Posts Tagged ‘Brinsley Schwarz’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Nutted By Reality” by Nick Lowe

45-adapter-logo2NickLowe

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Nutted By Reality” by Nick Lowe

The album title, Pure Pop for Now People is the American name of Nick Lowe’s 1978 debut solo record which across the pond carried the much cooler title Jesus Of Cool. The American and English editions of the record featured similar covers with a different array of images of Nick Lowe dressed in varied types of garb, and both editions sport similar but different track listings. When the album was reissued in 2008 by Yep Rock, it was rightly retitled Jesus of Cool all over the world and combined all of the tracks from both editions in a new sequence.

Lowe was initially marketed as a burgeoning new artist who was part of the late ‘70s Punk and new wave music explosion; however he’d been recording records since the late 1960s with British pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz. Jesus of Cool sports an array of styles including hard rockers (“Music For Money”), New Wave (“So It Goes”), pub rock (“Heart Of The City”), sugar-coated pop (“Marie Provost” – a song that deals with a starlet who died and was found partially eaten by her dog) and today’s Song Of The Day, a Motown-flavored disco-fied gem that abruptly shifts direction in the middle as if the song (as well as its protagonist) was also “Nutted By Reality.”

After leaving the Schwarz in 1975, Lowe became the in-house producer for Jake Riviera’s newly-formed Stiff Record label, where he also began working with Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile. In fact, if you look closely at the cover to Jesus Of Cool, one of the photos of Nick Lowe is actually that of Dave Edmunds dressed up as Nick Lowe.

While with Stiff, Lowe produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums and The Damned’s debut album, and at the same time began recording records under his own name. Over the years Lowe has scored hits on his own like “Cruel To Be Kind,” and has written hits for others including “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love And Understanding” for Elvis Costello, “The Beast In Me” for Johnny Cash (who was his father-in-law for a time) and “I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock and Roll)” for Huey Lewis and the News.

During the 1990s, he formed the super group Little Village with John Hiatt, Jim Keltner and Ry Cooder, who recorded one record and toured the world before disbanding. He has continued to release records throughout the years and today writes and records intimate pop records along the lines of Nat King Cole. His latest release, Quality Street, is one of the best Christmas albums of all time.

Edited: March 2nd, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Nutted By Reality” by Nick Lowe

45ADAPTERNickLowe

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Nutted By Reality” by Nick Lowe

The album title, Pure Pop For Now People is the American name for Nick Lowe’s 1978 debut solo record which across the pond carried the much cooler title Jesus Of Cool. The American and English editions of the record featured similar covers with a different array of images of Nick Lowe dressed in varied types of garb, and both editions sport similar but different track listings. When the album was reissued in 2008 by Yep Rock, it was rightly retitled Jesus Of Cool all over the world and combined all of the tracks from both editions in a new sequence.

Lowe was initially marketed as a burgeoning new artist who was part of the late ‘70s Punk and New Wave music explosion, however he’d been recording records since the late 1960s with British pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz. Jesus Of Cool sports an array of styles including hard rockers (“Music For Money”), New Wave (“So It Goes”), pub rock (“Heart Of The City”), sugar-coated pop (“Marie Provost” – a song that deals with a starlet who died and was found partially eaten by her dog) and today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman, a Motown-flavored disco-fied gem that abruptly shifts direction in the middle as if the song (as well as its protagonist) was also “Nutted By Reality.”

After leaving the Schwarz in 1975, Lowe became the in-house producer for Jake Riviera’s newly-formed Stiff Record label, where he also began recording with Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile. In fact, if you look closely at the cover to Jesus Of Cool, one of the photos of Nick Lowe is actually that of Dave Edmunds dressed up as Nick Lowe.

While with Stiff, Lowe produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums and The Damned’s debut album, and at the same time began recording records under his own name. Over the years Lowe has scored hits on his own like “Cruel To Be Kind,” and has written hits for others including “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love And Understanding” for Elvis Costello, “The Beast In Me” for Johnny Cash (who was his father-in-law for a time) and “I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock and Roll)” for Huey Lewis and the News.

During the 1990s, he formed the super group Little Village with John Hiatt, Jim Keltner and Ry Cooder, who recorded one record and toured the world before disbanding. He has continued to release records throughout the years and today writes and records intimate pop records along the lines of Nat King Cole.

Edited: September 7th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Empty Lives” by Graham Parker

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Empty Lives” by Graham Parker

He was never a punk rocker and was already around too long to be part of the “New Wave,” but marketing is marketing and that’s how much of the world came to discover Graham Parker.

By the time of Squeezing Out Sparks, his 1979 breakthrough album, Parker had already been recording with his trusted band The Rumour featuring Martin Belmont, Brinsley Schwarz, Andrew Bodnar, Bob Andrews and Steve Goulding for several years, and had classic albums like Howlin’ Wind (1976), Heat Treatment (1976) and Stick To Me (1977) under his belt.

But like fellow journeymen Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Elvis Costello, the music machine had to put them somewhere, so new wave, punk rockers they became. Sparks was Parker’s most consistent album and it benefitted by the promotion that accompanied a label change in America from Mercury to Clive Davis’ Arista imprint.

By the recording of Parker’s second album for Arista, The Up Escalator from 1980, Bob Andrews was out of the band and members of the E Street Band (including Bruce Springsteen) participated in the recording sessions which were helmed by producer Jimmy Iovine. Escalator would also be the first album credited to just Graham Parker. The record was his highest charting album, but was not as well received as his previous release.

Here’s a live version of the album’s signature track from the now-defunct TV show Fridays. Throughout the 1980s and to the present, numerous albums on numerous record labels including Elektra, RCA, Atlantic, Capitol, Razor & Tie and Chicago’s own Bloodshot Records (where he’s recorded his last several albums) have been met with declining sales, but no decline in quality of performance and songwriting.

In fact, Parker’s releases over the last ten years have been his best yet.

Edited: July 9th, 2014