Resurrection of 'Cool'
Nick Lowe's power pop turns 30.
By Jim Caligiuri,
11:57AM, Wed. Feb. 20, 2008
My birthday was this past weekend and this geezer is feeling a little bit older these days. What’s taking the sting out is the reissued 30th anniversary edition of Nick Lowe’s debut, Jesus of Cool. Hard as it to believe it’s been that long since Lowe’s power-pop classic first hit, it still holds up remarkably well. Originally released in the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People – the first title offended his record company for some reason – it’s a masterpiece of rival styles from Beatleseque to bubblegum, glam to new wave.
At 21 tracks, the reissue combines the original and U.S. versions of the album – along with a new title, the U.S. version sported a different sequence and track list - and includes all material available on either release. So what you get is the original sequence and seven bonus cuts, including the original, much smoother version of “Cruel To Be Kind."
There are also fresh liner notes from Will Birch (a Lowe contemporary and member of the Records) and discography info that reveals his bandmates from Rockpile - guitarist/vocalist Dave Edmunds, guitarist Billy Bremner, and drummer Terry Williams - played on Jesus of Cool, as did members of Elvis Costello's Attractions, Graham Parker's Rumour, and Ian Dury's Blockheads, making this a true pop masterpiece.
Friday at the Hole in the Wall, Elizabeth McQueen, Eric Hisaw, Mandible, and local Lowe cover band the Lowelies pay Basher tribute, and benefit Anthropos Arts.