Posts Tagged ‘Nick Lowe’

Rockpile recorded at the height of their powers. Includes live versions of ‘Girls Talk’, ‘Cruel To Be Kind’ and Rockpile’s version of ‘Jailhouse Rock’.

Rockpile were a British rock and roll group of the late 1970s and early 1980s, noted for their strong pub rock, rockabilly and power pop influences, and as a foundational influence on new wave. The band consisted of Dave Edmunds (vocals, guitar), Nick Lowe (vocals, bass guitar), Billy Bremner (vocals, guitar) and Terry Williams (drums). Rockpile recorded four studio albums, though only one (Seconds of Pleasure) was released under the Rockpile banner. Two other albums (Tracks on Wax 4 and Repeat When Necessary) were released as Dave Edmunds solo albums, and one more (Labour of Lust) was released as a Nick Lowe solo album.

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Image of Rocklipe 'Live at the Palladium' red vinyl LP.

Coming late April/early May on our Vogon imprint, this concert captures Rockpile at the height of their powers. Includes live versions of ‘Girls Talk’, ‘Cruel To Be Kind’ and Rockpile’s version of ‘Jailhouse Rock’.

Rockpile were a British rock and roll group of the late 1970s and early 1980s, noted for their strong pub rock, rockabilly and power pop influences, and as a foundational influence on new wave. The band consisted of Dave Edmunds (vocals, guitar), Nick Lowe (vocals, bass guitar), Billy Bremner (vocals, guitar) and Terry Williams (drums). Rockpile recorded four studio albums, though only one (Seconds of Pleasure) was released under the Rockpile group banner. Two other albums (Tracks on Wax 4 and Repeat When Necessary) were released as the Dave Edmunds solo albums, and one more (Labour of Lust) was released as a Nick Lowe solo album.

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Tracklist:

Side 1. Down, Down, Down / So It Goes / I Knew The Bride / Switchboard Susan / Crawlin’ From The Wreckage / Trouble Boys

Side 2. Girls Talk / Crackin’ Up / Born Fighter / Let It Rock / Cruel To Be Kind / I Hear You Knocking / Jailhouse Rock

Yep Roc Records is excited to announce that for the first time in decades, you can now own Nick the Knife, The Abominable Showman, Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, The Rose of England, Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, and Party of One all on CD and LP! Bundle all of them together and get a great discount PLUS a limited edition Nick Lowe lunchbox is for free!

Nick Lowe first came to prominence during the British pub-rock scene of the early ‘70s as a member of the legendary band Brinsley Schwarz. Between 1969 and ’75, Lowe sang, played bass, and wrote songs for the band’s six albums, which today are cherished collectibles for the faithful pub-rock fan. After the break-up of Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe tinkered around as a solo artist, releasing singles like “So It Goes” for Stiff Records, where he also worked as the label’s staff producer (working with Elvis Costello, the Damned, and Dr. Feelgood). Lowe also performed as part of the band Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. Lowe released his solo debut, Jesus of Cool (titled Pure Pop for Now People in the U.S.) in 1978, followed by the hit album Labour of Lust.

After marrying singer Carlene Carter (Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter) in 1979, Lowe recorded a single album with Rockpile, 1980’s Seconds of Pleasure, the band enjoying a modest hit when the album charted Top 30 in the U.S. After the break-up of Rockpile (whose members had also played played on various Lowe and Edmunds solo LPs), Lowe returned to his solo career with Nick the Knife. Recruiting former Rockpile bandmates Billy Bremner (guitar) and Terry Williams (drums), Lowe brought friends like guitarist Martin Belmont (from the Rumour) and keyboardists Steve Nieve (the Attractions) and Paul Carrack (Squeeze) into the studio. Nick the Knife features a solid set of Lowe’s pop-rock originals (including two songs co-written with Carter, who also sings on the album) as well as a version of the Rockpile song “Heart.”

The following year’s The Abominable Showman found Lowe returning to his pub-rock roots, recording with a stripped-down band that included Belmont, Carrack, and drummer Bobby Irwin, who formed the core of Lowe’s Cowboy Outfit backing band throughout the decade. The album offers up some fine rockin’ country-tinged moments and a few great songs like “Ragin’ Eyes,” “We Want Action,” and “Time Wounds All Heels,” the last two co-written with Carter. A cover of Moon Martin’s “Paid the Price” fits nicely on the track list.

