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The Sutherland Brothers

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The Sutherland Brothers - Down To Earth - 1977 - Columbia

The Sutherland Bros. are another seventies band who never got the success and recognition they deserved. The early '70s produced many bands like the Sutherland Brothers. Iain Sutherland was a remarkably talented songwriter. As an individual, and with his brother, Gavin, he wrote many wrote many fine, catchy, and melodic pop songs with tasteful instrumental work and fine harmony vocals, the most notable being "Sailing," and "Arms of Mary". They were more than competent musicians and made some great records, none of which sold in any great numbers. Sadly, many of the duo's great songs have never been heard by so many people. "Dream Kid" is one example of a SB & Q album that went largely unnoticed. Like so many other bands on this blog, they are really only remembered for one or two songs. The Sutherland Brothers will always be remembered for "Arms Of Mary" and Rod Stewart's famous anthemic "Sailing" but the duo wrote many great songs. The band's wonderful folk rock sound is here, and the vocals are great. Sadly, in Britain and elsewhere, good folk rock was declining in popularity from the mid seventies onwards. "Down To Earth" has been dismissed by many music "critics" as a slushy, below average late '70's soft rock album, but good songwriters don't disappear overnight and "Down To Earth" needs to be reassessed by some of these critics. Check out Quiver's "Gone in the Morning" album, the Sutherland Brother's "Lifeboat" album, (UK Version), Gavin Sutherland's "Diamonds and Gold" album, and the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver's "Beat of the Street" album. For more music in the same vein, listen to Gallagher & Lyle's great "Seeds" album, or the "Ferguslie Park" album by Stealers Wheel. Also check out some of Gerry Rafferty's early recordings. His "Can I Have My Money Back" album is a good example. N.B: This album was also released in 1977 in the USA on CBS as The Sutherland Bros & Quiver "Down To Earth" which contained the tracks "Oh Woman", "Rock 'n' Roll People", and "Where Lies Your Soul" but excluded the tracks, "One More Night With You", "Sunbird", and "When I Say I Love You (The Pie)". NNB: The post here is a vinyl version but many of these albums are now available on CD and well worth checking out. Search this blog for more related releases


A1 One More Night With You 3:41
A2 Ice In The Fire 4:17
A3 Sunbird 3:05
A4 Harbour Light 4:31
A5 Dark Ship 5:33

B1 Situations 4:15
B2 Somebody's Fool 4:32
B3 Every Tear I Cry 4:11
B4 Fun Of The Farm 4:57
B5 When I Say I Love You (The Pie) 4:14

All songs composed by Gavin Sutherland, and/or Iain Sutherland


Gavin Sutherland, Iain Sutherland - Vocals, Guitar
Ritchie Zito, Rick Vito, Leonard Arnold, Ray Flacke, Mick Grabham, Tim Renwick - Guitar
Bob Glaub, Andy Pyle, Rick Wills - Bass
Billy Smith, John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Keyboards
Mike Baird, John "Willie" Wilson - Drums
Brian Bennett, John Shearer - Percussion


Folk rockers the Sutherland Brothers formed originally in London during 1970, but it wasn't until a few years later (when the group fused together with another band) that they enjoyed their greatest chart success. Brothers Ian (vocals, guitar) and Gavin (bass, vocals) first went by the name of A New Generation (at the insistence of their manager at the time) before the duo changed their name to the Sutherland Brothers and recorded a demo. The tape caught the ear of former Traffic bassist Muff Winwood, who helped sign the duo to Island Records, a label that Winwood served as an A&R man for at the time. A pair of largely folk-based recordings were issued in 1972, a self-titled debut and Lifeboat, the latter of which scored the group their first bona fide hit, "(I Don't Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway," as well as an original composition that would later be covered by Rod Stewart, "Sailing." By the dawn of 1973, the Sutherland Brothers decided to augment their group (they were unhappy with their live sound at the time) by teaming up with an obscure rock act named Quiver (who had issued a pair of underappreciated albums on their own -- 1971's self-titled release and 1972's Gone in the Morning) -- as the new group went by the name of the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, or SBQ. The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver remained intact for much of the '70s and Stewart's aforementioned cover of "Sailing" hit the number one spot in the U.K. and during 1975, the group scored another sizeable hit on their own with "The Arms of Mary" (peaking at number five in the U.K.). The group steadily toured both the United States and Europe, issuing such further releases as 1973's Dream Kid and 1974's Beat of the Street before leaving Island for Columbia Records and releasing 1975's Reach for the Sky, 1976's Slipstream, 1977's Down to Earth, and 1979's When the Night Comes Down. But by the dawn of the '80s, the hits had dried up and SBQ decided to call it a day. Both of the Sutherland brothers attempted to launch solo careers on their own during the early '80s, but both failed to retain the audience of their previous band. © Greg Prato © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-sutherland-brothers-p20868/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Unknown said...

