Born in 1947, the Toronto native grew up playing in a number of bands while attending York University. A Music & English major, his first ‘break’ was as guitarist for the touring version of Charity Brown in after graduating in 1977. He ventured out on his own and in 1978 landed a deal as a writer for ATV Music.
After peddling his demos to every conceivable label, he eventually landed a deal of his own with Infinity Records the next year and headed into the studios with producer Murray Klugman. But before the album could be released his label closed its doors. He instead got distribution from A & M and released his debut – simply titled SCHWARTZ in 1980. A virtual ‘who’s who’, co-producer was Murray Krugman, and had a helping hand from the likes of Rick Derringer, Nona Hendryx and David Tyson (who’d worked with Alannah Myles). The first single was “Two Hearts Full Of Love”, followed by “Does A Fool Ever Learn”. Though neither made a particularly huge impact on the charts, Helix scored big with “Fool” on their breakout NO REST FOR THE WICKED album later that year.
Meanwhile one of the demos he’d used to shop around for a solo deal ended up in the hands of the producers of Pat Benatar. Her 1981 version of the still-unrecorded “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” wond up being one of her biggest singles ever, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. His next full solo album was NO REFUGE, released in 1981. With three tracks co-written by David Tyson, the first single was “Heart On Fire”, followed by “All Our Tomorrows” (recorded also by Joe Cocker) and “Over The Line”. But despite Schwartz’s version of “All Our Tomorrows” cracking Billboard’s Top 30, solo success for the most part still eluded him.
Nearly 2 full years would pass before his next album. PUBLIC LIFE was another well-crafted pop/AOR mix of slick production and tight melodies. With guest appearances by Rick Derringer, the album took on a more guitar-oriented ‘rock’ record than his previous solo work. The lead single was “Strike”, backed with “I’ve Had Enough”. Along with other tracks like “Special Girl” (covered by both America & Meatloaf later), ” PRIVATE LIFE – BEST SHOTS also hit the shelves the same year. Basically a repackaging of PUBLIC LIFE, it also contained Schwartz’s spin on songs best known by the artists who made them hits, not him – including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Does A Fool Ever Learn”.
The latter part of the decade saw him focusing more on a production career, working with the likes of Donna Summer, Long John Baldry, Hall & Oates, Rita Coolidge Joe Cocker, The Doobie Brothers, Paul Carrack and many others – a trend which continued though the beginning of the 90’s as well. It wouldn’t be until ’95 that Schwartz released a new disc. Mostly a collection of all of his biggest-selling songs, TOUR DE SCHWARTZ is the quintessential album – including “Best Shot”, “All The Lovers In The World” (covered by Gowan) and “Don’t Shed A Tear” (recorded by Paul Carrack). Guest appearances include Gowan, Alannah Myles and Marc Jordan among others. Though he released “Bourbon Street” as a single, yet again major chart success of his own eluded him.
One of Canada’s most prolific songwriters, Eddie Schwartz has received countless Juno and International awards and other acclaim. His songs have sold over 20 million copies worldwide and have been recorded by an incredible array of versatile artists – as is the list he’s worked with as a producer. Aside from those already mentioned, he’s also worked with April Wine, Asia, Amy Sky & The Arrows. His work has also found its way into several movie soundtracks, including ‘Continental Divide’ with John Belushi (which he also had a small part in) and ‘Navy Seals’ featuring Charlie Sheen.