Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jesus of Cool
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Nick Lowe's seminal 1978 album Jesus of Cool. The album, released in the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People, marks the beginning of one of the most storied and influential solo careers in po... more »
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2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Nick Lowe's seminal 1978 album Jesus of Cool. The album, released in the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People, marks the beginning of one of the most storied and influential solo careers in pop music and marks the true emergence of a songwriting monolith. The album is a literal compendium of 25 years of pop music history. Here, the sweet melodies of pre-Beatles pop, the energy of the British Invasion, the excess of glam and elements of ska and new wave don t blend but stand side by side on the field of battle, each one willing to lay down his life for the other. Jesus is the crossroads where pop music and pop culture collide, self-aware for the first time, fusing into a white hot chunk of rock n roll energy.
Here, on this 30th anniversary edition of the album, the original and U.S. versions of the album are combined to include all material ever available on either release. In addition, seven bonus cuts are included making this the definitive version of this undisputed pop masterpiece.
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Pure Pop Sensation
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nick Lowe's debut album Jesus Of Cool (titled Pure Pop For Now People in The US) is one of the true underappreciated gems in music history. Released in 1978, this 30th anniversary edition provides not only the UK tracks, but the US tracks as well as songs released on his Bowi EP (a classic Lowe tongue-in-cheek joke at David Bowie who released his Low album in 1977) and b-sides. The songs do sound like they are from a different era and that's not a bad thing. They still crackle and sparkle and have an immediate freshness and vibrancy. "So It Goes" is a masterpiece. It is three minutes of simple yet sophisticated pop music that rivals anything Brian Wilson every recorded. "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass" has a hypnotic, pulsating beat and "Heart Of The City" dips back into the sound of his pub rock days. "Marie Provost" is a whimsical ditty about a former movie star who ended up becoming puppy chow which Mr. Lowe based on a story he read in the paper. "They Call It Rock" is slap in the face of the music industry that is just as timely today with all the disposable music out there. "I Love My Label" is another snarky look at the music industry and "Rollers Show" is a shimmering tune that slyly mocks the Bay City Rollers and their fans. "Tonight" is the lone ballad that has a lush and beautiful orchestration. The packaging of the album is first rate including both the UK & US album covers, a section with the single and EP covers and a fabulous booklet with some great photos and promo items from the era such as a Jesus Of Cool tie. The case itself opens up into a cross with Mr. Lowe as "the messiah" with a guitar. If you are a fan of smart, well-crafted rock music, then Jesus Of Cool needs to be in your collection."
Brilliant, twisted, sophisticated power pop: bonus edition
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 02/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in print for the 30th anniversary of its original release, this 1978 solo debut still shows itself to be the greatest album in Lowe's catalog. Marking a glorious new phase in his career, Lowe had already made the transition from the pub rock of Brinsley Schwarz to the punkier and new wavier sounds of the artists he produced for Stiff Records. Lowe's songwriting had also started to show the twists and sparks that he'd bring to Stiff, as he recorded a pair of singles aimed at breaking his contract with United Artists: The Tartan Horde's ""Rollers Show" and The Disco Brothers' "Let's Go to the Disco" b/w "Everybody Dance."
Once free of UA, Lowe signed with Stiff where he served as a house producer (most notably for The Damned and Elvis Costello) and released the label's very first single, "So it Goes" b/w "Heart of the City," both of which turned up on this debut LP. A follow-up EP (titled "Bowi," in retaliation for Bowie's album "Low") included a cover of Sandy Posey's "Born a Woman" (with the gender-specific lyrics ironically intact), the surf-inspired bass-heavy instrumental "Shake That Rat," the chirpy and morose "Marie Provost," and the hypnotically lethargic death-watch "Endless Sleep." Of the four, only "Marie Provost" returned for the album (the other three tracks are here as bonuses). His next single was a letter-perfect cover of Tony Orlando's Brill Building era "Halfway to Paradise" b/w "I Don't Want the Night to End," again, both included here.
Lowe contributed to the Stiffs Live album and then jumped ship to Radar where he released the single "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" b/w "They Called it Rock" (the former carried over to the album, the latter included here as a bonus) and finally, his debut album. Though five of the twelve tracks had already been released on singles and EPs, their general rarity kept them fresh to album buyers. The six new songs included terrific Lowe compositions, and letter-perfect backing from a multitude of players that included members of the eventual Rockpile. Leading off is the beat-heavy "Music Money" in which Lowe lays out the antithesis of his new found musical freedom. The strummed acoustic guitars and walled backing vocals of "Little Hitler" show how fluidly Lowe could craft a studio sound that at both celebrated and ironically commented on pop music. "Tonight" features similar acoustics and harmonies, but in service of a gorgeous love song.
