Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#153 in the Series) is Nick Lowe, Labour of Lust.
When you’re in a crappy mood there is nothing better than popping on a good ol’ Nick Lowe disc!
We already did Rockpile about four months ago. Rockpile was, of course, the joint effort of Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. This was Nick on his own. Well supposedly it was. However, even though it’s a Nick Lowe album, the band lineup is the same as the Rockpile album. Nick on bass, Dave Edmunds on guitar, Billy Bremmer on guitar and Terry Williams on drums. Elvis Costello added harp to American Squirm.
There are 11 tracks totaling 33 minutes of music here. Or as one of my friends says, Get to the point, get it done and get onto the next song!’
The first song was probably the song that Nick Lowe was most identified by. Cruel to be Kind. A great ditty as we would say. It was written by Nick and here’s a name you might have forgotten, Ian Gomm!
You may have also heard such songs as Cracking Up, Big Kick, Plain Scrap, Born Fighter and of course, Switchboard Susan.
Labour of Lust was released in 1979 and produced by Nick Lowe.
The album did not chart in the USA even though Cruel to be Kind hit number 12 on the Billboard Singles Chart.
Here’s Cruel to be Kind from Live at Daryl’s Place. I followed it with the original promotional video. Look for ‘then wife’ the lovely Carlene Carter! I’ve never done two versions of a song before. I’ll make an exception for a pop masterpiece.
Dave Edmunds (guitar) and Nick Lowe (bass) must have recorded about 6 albums together in the late 70’s or early 80’s. However, this was the only ‘official’ release of the band named they used, Rockpile.
Due to some weird contracts, they never released another official album. So what they did was take turn releasing solo albums. And then they would play on each others release. So one album would be called Nick Lowe, and it would feature Dave Edmunds and the next would be Dave Edmunds, and it would feature Nick Lowe.
Rockpile also included Bill Bremmer on guitar and Terry Williams on drums. Terry Williams went on to play with Dire Straits in later years.
I had a chance to see them play as Rockpile on one of their only tours. I remember it was as an opening act for Bad Company and The Outlaws. It was at the Chicago Stadium. I also remember seeing a guy get busted at that show in the bathroom for selling ‘something’ to an undercover Chicago’s Finest.
Some of the best tracks included…Teacher Teacher, Play That Fast Thing One More Time and I f Sugar Was As Sweet As You.
Look for the extended version of this CD. It includes a great bonus of Edmunds and Lowe covering some Everly Brothers tracks. It includes Take a Message to Mary.
Here’s a smokin’ hot version of ‘Teacher, Teacher.’
I’m following that up with a real treat. Robert Plant joins Rockpile for a version of ‘Little Sister.’ This was taken from the Concert for Campuchea, 1979.