Power Pop Icon Nick Lowe Has That Old Magic
Nick Lowe was there as part of Rockpile, whom I saw perform at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse in 1980. When my wife and I were married, the only song I required the wedding band to perform was “I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock n Roll)”, a power pop classic.
Years later I brought Robert, my six year old son to see and hear Lowe perform an acoustic set at a Borders book store. It was his first concert and I was so pleased to have had the opportunity to share Lowe’s music and this experience with him. Nick spoke to my son afterwards, for which I was most appreciative.
My son shot some footage from that night, only a few days after the events of September 11, 2001, with the Trade Ctr disaster fresh on everyone’s mind. Check out a clip below.
Lowe’s catalog could easily be the soundtrack to my life. So when his latest CD came out this past month, only 34 years after the release of Jesus of Cool, his first solo record and considered to be a pop classic, I had to have it. Just released on YepRoc, it’s entitled appropriately, The Old Magic.
My top ten Nick Lowe songs:
I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock n Roll (1978)
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding (1978)
Cruel To Be Kind (1979)
Ragin’ Eyes (1983)
Rose of England (1985)
What’s Shakin On The Hill (1990)
The Beast In Me (1994)
14 Days (1994)
Has She Got A Friend? (2001)
Streetlight Roses (2011)
Lowe has had a long and distinguished career, first having produced “New Rose”, the single by the Damned considered my most to be the first punk rock record ever recorded. After recording a top ten hit with “Cruel To Be Kind”, a pop masterpiece, he wrote Elvis Costello’s signature hit, “What’s So Funny “Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding” (this was actually written years before and recorded by Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe’s band before Rockpile). The first episode of the hit show “The Sopranos” closes with a Lowe composition he’d written for Johnny Cash (and which Cash would later record) entitled “The Beast In Me”, a dark, introspective song that brought Lowe’s songwriting to a new level.
The old Magic is still there so go out and get yourself a copy before they’re all gone.