Nick Lowe has probably the greatest ear for melody in the modern world – but this is not just a pop melody composing genius – This is also a very clever man with a sense of humour: Example? When David Bowie released an album called Low, Nick responded with an album called Bowi.
Born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on 24 April 1949, Lowe started his first group in 1963, Sound 4 Plus 1, with Brinsley Schwarz, while both were at school in Woodbridge.
Soon after, Lowe left school with the intention of travelling, and Schwarz returned to Tunbridge Wells to form a band called Three’s Company which became Kippington Lodge after they signed a record deal with EMI.
After Kippington Lodge’s first single, Shy Boy, Lowe joined the group. They made four more singles, none of which were successful – the band being compelled to tour as Billie Davis‘ backing group just to subsist.
In a last-ditch attempt to avoid extinction, Kippington Lodge changed their name to Brinsley Schwarz in September 1969 and released over 60 tracks – 40 of which were written by Lowe, the lead vocalist and bass player. The band finally decided to call it a day with a final gig at London’s Marquee Club on 18 March 1975.
While recovering the impetus to re-enter the arena of live rock & roll, Lowe amused himself by writing songs, playing sessions, producing Graham Parker and the Rumour albums and releasing whimsical pop singles as The Tartan Horde and The Disco Brothers.
Lowe became house-producer and recording artist at Stiff Records in August 1976, recording two singles, one EP and miscellaneous album tracks for people like Wreckless Eric, The Damned and Magic Michael.
Lowe also played at the first Mont de Marsan Annual Punk Festival in October 1976 in a makeshift band called The Girls.
Lowe nurtured the early career of Elvis Costello, produced Dr Feelgood and played and recorded with Rockpile– a band publicly unveiled in December 1976 as a temporary unit (featuring Dave Edmunds, Terry Williams and Billy Bremner).
He also participated in the Live Stiffs tour in October and November 1977 in an ad hoc band called Last Chicken In The Shop.
In December 1977, Lowe left Stiff for Radar and made the Top 10 single I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass and then recording his debut solo album, Jesus Of Cool, which yielded the giant hit Cruel To Be Kind. To protect American sensibilities, the album was renamed Pure Pop For Now People when released in the USA.
Labour Of Lust, his second album, was released in July 1979 and the single from it, Cracking Up, was a chart hit in England and Australia.
Nick Lowe has been a major architect of perfect pop since the mid-70s and possesses an unmatched understanding of the pure principles of quality pop music.