Note Rick Vito on guitar in credits, ex-Fleetwood Mac and legendary blues guitarist still cookin' out of Nashville.

sunny15blue said...

thanks i rated dream kid very highly and the early singles 'you got me anyway and the 'pie' were i seem to remember top notch power-pop-so i'm looking forward to checking this one out.
nb- i see 'the pie'on this yet i thought it was an early single

ratso said...

It's nice to see this posted, Paul. I saw them in early 1972 at Fairfield Hall in Croydon. They were supporting a thrash outfit called Stray (anyone remember them? I think not)and were much the better band.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. Gavin & Iain were great songwriters. Some of their later albums were slated but there's a lot of quality in many of their songs. Is that the Stray that released "Suicide" and "Saturday Morning Pictures"? I have one of those albums somewhere. I can't remember if they were any good. If you're interested let me know. Cheers & thanks, Ratso

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Brian. Superb musician. Have you heard the "Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito"? Great album. Thanks & ttu soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,sunny15blue. How are you? (I'm a poet, and I don't know it !!)(LOL). Not sure about "The Pie" single. I know there were two versions of this album - one credited to TSB, the other to TSB&Q. Was the single a US release only? Thanks for comment and ttu soon

Anonymous said...

Hi, brother in music!
Is it possible to post "Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito"?

If you could do this, it would be appreciated. Thanks.
Guinea Pig

ratso said...

Hey Paul

Yes it was THAT Stray. They were a fairly straight ahead rock band - Grand Funk Railroad turned down a few notches. The crowd used to come alive when they played rock'n'roll standards in the encore. Very unpretentious.

sunny15blue said...

hi-just checked wiki 'the pie' was their first single in jan72,down to earth released77,this is a diff version-and thanks it's a nice album

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, sunny15blue. Good info. Thanks. It's a good album...definitely not as bad as some "critics" made out. I'd love to hear a remastered version of the album. Thanks, & TTU soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Ratso! Do you reckon it's worth posting any of the bands albums? TTU soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, GP (My No.1 blog friend). I'll post it in 2-3 days. I hope you're keeping well. TTU soon....P

ratso said...

There were three albums Stray(1970), Suicide (1971) and Saturday Morning Pictures (1972).I have these, but they don't get played often. They are also available on another blog (item 1 on a google search). So probably not.....

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,ratso. I have their "Stand Up & Be Counted" album but it's a bit disjointed. The music is all over the place. You're probably right about the posting. Thanks. TTU soon

ratso said...

....wow, checking allmusic.com, Stray had 19 albums, the last of which was released last year. Boy, am I ever a know-nothing bozo, eh.....

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. 19 albums? Gotta check that out. Must be a different line-up now. You'd think they'd be better known. I'll check out a few reviews and see if anything is worth posting. As I said, the album I have is a bit disjointed. I'll see if there's anything remotely blues related. Thanks R. TTU soon....P

ton said...

Could you post the ferguslie park album? I never heard it and can't get my hands laid on it.
thank you, ton

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ton. The album is on this blog @ http://overdose

Thanks, & keep in touch

john said...

Back to the Sutherland Brothers music. I've always loved the guitar break in "I don't want to love you, but you got me anyway". Thank You.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,John. Their music was full of little breaks and nuances which too many people ignored. Glad you're a fan. Thanks, & TTU soon