I’ve got a severe soft spot in my heart for Nick Lowe, who was one of the first dudes I ever listened to with heavy regularity when I got out of my metal/prog listening phase in high school and jumped headfirst into college radio DJ-dom. His playing, singing and songwriting never seemed anything but effortless; his stuff simply made me feel good. His two albums from the late ’70s, “Jesus of Cool” and “Labour of Lust”, plus his work with Rockpile that resulted in the album “Seconds Of Pleasure”, made me a lifelong devotee, and while his later material never resonated with me in the way that those other records I just mentioned, I’m a lifelong fan and will freely and blindly acknowledge that he can do no wrong.
I was thrilled when I found out about the now-out-of-print late-’70s collection “The Wilderness Years”, all recorded in ‘77 but released in ‘91. About the CD, Allmusic sez:
“Between the disbanding of Brinsley Schwarz in 1974 and the formation of Rockpile in 1977, Nick Lowe recorded a lot, attempting to settle on a sound. Simultaneously, he became the house producer at Stiff Records, where he became notorious for his raw, quickly produced records. That attitude shines through on ‘The Wilderness Years’, a compilation of singles, outtakes, covers, rarities, and demos Lowe recorded during this year. With the exception of ‘Pure Pop/Jesus of Cool’, no other record captures Lowe’s sense of humor or love of pop music quite as well. Divided equally between gems and glorious throwaways, ‘The Wilderness Years is all over the place’, but that’s its charm…In fact, Nick doesn’t think much of any of this material, but an artist isn’t always the best judge of his own work — he rarely got any better than he did here.”
There are seven mp3s here, which should leave you on an mp3 bender. Enjoy!
(I'll admit, I got totally sucked into the Bruce McCullough mp3s too.)