Reader Paul Pickard recommended this one. Big thank you, Paul!
And there's a first time for everything—I (me!) actually bought an album of Christmas music, which goes to show you that even the reprobate can be redeemed.
It's Nick Lowe's Quality Street. I'm mystified by the title, which seems calculated to help the album not make money. But it's delightful to catch up with Nick Lowe again after many years—I remember hunting down the European vinyl version of Jesus of Cool many years ago. The years have been good to Nick's voice and musicianly skills; Quality Street is a gem.
Here's Nick talking briefly about "Rise Up Shepherd":
It's kind of comical that I possess two Christmas albums, and one is by Low and the other by Lowe.
And both happen to contain "Silent Night," which is the "Yesterday" of Christmas songs (Nick says there have been more than 3,000 covers). "Silent Night" is best when it's played straight, as it's a beautiful song and deserves to be played as such, but I just love Nick Lowe's uptempo rockabilly version. Nick himself calls the arrangement "irresistable" and I agree. Here's the link if you want to hear that one.
Consider buying the CD, as Nick's a working musician.
(Thanks to Paul Pickard)
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Featured Comments from:
Mike A: "Another selection enjoyed at Christmas called Quality Street. I think just about everyone in the UK would get it!"
Mike replies: Ah, so it's a UK thing. I get it. Thanks.
Bob Zimmerman: "Nick Lowe is a working musician and a damn good, if lazy one, at that. His solo career, particularly throughout the '80s, was wonderful in that his records always sounded like they were done in one take and then released, warts and all.
"My favorite story (and I think it's more story than fact) is Nick going to the mailbox one day in 1994 to discover a royalty check for a million bucks. Curtis Stigers recorded a dreadful cover of 'What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding' for The Bodyguard soundtrack. Since Nick The Knife was the composer he scored on the songwriting royalties. The album has gone on to sell 45 million copies worldwide. I'm guessing he's gotten several more of those million dollar checks. Sometimes the good guys do win!"
Mike Chisholm: "On Low/Lowe, I presume you know Nick Lowe brought out an EP in 1977 titled 'Bowi,' as a response to Bowie's album 'Low.' Heh.... Don't think they'd let you do that, these days."
Steve P.: "Among other gems Nick Lowe wrote the classic song 'The Beast In Me' for his then-father-in-law Johnny Cash. For this alone he deserves his place in the rock and roll hall of fame."
Mike replies: I never knew that. Thanks, Steve.