Sunday, July 20, 2014

labour of lust









Nick Lowe reunited with Rockpile to record two bona fide new wave roots rock classics simultaneously.  After the critical acclaim of his debut 'Jesus of Cool / Pure Pop For Now People', Lowe was caught up in a whirlwind of activity that included producing, touring, and recording:   "Back in those days if you wanted to be in the pop business – and it was a much less crowded business then – you would get on the end of a conveyor belt that would move very slowly towards some point in the distance where you would get your big break. Once you were on this conveyor belt you would learn your craft in total anonymity: you had to write songs if you wanted to stick around and learn how to work a room and how to do a show. It involved a lot of riding in vans and playing thousands of gigs until suddenly the ol’ chance came along for you your fellow travelers.   My chance had come a year before 'Labour of Lust' and that was when the real work started. There was no hint that it was going to come up, it just suddenly did. 'Labour of Lust' was my ticket to the next stage, which was some sort of international recognition. I was signed to Columbia earlier by the great Gregg Geller, but then Rockpile had been doing thousands of gigs in America and when we came back to England I’d go to the studio with Elvis Costello or somebody else. We just seemed to be working at this incredible pitch.   My time on the conveyor belt was spent living in the most appalling sort of squalor. But we were young, you know, and full of pep. It was fabulous, really was fantastic. When all these tours in America started there were shows back to back, with lots of driving hundreds of miles, and then getting back into some vehicle and driving frequently back the same road you traveled the previous day. Sitting here in my cozy London pad, I don’t have any desire to go back to that, but at the same time it was terrific fun and I am ever so glad I did it.   But I cannot remember having a plan at all. It seemed that ['Labour of Lust'] was just the next thing on the sheet...When we weren’t working on ['Repeat When Necessary' and 'Labour of Lust'], I was either with Elvis Costello doing Armed Forces or we were on tour in the states. They were both essentially Rockpile records, but we weren’t allowed to call them Rockpile records because Edmunds was signed to Led Zeppelin’s label, Swan Song.  It was a shame we couldn’t distill the best tracks from 'Repeat When Necessary' and 'Labour of Lust'. I think it would’ve been a pretty good record."



Lowe produced the sessions for 'Labour of Lust' at Eden Studios in London, England and Love Studios in Helsinki, Finland which featured Nick Lowe on bass and vocals;  Dave Edmunds on rhythm and solo guitars and backing vocals;  Billy Bremner on rhythm and solo guitars and backing vocals;  and Terry Williams on drums;   with Huey Lewis adding harmonica on "Born Fighter";  Bob Andrews playing Oberheim on "Endless Grey Ribbon";  Elvis Costello on backing vocals for "American Squirm";  Bruce Thomas on bass for "American Squirm";  and Pete Thomas on drums for "American Squirm".   At the same time, the same lineup recorded Dave Edmunds' 'Repeat When Necessary'.   





'Repeat When Necessary' would make it to number fifty-four in the US and thirty-nine in the UK while 'Labour of Lust' worked its way to number forty-two in the UK and thirty-one in the US.  Lowe expressed at the time:   "I think there's a lot of people who could do what I'm doing. I don't think that I'm particularly talented. What I have got which a lot of people don't is an eye for style and for people with style: I can recognize it I don't even think that I have it but I can certainly recognize people who have got it, which I think is a talent in itself. So, I'm just a jack of all trades and master of none. I'm like a music fan and I'm in this position where I can do all of this. I have a very temporary attitude to the whole thing. I don't take it seriously and I don't think it will last forever. As soon as I stop thinking like that, I'll be bad. I don't want to go through all that pop star crap."







http://www.nicklowe.net/









'Born Fighters' documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8LbhEq7B-8










