Six years after Yep Roc Records put Nick Lowe's long-unavailable Labour of Lust on CD, the label is making two more exceptionally rare entries in his discography available once again.
This spring, the label will repress Nick the Knife (1982) and The Abominable Showman (1983) on LP and CD--the first appearance of either album on the latter format in more than 25 years. Both arrive ahead of Yep Roc labelmate Los Straitjackets' new album What's So Funny About Peace, Love and...Los Straitjackets, a collection of 13 covers from Lowe's songbook by the Nashville instrumental guitar band. (Lowe himself will make a cameo on one of the tracks.)
Nick the Knife found the inimitable British songwriter in a bit of a transitional phase after his sole U.S. Top 40 hit "Cruel to Be Kind" in 1979: his band Rockpile had dissolved, although their influence was still present on the album. (Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner and drummer Terry Williams appear throughout the album, and Lowe covers "Heart," from the group's sole credited album, 1980's Seconds of Pleasure.) Longtime Lowe associates Steve Nieve of Elvis Costello's Attractions and Paul Carrack (fresh off a stint with Squeeze on the album East Side Story (1981)) also appear as vocalist/keyboardists, as does Lowe's then-wife, singer Carlene Carter, who also co-wrote the tunes "My Heart Hurts" and "Too Many Teardrops."
The Abominable Showman found Lowe fine-tuning his pub-rock sensibilities even more, working with producer Roger Bechirian and a band that included Carrack, The Rumour guitarist Martin Belmont and drummer Bobby Irwin. (These three, as Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, were the core lineup for the rest of Lowe's recorded output throughout the 1980s.) Carter again appears on The Abominable Showman, singing harmonies along singer-songwriter-producer Simon Climie on "Time Wounds All Heels" (which Lowe, Carter and Fisher all wrote).
Both reissues will be available April 7. Pre-order links are below!
Nick the Knife (originally released as F-Beat XXLP-14 (U.K.)/Columbia PC 37932 (U.S.), 1982 - reissued Yep Roc Records, 2017)
- Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine
- Queen of Sheba
- My Heart Hurts
- Couldn't Love You (Any More Than I Do)
- Let Me Kiss Ya
- Too Many Teardrops
- Ba Doom
- Raining Raining
- One's Too Many (And a Hundred Ain't Enough)
- Zulu Kiss
The Abominable Showman (originally released as F-Beat XXLP-18 (U.K.)/Columbia PC 38589, 1983 - reissued Yep Roc Records, 2017)
- We Want Action
- Ragin' Eyes
- Cool Reaction
- Time Wounds All Heels
- (For Every Woman Who Ever Made a Fool of a Man There's a Woman Made a) Man of a Fool
- Wish You Were Here
- Chicken and Feathers
- Paid the Price
- Mess Around With Love
- Saint Beneath the Paint
- How Do You Talk to An Angel