Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (Yep Roc) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022  

Nick Lowe

Labour of Lust

Yep Roc

Dec 09, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Yep Roc’s fantastic treatment and reissuing of Nick Lowe’s incredible back catalog continues with this, a beautiful pink vinyl repressing of their 2011 reissue of his second “solo” album, Labour of Lust, famously highlighted by Top 20 U.K. and U.S. hit single and opening track “Cruel to Be Kind.” That big hit isn’t the only highlight here. Far from it, in fact, as every single song included on the original 1979 U.S. version is an absolute scorcher that takes the line between power-pop, pub rock, New Wave, and roots rock and absolutely detonates it, creating not only possibly Lowe’s best early album but a highlight of the entire genre.

So why reissue a record that you can still find in dollar bins? Well, it should be noted that this edition (just like the 2011 one) includes songs missing on both the U.K. and U.S. editions since the original track listings were very different. Therefore, all of the U.S. tracks (most notably, the brilliantly funny stand-alone U.K. single “American Squirm,” which you can clearly notice has a slightly different recording style from the rest of the LP, yet it works) are here, but ones from the U.K. running order, like “Endless Grey Ribbon” and “Basing Street” that were omitted from the U.S. version, are also included on side A and side B, respectively.

In fact, it could be argued that “Basing Street” is a better album closer than the rocking “Love So Fine” (also included here, as noted earlier) given its quiet, eerie, almost spooky vibe that’s appropriate for the fall season but very different from anything else on the album aside from the beautiful ballad “You Make Me,” which leads wonderfully into the aforementioned “American Squirm.”
Originally, the B-side of “Cracking Up” (another great U.K. single that was also on both versions of this album and thus included here), is saved from obscurity here. I also put “solo” in quotes because Lowe was backed here by the members of his own band Rockpile (who also played on Lowe’s “solo” debut Jesus of Cool/Pure Pop for Now People and on his then bandmate Dave Edmunds’ also quite good solo records as well, among others), giving this a tight-knit, hard rocking feel different from his also rock and roll-oriented ’80s records. (www.nicklowe.com)

Author rating: 9/10

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