"Cruel to Be Kind" became Lowe's only US hit, peaking at number twelve.  He admits:    "Originally it was sort of a rip-off of “The Love I Lost” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. We weren’t good enough to play it that way, but it was fun to attempt to play that sophisticated stuff. We tried to record it on the last Brinsleys album that was really quite poor. But when Gregg Geller heard the Brinsley demo he subtly put pressure on me, as only he can...I thought Gregg was joking to start with because I was sort of in my new rude, bad boy phase. He slowly tightened the old noose every time I saw him and asked if I had recorded it yet.  I remember I had to come into the studio and tell the boys, “I’m under orders and we have to record this old Brinsley song.” I told them that it would only take a few minutes. Then Edmunds started putting all these harmonies on it and it did start to sound like something. We really started to have fun with it. The rest, as they say, is history.   The funny thing about that song is that it’s a really good little tune. I know that it’s good, not because it was a top 20 hit, but you can do it so many different ways. I can do it on an acoustic guitar or I’ve done more of a punk version, all different sorts of ways. Right now I’m doing it more the Brinsley way, with that sort of Philly thing with my band. I heard the hit version the other day and I thought ‘Crikey! This isn’t how we are doing it now.’ It’s a really cool little tune.   I know a lot of people think that for one hit wonders, like I suppose I am, that one tune can be a real millstone around the neck. They think you can’t get out from under it. There is this one thing that puts food on the table and shoes on your kids’ feet, but you loathe it. Well I don’t feel that at all about “Cruel to be Kind.” I love doing it, it cheers people up and it’s a cool little tune, and I’m very lucky. So thanks to Gregg for making me do it! ... I remember coming to Los Angeles when it was a hit, and did that thing where you change the radio station, and it was on about two or three at the same time. You could hear it starting on one station and finishing on another. Amazing."

The video reimagines Lowe's marriage to Carlene Carter, who appears as herself. Dave Stewart also makes an appearance as the chauffeur.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0l3QWUXVho



Oh, I can't take another heartache
Though you say you're my friend, I'm at my wits end
You say your love is bona fide
But that don't coincide with the things that you do
And when I ask you to be nice, you say

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind

I do my best to understand, dear
But you still mystify and I want to know why
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down again and again
And when I ask you to explain, well, you say

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind

Well, I do my best to understand, dear
But you still mystify and I want to know why
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down again and again
And when I ask you to explain, well, you say

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind means that I love you
Baby

You gotta be
Cruel to be kind in the right measure
Cruel to be kind it's a very, very, very good sign
Cruel to be kind that means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel
So, baby, you gotta be cruel
Said, baby, you gotta cruel to be kind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM4RtUo5s0g







"Cracking Up" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7qjPii4ekk



"Big Kick, Plain Scrap!" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGfszrEdpdU



"American Squirm" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2kXd6JgOic



"Born Fighter" 



"You Make Me" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCKHFEokzkQ




"Switchboard Susan" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOp8_AB8xO8






"Love So Fine" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBdq-eh9mAc



"Basing Street" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89CfvvZukaY





'Labour of Lust' 
full album:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=ALGLx1orRGw4WQhFGSnNe99tNNfvgYxREJ


http://www.last.fm/music/Nick+Lowe/Labour+of+Lust




U.K. version
All songs by Nick Lowe, except where noted.

"Cruel to Be Kind" (Lowe, Ian Gomm) – 3:31
"Cracking Up" – 2:59
"Big Kick, Plain Scrap!" – 2:28
"Born Fighter" – 3:09
"You Make Me" – 1:53
"Skin Deep" – 3:12
"Switchboard Susan" (Mickey Jupp) – 3:50
"Endless Grey Ribbon" – 3:17
"Without Love" – 2:29
"Dose of You" – 2:21
"Love So Fine" (Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Terry Williams) – 3:52


U.S. version
All songs by Nick Lowe, except where noted.

"Cruel to Be Kind" (Lowe, Ian Gomm) – 3:31
"Cracking Up" – 2:59
"Big Kick, Plain Scrap!" – 2:28
"American Squirm" – 2:29
"You Make Me" – 1:53
"Skin Deep" – 3:12
"Switch Board Susan" (Mickey Jupp) – 3:50
"Dose of You" – 2:21
"Without Love" – 2:29
"Born Fighter" – 3:09

"Love So Fine" (Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Terry Williams) – 3:52







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