The straight-ahead rocker "Shake and Pop" shared a melody with "They Called it Rock," providing two sides of the Lowe/Edmunds equation; the former was included on the UK album, the latter on the US, and both included here. The organ and reggae beat of "No Reason" suggests Costello and the Attractions, and the upbeat soul of "Nutted By Reality" might point to The Jackson 5 if it didn't open with the lyric "Well I heard they castrated Castro, I heard they cut off everything he had." That's Lowe in a nutshell: an oddball lyric about Castro's demise set to a sunny light funk beat that changes key and segues seamlessly into a bouncy, dream-like travelogue with a terrific baritone guitar solo. And it makes complete sense when you hear it. Lowe's cover of Jim Ford's "36 Inches High" (again featuring Attractions-like organ figures) is slow enough to seem like he's deconstructing and examining the lyrics as he sings.
The pre-album tracks are just as good, and match as tightly as jigsaw pieces with the new tunes. The demise of the faded silent film star "Marie Provost" shows how easily Lowe could match a jingly tune to a grisly story, crafting lyrical hooks that belie the dark theme. "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" essays the destruction of a dressing room with propulsive bass and staccato piano figures, and a live rendition of "Heart of the City" shows just how deadly Rockpile was as a stage unit.
The U.S. release of the album, retitled "Pure Pop for Now People" so as not to offend America's delicate sensibilities, made a few track substitutions and changed the running order. Dropped were "Shake and Pop" and the live version of "Heart of the City," to be replaced by "They Called it Rock" and the shorter studio version of "Heart of the City." Also included on the U.S. version was "Rollers Show." This CD follows the original UK running order; you can recreate the U.S. version as 6, 2, 5, 9, 20, 18, 14, 7, 3, 10, 8, 1. Remastering was performed by the veteran Vic Anesini.
Yep Roc's packaging goes the extra mile with a double digipack (one side holds the CD, the other a 16-page booklet) that features both the U.S. and UK covers, a cross-shaped Lowe foldout, new liner notes by Will Birch and extensive photos of many original Lowe artifacts such singles and EPs sleeves and record labels. There's even a mock-up of the rumored "Wireless World" album title, using session photos not included on either of the original packages. Detailed session info provides recording dates, studio locales and personnel that reveals for the first time how Lowe utlized members of Brinsley Schwarz, Rockpile, The Rumour, The Attractions and others on his solo works.
This deluxe reissue is a must-have for pop music fans -- those who own the original CD issue would do well to upgrade. Even fanatics who have the original CD and the odds 'n' sods "Wilderness Years" collection will enjoy the artwork, liner notes and sessionography. Great job Yep Roc, now can you please get "Labour of Lust" back in print?! [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]"
The savior of rock at 30 (includes a coupon for two free dow
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 03/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was too cool to be a big hit in the U.S. when it was first released but it's time has come. Nick Lowe never achieved the worldwide audience of Elvis Costello (must of been the glasses..mental note: Nick, wear Buddy Holly glasses)but "Jesus of Cool" certainly deserved it. Re-released by Yeproc this year, the album comes complete with 10 bonus tracks. For those Lowe fans who purchased "The Doings" (Nick's boxed set of album tracks and rarities released in 1999 on Demon), you'll find most of this album as well as a healthy dose of the bonus tracks on it as well. There are, however, five tracks here NOT on the boxed set AND through Feb. 19, 2009 you can get two free downloads (at 192kbps)that don't appear on the album nor do they appear on the boxed set. The two tracks may be trifles compared to the album itself but they are worthwhile for hardcore Lowe fans. "Truth Drug" and "Keep It Out of Sight" are short, punchy and terrific.
The tracks included are from the original UK, US release (where it was retitled and where tracks were juggled about with some of the other songs on this release. You also get the "Bowi" album--so titled because David Bowie titled HIS album released around this time "Low". In a punny turn about we got Lowe's melodic EP with a witty title).
In this world of over loud CDs with no dynamic range that hit you like a brickwall, "Jesus of Cool" sounds pretty good. It's been remastered by Vic Anesini and features much of the original artwork enhanced with a booklet that includes a booklet with credits for each song and a short essay.
The album comes in a fold out sleeve creating (naturally given the title) a cross. My only complaint--that there isn't a plastic sleeve inside to protect the album from wear and tear (something that was also an issue for the Robyn Hitchcock re-releases for me as well). It's worth paying an extra buck or two to protect the CD. No doubt the thought was that CDs are tougher than vinyl (they are somewhat)but I prefer to protect my music. It's a minor criticism on a generally terrific package.
Remember, Jesus is still cool and, yep, he saved rock 'n' roll. Bet you didn't know that part. If the "Jesus of Cool" has returned does this mean it's the end of the world? Nope, just the celebration of some great music from an artist in top form. So much for being a "washed up veteran of the Beat group wars", Nick always aimed high with his quality songs even as he remained Lowe."