of the guitarists/vocalists for the seminal pub rock group Brinsley Schwarz, Ian Gomm began his career in music as an apprentice in EMI's mechanical and engineering departments. During his five years with the label, Gomm also fronted several R&B-inspired trios, opening for bands such as the Who, the Move, and Pink Floyd. By 1970, Gomm was ready to pursue playing music full-time; he quit his job at EMI on a Friday and was playing with Brinsley Schwarz by Monday. Gomm's...
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Summer Holiday, Ian Gomm
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