Jesus of Cool [Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On the cover of his solo debut album Jesus of Cool, Nick Lowe is pictured in six rock & roll get-ups -- hippie, folkie, greasy rock & roller, new wave hipster -- giving the not-so-subtle implication that this guy can do anything. Nick proves that assumption correct on Jesus of Cool, a record so good it was named twice, as Lowe's American record label got the jitters with Jesus and renamed it Pure Pop for Now People, shuffling the track listing (but not swapping songs) in the process. As it happens, both titles are accurate, but while the U.K. title sounds cooler, capturing Lowe's cheerfully blasphemous rock & roll swagger, Pure Pop describes the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On the cover of his solo debut album Jesus of Cool, Nick Lowe is pictured in six rock & roll get-ups -- hippie, folkie, greasy rock & roller, new wave hipster -- giving the not-so-subtle implication that this guy can do anything. Nick proves that assumption correct on Jesus of Cool, a record so good it was named twice, as Lowe's American record label got the jitters with Jesus and renamed it Pure Pop for Now People, shuffling the track listing (but not swapping songs) in the process. As it happens, both titles are accurate, but while the U.K. title sounds cooler, capturing Lowe's cheerfully blasphemous rock & roll swagger, Pure Pop describes the sound of the album, functioning as a sincere description of the music while conveying the wicked, knowing humor that drives it. This is pop about pop, a record filled with songs that tweak or spin conventions, or are about the industry. Only a writer with a long, hard battle with the biz in his past could write "Music for Money" and much of Jesus of Cool does feel like a long-delayed reaction to the disastrous American debut of Brinsley Schwarz, where the band's grand plans at kick-starting their career came crumbling down and pushed them into the pubs. Once there, the Brinsleys spearheaded the back-to-basics pub rock movement in England and as the years rolled on the band got loose, as did Lowe's writing, which got catchier and funnier on the group's last two albums, Nervous on the Road and New Favourites of Brinsley Schwarz. In retrospect, it's possible to hear him inch toward the powerful pop of Jesus of Cool on the Dave Edmunds-produced New Favourites, plus the handful of singles the group cut toward the end of their career -- it's not far cry from the Brinsleys' stomping cover of Tommy Roe's "Everybody" to the shake and pop of Jesus -- but even with this knowledge in hand, Jesus of Cool still sounds like an unexpected explosion as it bursts forth with blindingly bright colors and a cavalcade of giddy pure sound. Lowe is letting his id run wild: he's dispensed with any remnants of good taste -- well, apart from the gorgeous "Tonight," the only time the album dips into ballads -- and indulged in a second adolescence, bashing out three-chord rockers and cracking jokes with both his words and music. This reckless rock and pop works not just because the tracks crackle with excitement -- not for nothing did Nick earn the name "Basher" in this period; he cut quickly and moved on, the performances sounding infectious and addictive -- but because it's written with the skill that Lowe developed in the Brinsleys. He knows how to twist words around, knows how to mine black humor in "Marie Provost," knows how to splice "Nutted by Reality" into a brilliant McCartney parody, knows how to pull off the old Chuck Berry trick of spinning a tune into two songs, as he turns "Shake and Pop" into the faster, wilder "They Called It Rock." That latter bit picks up a key bit about Jesus of Cool -- it's self-referential pop that loves the past but doesn't treat it as sacred. It is the first post-modern pop record in how it plays as it builds upon tradition and how it's all tied together by Lowe's irrepressible irreverence. It's hard to imagine any of the power pop of the next three decades without it, and while plenty have tried, nobody has made a better pure pop record than this...not even Nick (of course, he didn't really try to make another record like this, either). Nobody may have bettered Jesus of Cool, but Yep Roc's 30th Anniversary