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Lowe, Nick

Nick Lowe

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer

The Force Behind Stiff

Solo Career Followed Rockpile

Nervy Songwriting

Entered 90s with a Bang

Selected discography

Sources

Multi-faceted Nick Lowethe English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producerhas usually made more of a mark on pop history than pop charts, a contributor to Creem once wrote. As a producer, Lowe is considered one of the main forces behind the English New Wave movement of the 1970s, producing records by New Wave progenitors Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, and the Pretenders. As a songwriter, his songs have been recorded by many artists, especially on the British label Stiff Records, which showcased New Wave talent in the 1970s. Lowe began his own solo performing career around 1978 and caused a flurry with two acclaimed albums that launched a short-lived music phase called power pop. Irwin Stambler in The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul wrote that Lowes diverse talents perhaps stood in the way of his making more of an impact as a performer. Its possible that had Nick Lowe not demonstrated abilities in so many areas of pop music, from record production to performing, that he might have made his mark as a superstar during the 1970s. As it was, he set a hectic pace for himself that crammed more into each year than many people in the field achieve in a career.

Lowe started playing guitar in bands while a teenager, and around 1965 formed a group called Kippington Lodge with his school chum, guitarist Brinsley Schwarz. The group reorganized and took the name Brinsley Schwarz in 1969, and became a central band among what was a burgeoning pub circuit in Great Britain during the early 1970s. A cult favorite, Brinsley Schwarz bore heavy influences of American country-rock music, such as that performed by Neil Young. Lowes contributions to the group were many; aside from revealing his versatility as a musicianLowe played base as well as guitarBrinsley Schwarzs 1970 debut album notes listed Lowe as the writer or cowriter of all the songs. On their follow-up album, Lowe wrote all but one of the cuts. While with Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe also began working with guitarist-singer Dave Edmunds, who produced the groups 1974 album, The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz, and who collaborated with the groupunder the name The Electricianson the soundtrack to the 1974 David Bowie film, Ziggy Stardust.

The Force Behind Stiff

Brinsley Schwarz split up in 1975; Lowe began working as a singer, songwriter, recording engineer, and producer for Stiff Records, the pioneering British New

For the Record

Born March 25, 1949, in England; son of a Royal Air Force officer; married Carlene Carter (country singer), 1979 (marriage ended).

Guitarist and songwriter with group Kippington Lodge, 1965-69; guitarist and songwriter with group Brinsley Schwarz, 1969-75; formed Modern Boys Productions, 1975; producer, recording engineer, and songwriter for Stiff Records, beginning mid-1970s; guitarist with group Rockpile, beginning 1977; solo producer and performing and recording artist, 1978; joined supergroup Little Village, with John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, and Jim Keltner, 1991.

Awards: Citation from the Daily Mirror (London), 1978, for most outstanding contribution to pop music of the year.

Addresses: Record company Warner Bros., 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019-9608.

Wave label of the 1970s. Stiff signed a number of promising New Wave acts, and as Stambler noted, drew on Lowes experience to help develop showcase recordings for many of them. The label released various sampler records, which featured Lowe productions and original compositions. Included among the stable of Stiff artists was Elvis Costello, perhaps the most influential of New Wave artists, whose first three albums were produced by Lowe. Lowe also produced Graham Parkers debut album, the debut single of the Pretenders, and what is widely considered the first British punk album, Damned Damned Damned by The Damned. Robert Palmer wrote in the New York Times that Lowe was important as a producer and molder of raw talent at Stiff. His somewhat unorthodox methods involved putting off-beat but distinctive artists together with solid bands (often including some of his former associates), helping them work out concise arrangements that held most of their songs to under three minutes, and recording them very intensively, often knocking out an album in a week or two.

