by Jeff Fiedler
Albums from the Lost & Found is a regular feature on thegreatalbums.com in which contributor Jeff Fiedler reviews and helps us rediscover great pop albums that seem to have been lost to time.
Eddie Schwartz is considerably more obscure than Cale, but he’s been no less successful as a songwriter.
Before the Canadian-born Schwartz even made his Hot 100 debut as a performer, he’d already penned a massive American hit for Pat Benatar, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” giving the up-and-coming female rocker her first Top Ten smash.
Schwartz’s own solo career got off to a false start, his first label, Infinity Records (then the home of Rupert Holmes, Hot Chocolate, and Orleans), going bankrupt before his first album could be released, the disc finally emerging on A&M in 1980. Schwartz didn’t do much outside of Canada, though, and the singer-songwriter changed labels once more, signing to Atco for 1981’s No Refuge, which finally broke him in America. The disc was co-produced by David Tyson (who also plays all the keyboards here), who would go on to both co-write and co-produce the Alannah Myles hits “Black Velvet” and “Love Is” and produce Tina Arena’s Don’t Ask and Jude Cole’s A View from 3rd Street. [Tyson would also later co-write and produce the Daryl Hall & John Oates hit “Don’t Hold Back Your Love.”]
Like J.J. Cale’s Naturally, a very sizable number of songs from No Refuge would end up prominently getting covered by other artists. Disco star Amii Stewart (of “Knock on Wood” fame) would cover the slinky piano-and-synth-driven rhythms of “Tonight” on I’m Gonna Get Your Love, Jefferson Starship lead vocalist Mickey Thomas would record “Good with Your Love” on his solo disc Alive Alone, and ‘80s hard-rock band Honeymoon Suite (“Feel It Again”) would cover “Heart on Fire” on their self-titled debut.
But Schwartz would get some attention for himself, thanks to the Top 40 success of the #28-peaking soulful adult-contemporary-pop of “All Our Tomorrows,” a co-write with Tyson which would memorably be covered six years later by one of the most soulful rock singers of all, Joe Cocker, on the legend’s 1987 full-length Unchain My Heart. Schwartz also garnered a second Hot 100 entry of his own from the album with the harder-rocking, Gary Wright-like “Over the Line,” another Tyson co-write, but the fine and catchy tune strangely got no further than #91. The gritty epic “Spirit of the Night” – featuring some fun interplay between Tyson’s piano and Schwartz’s guitar during its instrumental break – is another major highlight.
Though Schwartz’ solo star would fade in the U.S. shortly after, he remained a presence on the American charts in the late ‘80s behind the scenes. He co-wrote the Doobie Brothers’ 1989 comeback single and Top Ten hit “The Doctor,” as well as Paul Carrack’s Top 40 solo hits “I Live by the Groove” and the Top Ten smash “Don’t Shed a Tear.”