edition of the album betters it by tacking on ten bonus tracks, all recorded after the demise of Brinsley Schwarz in 1974 and before the 1978 release of Jesus of Cool -- a time that was dubbed The Wilderness Years on a 1992 compilation that gathered these stray tracks. Here, it was possible to hear Lowe shake off pub rock in favor of pop. Sometimes, he tried very hard to leave the past behind, as when he cut a series of bubblegum singles that they would force United Artists to cut him loose from his contract. The first of those, the Tartan Horde, cut a tribute single to the Bay City Rollers which turned into a Japanese hit ("Rollers Show" turned up on Jesus, but the Gary Glitter send-up "Allorolla" and "Bay City Rollers We Love You" did not), which kept UA's interest high until Lowe's Disco Brothers singles extinguished the label's desire to keep him around, paving the way toward Jesus of Cool. Neither the two other Tartan Horde cuts or the Disco Brothers single are on this expanded edition (Yep Roc is offering it as a bonus download), nor are any of the harder-rocking cuts from The Wilderness Years -- "Fool Too Long," the two-chord "Truth Drug" and "I Got a Job" all are terrific reasons to seek the comp out after wearing out this reissue -- but there is a heavy dose of that disc's 18 songs, all skewing toward the bright, subversive pop that's on the proper album. There are traces of pub rock here, in the rampaging "I Don't Want the Night to End" and the country-rock "I Love My Label," but they're driven from the pub by a blindingly brilliant hook on the former and sly humor on the latter. These bonus tracks also showcase more of Lowe's pop personalities: "Shake That Rat" is a delirious instrumental, he turns Sandy Posey's "Born a Woman" upside down, he conveys the majestic sweep of the Wall of Sound on a cover of Goffin & King's "Halfway to Paradise." The bonus tracks also include "Heart of the City," the B-side of "So It Goes," the first single released on Stiff Records and thereby one of the opening salvos in the punk revolution (a live version was on the actual album), and an early version of "Cruel to Be Kind," which would turn out to be Nick's biggest hit just a couple years later. This early version is faster, wilder compared to the version he'd cut with Rockpile, and that description applies to all of his Jesus of Cool era. It's when Nick Lowe ran wild, creating pop that was pure, peerless, and permanently thrilling.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/19/2008
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • UPC: 634457262027
  • Catalog Number: 2620
  • Sales rank: 35,009

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Music for Money (2:07)
  2. 2 I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass (3:14)
  3. 3 Little Hitler (3:00)
  4. 4 Shake and Pop (3:23)
  5. 5 Tonight (4:00)
  6. 6 So It Goes (2:34)
  7. 7 No Reason (3:34)
  8. 8 36 Inches High (2:59)
  9. 9 Marie Provost (2:51)
  10. 10 Nutted by Reality (2:51)
  11. 11 Heart of the City (4:09)
  12. 12 Shake That Rat (2:13)
  13. 13 I Love My Label (3:01)
  14. 14 They Called It Rock (3:13)
  15. 15 Born a Woman (2:29)
  16. 16 Endless Sleep (4:08)
  17. 17 Halfway to Paradise (2:27)
  18. 18 Rollers Show (3:33)
  19. 19 Cruel to Be Kind (2:52)
  20. 20 Heart of the City (2:07)
  21. 21 I Don't Want the Night to End (1:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nick Lowe Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals, Soloist
Dave Edmunds Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ian Gomm Guitar
Steve Nieve Piano
Billy Rankin Drums
Roger Bechirian Organ, Tambourine, Background Vocals
Martin Belmont Guitar
Andrew Bodnar Bass
Billy Bremner Guitar, Background Vocals
John Ciambotti Bass
Steve Goulding Drums
Sean Hopper Keyboards
Bobby Irwin Drums
John McFee Guitar, Soloist
Stan Shaw Organ
Pete Thomas Drums
John Turnbull Guitar
Larry Wallis Guitar
Norman Watt-Roy Bass
Brinsley Schwarz Guitar
Technical Credits
Roger Bechirian Engineer
Will Birch Liner Notes
Andrew Bodnar Composer
Barry Farmer Engineer
Gregg Geller Reissue Producer
Nick Lowe Composer, Producer
Vic Maile Engineer
Jake Riviera Producer
Vic Anesini Mastering
Vic Keary Engineer
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