Saturday, February 12, 2011

NICK LOWE/Labour Of Lust (Remastered) available March 15th, 2011!

     Labour Of Lust was a turning point in Nick Lowe’s career.
     While he had already written and recorded “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding” and had a respected career behind him with Kippington Lodge, Brinsley Schwarz and as a solo artist, Labour Of Lust was the album that brought him to the attention of the general record-buying public.  Sure, he had recently made his name as a producer, twiddling the knobs for best-selling artists like The Damned, The Pretenders and Elvis Costello, the average man on the street didn’t know Nick Lowe from Nicholas Nickelby.  But then came Labour Of Lust
     Released in 1979, Labour Of Lust was the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Jesus Of Cool (known as Pure Pop For Now People in the U.S.), which had been released the previous year.  While that solo debut was more of a collection of recordings he knocked out in his down-time as producer, Labour Of Lust was created as an ‘album’ (remember those?). From front to back, first track to last, Labour of Lust became the album on which all future Nick Lowe albums would be compared to.  Jesus Of Cool had lured the fish to their bait, but this album had them chomping at the bit!
     In the years leading up to Labour Of Lust, Nick had hooked up with Welsh singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Edmunds and formed the band Rockpile, roping in guitarist Billy Bremner and drummer Terry Williams to round out this beloved quartet.  Since Lowe and Edmunds were signed to different labels, they couldn’t legally release an album under the band’s name (yet), so their recordings were released as solo albums from each of the two leaders.  Edmund’s Repeat When Necessary and Labour Of Lust were the results.
     So, what makes Labour Of Lust so special?  If you’ve heard it already, you know.  It is a timeless collection of songs that still sounds fresh and invigorating over 30 years later.  It is an album that is defined by its songs and nothing more.  The album is not just a snapshot of it’s time: it is a panoramic view of Rock music up to that point.  From Rock ‘n’ Roll to Country via Power Pop, the album embraces its influences while creating its own unique universe.  Labour Of Lust is, quite simply, a classic album.  It may not be Dark Side Of The Moon or Abbey Road, but it doesn’t try to be, either. 
    While the Top 20 single “Cruel To Be Kind” may be the album’s defining moment, there are plenty of great songs on display including “Dose Of You”, “Cracking Up”, “American Squirm” (on the U.S. version at least), “Big Kick, Plain Scrap’ and many more.  Even when Lowe turns the volume down and confesses “You Make Me”, the album never loses its steam.
     Out of print for many a year, Labour Of Love has now been digitally remastered and will be reissued, via Yep Rock, on March 15th, 2011.  This edition of the album will contain all the tracks from both the U.S. and UK versions (“Endless Grey Ribbon” from the UK pressing was removed and “American Squirm” was added for the U.S. version) with the addition of “Basing Street” (originally the B-side to “Cracking Up”).  For those of us who know this album backwards and forwards, this remaster is a most welcome addition to our collections. For those of you who have not been swayed by its immense charm, now is your chance to experience it in all it’s glory.     

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