Thursday, November 30, 1978

Elvis Costello “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding” released

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding

Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Writer(s): Nick Lowe (see lyrics here)

Released: November 1978

First Charted: --

Peak: 5 CL, 1 CO, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 4.3 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter, musician, and producer Nick Lowe was born in 1949 in England. He started his career in 1967 with the band Kippington Lodge, which later became the pub-rock group Brinsley Schwarz. He wrote the song “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding” in 1974 for the group. “Like all pub-rockers, Brinsley Schwarz were lapsed hippies, playing folky-funky in flannel shirts and jeans. Unlike most, Nick Lowe combined his hippie roots with an absolute faith in the corruptibility of mankind.” DM

Lowe left in 1975 to form Rockpile with Dave Edmunds before launching a solo career. He also wore the producer’s hat for Elvis Costello, helping him launch his career with his first solo album, 1977’s My Aim Is True. Lowe was back for the 1978 This Year’s Model release and 1979’s Armed Forces. The latter album included Elvis Costello’s cover of “Understanding” on the American release. Costello originally recorded it as the B-side for Lowe’s 1978 single “American Squirm.” WK

It was Costello’s idea to record the song. He’d been a fan of Brinsley Schwarz, going to see them play. WK Costello said the original “seemed almost tongue-in-cheek, a take on that brief period after flower power when Tin Pan Alley staff songwriters seemed to say, ‘Hey, let’s get in on some of this crazy peace and love stuff that the kids are digging today.’” WK Critic Dave Marsh said “Costello eradicated Lowe’s cynicism and replaced it with joyous acceptance and thinly veiled remorse.” MA

Lowe said, “it was he who really popularized that song. It’s been covered by loads of people, and it would’ve disappeared if it wasn’t for him.” WK Marsh called it “the hottest rock and roll [Costello’s] band, the Attractions, ever made.” DM Music historian Steve Sullivan says the song “became the most unforgettable of Costello’s early recordings which established him at the vanguard of British rock’s new wave.” SS


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First posted 3/9/2023.

Thursday, November 2, 1978

The Police Outlandos D’Amour

Outlandos D’Amour

The Police

Released: November 2, 1978

Peak: 23 US, 6 UK, 22 CN, 15 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.61 US, 0.3 UK, 6.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: new wave


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Next to You [2:50]
  2. So Lonely [4:49] (11/3/78, 10 CL, 5 CO, 6 UK)
  3. Roxanne [3:12] (4/7/78, 32 US, 31 CB, 39 HR, 1 CL, 2 CO, 12 UK, 31 CN, 34 AU)
  4. Hole in My Life [4:52]
  5. Peanuts (Copeland/Sting) [3:58]
  6. Can’t Stand Losing You [2:58] (8/14/78, 8 CL, 8 CO, 2 UK)
  7. Truth Hits Everybody [2:53]
  8. Born in the ‘50s [3:40]
  9. Be My Girl – Sally (Sting/Summers) [3:22]
  10. Masoko Tanga [5:40]

Songs written by Sting unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 38:14

The Players:

  • Sting (vocals, bass)
  • Andy Summers (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion, backing vocals)


4.117 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Quotable: “Unquestionably one of the finest debuts to come out of the ‘70s punk/new wave movement” – Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“While their subsequent chart-topping albums would contain far more ambitious songwriting and musicianship, the Police's 1978 debut, Outlandos d'Amour (translation: Outlaws of Love) is by far their most direct and straightforward release.” AMG

“Although Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland were all superb instrumentalists with jazz backgrounds, it was much easier to get a record contract in late-‘70s England if you were a punk/new wave artist, so the band decided to mask their instrumental prowess with a set of strong, adrenaline-charged rock, albeit with a reggae tinge.” AMG

“Some of it may have been simplistic (Be My Girl-Sally, Born in the '50s), but Sting was already an ace songwriter, as evidenced by all-time classics like the good-girl-gone-bad tale of Roxanne, and a pair of brokenhearted reggae-rock ditties, Can't Stand Losing You and So Lonely.” AMG

“But like all other Police albums, the lesser-known album cuts are often highlights themselves — the frenzied rockers Next to You, Peanuts, and Truth Hits Everybody, as well as more exotic fare like the groovy album closer Masoko Tanga and the lonesome Hole in My Life. Outlandos d'Amour is unquestionably one of the finest debuts to come out of the ‘70s punk/new wave movement.” AMG

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Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/22/2008; last updated 8/25/2021.