2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Nick Lowe's seminal 1978 album Jesus of Cool. The album, released in the U.S. as Pure Pop for Now People, marks the beginning of one of the most storied and influential solo careers in pop music and marks the true emergence of a songwriting monolith. The album is a literal compendium of 25 years of pop music history. Here, the sweet melodies of pre-Beatles pop, the energy of the British Invasion, the excess of glam and elements of ska and new wave don t blend but stand side by side on the field of battle, each one willing to lay down his life for the other. Jesus is the crossroads where pop music and pop culture collide, self-aware for the first time, fusing into a white hot chunk of rock n roll energy.
Here, on this 30th anniversary edition of the album, the original and U.S. versions of the album are combined to include all material ever available on either release. In addition, seven bonus cuts are included making this the definitive version of this undisputed pop masterpiece.
If you have a dog-eared copy of Nick Lowes Pure Pop for Now People
, here is your chance to revitalize. That 1978 record, an ingenious and melodic pop gem, is really the Americanized version of Jesus of Cool
, Lowes European debut, released the year after his departure from pub-rockers Brinsley Schwarz. This 30th-anniversary edition combines the original Jesus
, extra songs that appeared on Pure Pop
, and seven bonus tracks (including the original version of Lowes most successful single, "Cruel to Be Kind"). The collection is without an Achilles heel, from "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass," with its Bo Diddley riff, on through Lowes experimentation with pre-Beatles pop ("Little Hitler"), glam rock ("So It Goes"), new-wave rock ("Shake and Pop"), and even disco ("Nutted by Reality," a jocular salute to Fidel Castro). The morbidly funny "Marie Provost," a power-pop tale of the tragic silent-film actress, ranks with the best in Lowe's stash and serves as the anchor for the record, which features guest players Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, and the Attractions. --Scott Holter