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Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe

Nicholas Drain "Nick" Lowe (born 24 March 1949) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and producer.A pivotal figure in UK pub rock, power pop, punk rock and new wave, Lowe has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica. He is best known for his songs "Cruel to Be Kind" (a US Top 40 single) and "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" (a top 10 UK hit), as well as his production work with Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, and others. Lowe also wrote "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", a hit for Costello. He currently lives in Brentford, London, England.SongwriterLowe’s best-known songs include his own hits:
  • “So It Goes” - first song on the Stiff Records label
  • “(I Love The Sound of) Breaking Glass” - his biggest UK hit
  • “Cruel to Be Kind” - his biggest US hit
He also wrote songs most famous for their cover versions:
  • “(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” - famously covered by Elvis Costello
  • “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ’n’ Roll)” - hit for Rockpile bandmate Dave Edmunds
  • “The Beast in Me” - covered by father-in-law Johnny Cash
Some songs were written or co-written for albums he produced:
  • “Milk and Alcohol” and “That’s it, I Quit” - Dr. Feelgood
  • “(I Live on a) Battlefield” and “I Need You” - Paul Carrack
Lowe also wrote a number of songs with clever wordplay that qualify as “novelties”, among them:
  • “Bay City Rollers We Love You” - recorded as “Terry Modern” of “The Tartan Horde”
  • “I Love my Label” - paean to the United Artists label - released on Stiff Records
  • “All Men Are Liars”
  • “Half a Boy and Half a Man”


Lowe's work as a producer is at least as notable as his work as a performer and songwriter. His early 'rough and ready' production style earned him the nickname "Basher", inspired by his supposed instructions to bands to 'bash it out—we'll tart it up later'. Beginning with his tenure at Stiff Records as an in-house producer in 1976, Lowe was responsible for producing some of the benchmark releases of punk and new wave, including The Damned's first single, "New Rose", considered the first English punk single, as well as the group's debut album, Damned Damned Damned. He also produced Elvis Costello's first five albums from 1977-1981, including My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, and Armed Forces, which spun off numerous UK hit singles. Other Stiff acts produced by Lowe included punk parody group Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias, new wave icon Wreckless Eric and roots rocker Mickey Jupp.Other clients (both before and after Lowe left Stiff in 1978) included: The Pretenders (the 1978 debut single "Stop Your Sobbing", which was a modest UK and US hit); Graham Parker (his well-received first and third albums); Dr. Feelgood (several LPs, and their biggest hit single, 1979's "Milk and Alcohol"); Johnny Cash (his 1980 single "Without Love", a minor hit on the US and Canadian country charts); and his then-wife Carlene Carter (2 albums in 1980 and 1981).From '82-'85, he produced material for Paul Carrack, John Hiatt, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Men They Couldn't Hang. Beginning in the mid-80s, Lowe became more selective in his choice of outside production tasks, helming the 1986 LP Blood & Chocolate for Elvis Costello, a 1988 single ("Windows of the World" b/w "1969") for the Pretenders, and the Katydids self-titled debut album of 1990. After that, Lowe essentially retired from producing recordings for other acts, although country-rock band The Mavericks persuaded him to produce one track for the Apollo 13 soundtrack in 1995.

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Nick Lowe - The Sound Of Breaking Glass

The Sound Of Breaking Glass