21 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nick Lowe’s first solo album, issued in the U.K. as Jesus of Cool and the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People in 1978, re-invented the pub/ roots-rocker as a pop renaissance man. Recorded on the cheap for Jake Riviera’s Radar Records, Cool played like a collection of quick, quirky hit singles that never were. “Music for Money” takes a cynical look at the music industry that until this point hadn’t given Lowe much credit, though he was emerging as a much in-demand record producer for Elvis Costello, the Damned and the Pretenders. The profile of silent film star “Marie Provost” provides the eminently quotable chorus hook, “She was a winner who became a doggie’s dinner,” alongside swooning backing vocals and a smooth AM pop radio groove. Fidel Castro is castrated in “Nutted By Reality” and “Little Hitler” seems an almost normal topic of conversation. The modest funk of “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” suggests territory that New Wave groups like Talking Heads and Blondie would soon explore. The 2008 deluxe reissue includes a handful of gems. Sandy Posey’s ‘60s pop lament “Born a Woman” is given an extra kick. “I Love My Label” (and his label loves him) is more cynically pure pop. “Rollers Show” parodies the Bay City Rollers. There’s even an early version of Lowe’s future hit “Cruel to Be Kind.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nick Lowe’s first solo album, issued in the U.K. as Jesus of Cool and the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People in 1978, re-invented the pub/ roots-rocker as a pop renaissance man. Recorded on the cheap for Jake Riviera’s Radar Records, Cool played like a collection of quick, quirky hit singles that never were. “Music for Money” takes a cynical look at the music industry that until this point hadn’t given Lowe much credit, though he was emerging as a much in-demand record producer for Elvis Costello, the Damned and the Pretenders. The profile of silent film star “Marie Provost” provides the eminently quotable chorus hook, “She was a winner who became a doggie’s dinner,” alongside swooning backing vocals and a smooth AM pop radio groove. Fidel Castro is castrated in “Nutted By Reality” and “Little Hitler” seems an almost normal topic of conversation. The modest funk of “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” suggests territory that New Wave groups like Talking Heads and Blondie would soon explore. The 2008 deluxe reissue includes a handful of gems. Sandy Posey’s ‘60s pop lament “Born a Woman” is given an extra kick. “I Love My Label” (and his label loves him) is more cynically pure pop. “Rollers Show” parodies the Bay City Rollers. There’s even an early version of Lowe’s future hit “Cruel to Be Kind.”

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