Brinsley Schwarz – The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz (Repertoire)
The last album released by Lowe’s first band in 1974 was its most pop-oriented collection and contains the original version of “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”
Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool (originally released in the United States as Pure Pop for Now People) (Yep Roc) – His 1979 sophomore bow Labour of Lust may contain his sole American hit “Cruel to Be Kind,” but Lowe’s 1978 debut overflows with power-pop manna including the UK hit “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” and cheery “So It Goes.” The 2008 30th anniversary reissue tacks on an additional ten tracks including the surf-rock instrumental “Shake That Rat,” tongue-in-cheek Bay City Rollers tribute “Rollers Show” and a demo version of “Cruel to Be Kind.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald may have famously said that “There are no second acts in American lives,” but Nick Lowe apparently never got the memo. Ever since the release of 1994’s The Impossible Bird, he has re-emerged as an introspective singer-songwriter caught somewhere between classic country crooner and melancholy saloon singer. Out in support of last year’s The Old Magic, Lowe has seen his profile raised even further after being personally invited to open for alt-rock giants Wilco on a few legs of their 2011 tour. Always a critical darling, the 63-year-old singer-songwriter is currently enjoying the accolades of a younger generation of fans mostly unfamiliar with his prior incarnation as a major player in the late 1970s pub-rock/punk-cum-new wave scene.
“[When Wilco] asked me to do a leg of their tour, I thought it was an extremely bold move on their part. I didn’t know how it was going to go. I suspected it would be alright because I thought their audience might be my audience except they didn’t know it yet because they’re musically literate younger people who wouldn’t in the normal course of events run across me,” Lowe recalled on the phone from a tour stop in Phoenix. “And also I thought, they’re sort of playing rock and roll shows and when an old bloke with an acoustic guitar comes out, it doesn’t exactly make your pulse race with excitement. In any event, the shows went extremely well.”
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