Title: They Called It Rock
Artist: Nick Lowe
Album: Pure Pop For Now People
Year Released: 1978
What It Is: Smart funny rock-and-roll by Nick Lowe and Rockpile. It’s a remake of a song called “Shake & Pop” that was on his “Jesus Of Cool” LP in England, but this version is much cleaner, faster, and takes the message home effectively.
Riffage / Hookage: Nick Lowe always has a way with hooks, and Billy Bremner’s opening riff is pretty solid in a twangy 50’s way.
Words Of Wisdom: “They cut another record, it never was a hit
Someone in the newspaper said it was shit
The drummer is a bookie, the singer is a whore
The bass player’s selling clothes he never would have wore”
Mixology Report: Lowe’s always good for a mix or three!
Top Five Genius Results: Rockpile – Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)
Graham Parker – Mercury Poisoning
Elvis Costello – You’ll Never Be A Man
Dave Edmunds – Girls Talk
Joe Jackson – Kinda Kute
I’m surprised Billy Bremner’s solo single isn’t in the top 5.
For The Good Of The Order: This was recorded during quite a whirlwind era for Lowe. Rockpile recorded three records (one by Dave Edmunds, one by Lowe and one as Rockpile) plus sessions that became another Edmunds LP. This song was a non-album single. Lowe also was busy as a songwriter and producer. After splitting from Edmonds, and after his marriage to Carlene Carter (making him related to Johnny Cash in a cousin in-law way), he slowed down and stalled creatively. He was quite clever, but soon his cleverness became trite. He still was a go-to producer, though, and brought together Ry Cooder and Jim Keltner to work on a John Hiatt record. That record (“Bring The Family”) is the reason we know Hiatt today. That’s just a tidbit of what I could say. I didn’t even mention Brinsley Schwarz…yet…
And here’s a live tidbit!