Reissues of both of these long out-of-print albums is certainly welcome, and comes at a nice time as Lowe’s friends and Yep Roc labelmate’s Los Straitjackets will be releasing their tribute to the songwriter with their new album, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and

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There are some songs that we wish weren’t still relevant, But  “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding” would now sound hopelessly dated, as if it were the relic of another time. Instead the song, written by Nick Lowe in 1974 and performed by his band Brinsley Schwarz, is as timely as it’s ever been, its searching questions begging for answers in this day and age now more than ever.

Nick Lowe, has said he originally intended the song to be tongue-in-cheek, only to rethink the tone along the way. “I wrote the song in 1973, and the hippie thing was going out, and everyone was starting to take harder drugs and rediscover drink,” he said. “Alcohol was coming back, and everyone sort of slipped out of the hippie dream and into a more cynical and more unpleasant frame of mind. And this song was supposed to be an old hippie, laughed at by the new thinking, saying to these new smarty-pants types, ‘Look, you think you got it all going on. You can laugh at me, but all I’m saying is ‘What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?’ And that was the idea of the song. But I think as I started writing it, something told me it was too good of an idea to make it into a joke. It was originally supposed to be a joke song, but something told me there was a little grain of wisdom in this thing, and not to mess it up.”

Adorned with Who-style power chords and Beach Boys-flavored harmonies, Brinsley Schwarz’s take on the song charges full-on into the breach even as Lowe begs us to stop and consider his pleas. His narrator attempts to navigate “this wicked world” and “searches for light in the darkness of insanity.” He admits that despair is never too far removed: “My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes.”

“Is all hope lost?” he wonders, and he laments about the ubiquity of “pain, hatred and misery.” Yet he suggests that the only way out of this malaise is vigilance, the kind that constantly presses and pushes for something better than the status quo, which he expresses via a series of queries: “So where are the strong?/ And who are the trusted?/ And where is the harmony?”

By keeping any kind of specifics out of his tale, Lowe ensured that his song would resonate in times of worldly turmoil or personal angst. It all builds to the scorching common sense of the refrain: “And each time I feel it slipping away, it just makes me want to cry/ What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding.

Elvis Costello’s 1978 hard-charging, heart-on-sleeve version of the song, which was produced by Lowe, brought it to a wider audience and became one of Costello’s best-known recordings. Lowe, however, probably preferred the 1992 version by Curtis Stigers. Why? Because it appeared on the multi-platinum soundtrack to The Bodyguard, thus producing a royalties windfall for the writer.

In any case, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding” endures. Hopefully we’ll reach a day where we can appreciate the song based on its artistic merits alone and not because the title sounds like it could be the headline of an editorial in this morning’s newspaper rather than the lament of a songwriter written fortysomething years ago.

On this day May 14th in 1977: Nick Lowe released his four-song ‘Bowi’ EP in the UK on Stiff Records (LAST 1 – actually the first EP to be released by the indie label); the mysterious title made sense when Nick Lowe explained his mock disappointment when David Bowie misnamed his latest album ‘Low’, omitting the “e”; so Nick decided to repay the compliment with ‘Bowi‘, “e” excerpted; the tracks were “Born A Woman” (originally performed by Sandy Posey), “Shake That Rat”, “Marie Provost” & “Endless Sleep”…

 

 

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A true classic and a landmark album released on the 22nd July 1977 Costello’s debut album has been listed as one of the best debut of all time. recorded at Pathway studios in Islington late at night sessions taking approximately 24 hours to record it was also the first of five consecutive albums produced by Nick Lowe. Costello had been performing his songs in clubs and pubs in liverpool he had cut some demos and sent them to various labels with no success, He had been asked by Stiff Records to record some demos for the possibility of being a songwriter for Dave Edmunds but Edmunds was reluctant, Costello at this time was still working his day job as a data clerk, The label had Costello and the band Clover record to show his songs off but decided to release the songs as his first album, the first two singles had done very little and Costello was still working at his day job when the album was released in July 1977,
He was asked to give up his job they would match his wages gave him an amp and a tape recorder and he became a professional musician. the iconic cover shot which became Elvis’s trademark look with the Buddy Holly glasses and bent knee. The album was re-recorded with the same songs and arrangements with Elvis’s permanent backing band The Attractions at a later date that summer the idea was to replace the original recording with the Clover version and the initial pressings had sold out but this never happened, Costello and Clover played together for a one off benefit in November 2007 in San Francisco. There have been several re-issues with added tracks but the Costello/Attractions version has never been released. The standout tracks of “Less Than Zero, Alison, Red Shoes and Watching The Detectives.