"I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll)"
Single by Nick Lowe
from the album The Rose of England
B-side"Long Walk Back" (USA/Canada)
"Darlin' Angel Eyes" (international)
ReleasedAugust 1985
GenreRock and roll, rockabilly, power pop, hard rock
LabelColumbia (USA/Canada)
F-Beat (international)
Songwriter(s)Nick Lowe
Producer(s)Huey Lewis
Nick Lowe singles chronology
"I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll)"
"Lovers Jamboree"

"I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll)" is a song written by Nick Lowe and first popularized by Dave Edmunds. It was released on Edmunds's 1977 album Get It and a year later in a live version by Nick Lowe's Last Chicken in the Shop on Live Stiffs Live.

Lowe performed the song during a Stiff Records European tour with Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric, and Larry Wallis; the tour was filmed for the 1981 documentary If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck.[1] In 1985, Nick Lowe recorded a slower studio version for the album The Rose of England, produced by Huey Lewis (on harmonica) and featuring Lewis' band "The News". It reached #27 on the US rock chart and #77 on the US pop chart.[2]

Edmunds released several live versions over the years, from 1987's I Hear You Rockin’, to 1999's KIng Biscuit Flour Hour Presents, to 2005's Live and Pickin’, and 2011's A Pile of Rock Live. He also released a remixed studio version on 1999's Hand Picked Musical Fantasies, which also appeared on the 2004 release From Small Things: The Best of Dave Edmunds. The original recording appeared on many of his compilation releases, including 1981's The Best of Dave Edmunds, 1994's Chronicles, and 2008's The Many Sides of Dave Edmunds: The Greatest Hits and More.

Lowe performing with Rockpile in 1980
Lowe performing with Rockpile in 1980

Live versions featuring Edmunds and Lowe harmonizing appeared on two albums from Rockpile, the group featuring both singers, as well as Billy Bremner and Terry Williams. The official release was on the Live at Montreux 1980 album in 2011, but the song was also on the much earlier bootleg album They Call It Rock from the late 1970s.[3]

Other appearances

Hunter S. Thompson's Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream, a 1990 anthology of essays and works of new journalism, has a chapter named after the song.[4]

The song is part of the Sounds of the Seventies: Punk and New Wave from Time-Life Records.

British poet Hugo Williams titled his 11th book after the song; an earlier collection had similarly been named after an Everly Brothers song.[5]

Critical reception

Robert Christgau, upon the release of Live Stiffs Live, characterized the song as "Lowe's answer to "You Never Can Tell",[6] a 1964 song by Chuck Berry. Decades later, Austin City Limits called it a "cheeky roots/pop tune."[7]

Notable cover versions

Cover versions of the song have been released on various albums, including:


  1. ^ Eleanor Mannikka (2009). "If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  2. ^ "Nick Lowe, "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'n' Roll)" Chart Positions". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. ^ "They Call It Rock". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  4. ^ Thompson, Hunter S. (1990). Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream. Gonzo Papers. Vol. 3. Summit Books. ISBN 0-671-42018-6.
  5. ^ Guardian (21 March 2014). "Hugo Williams: I Knew the Bride, review". theguardian. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide Album". Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  7. ^ "Archives · Artists · Nick Lowe". Austin City Limits. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  8. ^ Johnnie Allan- Promised Land at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  9. ^ Dion - Dream on Fire at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Very Best of the Knack". Review. AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  11. ^ Trent Summar - Live at 12th and Porter at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  12. ^ Schnee, Steve. "Under the Influence (bonus tracks)". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  13. ^ Eleanor McEvoy - Love Must Be Tough at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29.