Solo Career Followed Rockpile

In 1978 Lowe formed the short-lived group Rockpile with Edmunds, which also included guitarist Billy Bremner and drummer Terry Williams. Rockpile, with Lowe on base, became a popular touring band in Great Britain and the United States, opening for Elvis Costello and the American group Blondie, and displayed Lowes and Edmundss masterful range of rock and roll influences. Lowe also launched his solo career in 1978 with an album entitled Jesus of Cool in England, released in the United States as Pure Pop for Now People. The album, backed by Rockpile, was heralded as an accomplished amalgamation of various rock influences, and many critics placed Lowe at the helm of an influential movement called power-pop that combined the classic rock and roll of the late 1950s with melodious modern pop strains. According to Perry Meisel in the Village Voice, Lowes Pure Pop for Now People demonstrated a command of more styles of rocking than any honest artiste is supposed to have. Coupled with his similarly acclaimed 1979 album Labour of Lust, Lowe gained the nickname The Basher, in reference to his open invasion of rock styles of the past; Lowes studio motto, as James Henke reported in Rolling Stone, was to bash it now; tart it up later. Lowe explained his bashing to Palmer: I hear things, and sometimes I consciously steal them. But I make a distinction: I tend to copy a feeling or a style rather than a certain record of some bloke who happens to be popular.

Nervy Songwriting

Lowes solo career made it possible to showcase not only his performing abilities, but his songwriting talents, which had been obscured over the years. Among his trademark songs are Cruel To Be KindLowes only American Top Forty singleSo It Goes, Marie Provost, I Knew the Bride, and (Whats So Funny Bout) Peace, Love and Understandingone of Costellos signature songsall featuring Lowes characteristic nervy and eccentric lyrics. In a review of Lowes 1982 first New York City performance since the break-up of Rockpile, Palmer noted in the New York Times that the concert was a chance to appreciate the batch of witty, ingeniously constructed, exceptionally tuneful songs he has written since he began making singles for Stiff Records in the mid-1970s. Palmer added that Lowes newer songs werent as cutting or as demented as some of his earlier material, but they are as finely crafted as anything he has done.

Throughout the 1980s Lowe continued to release albums, though 1982s Nick the Knife and the following years The Abominable Showman were generally panned as lacking many of the qualities of his first solo albums. Regarding The Abominable Showman, Mitchell Cohen complained in Creem that the nastiness and gleeful perversity of Lowes earlier work was absent, and that hed pretty much stripped his pop of the impurities that brought Pure Pop for Now People to life. Lowe himself was disappointed with the records. I was bored doing my own stuff, he told Jim Farber in the Daily News. With the sort of music I do, its very hard to bluff that youre having a good time. An important ingredient in my music is that spark of enthusiasm, which you cant buy in shops. So the last two records sounded kind of labored. Lowe successfully rebounded, however, with 1984s Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, which showed a rejuvenated rock & roll sensibility, said Kurt Loder in Rolling Stone, and demonstrated rock & roll composed and performed with real commitment to form, not a semi-sarcastic contempt for it.

Entered 90s with a Bang

Lowe continues to record and produce music his own way and has not acquiesced to popular tastes. His 1990 album, Party of One, is, in the opinion of Musician contributor Charles M. Young, undoubtedly [his] finest albumhilarious, full of hooks, wonderfully quirky. Lowe once told Farber his working credo: I dig the stuff I do. Theres no one who does similar music, and so I shall continue to do it. Lowe has also expressed contempt for much of todays popular music. There seems to be a sound which all records have got to have nowadays in order to get on the radio, he told Karen Schlosberg in Creem. The best records, I think, have a sort of spontaneity and a little element of the human being at work; Im not interested in getting it all right, all correct. I listen to the radio nowadays and I keep on dying to hear a record with a mistake on it.

Selected discography

With Brinsley Schwarz

Brinsley Schwarz, 1970.

Despite It All, 1971.

Silver Pistol, 1972.

Nervous on the Road, 1972.

Please Dont Ever Change, United Artists, 1973.

The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1974.

(With Dave Edmunds) Ziggy Stardust (film soundtrack), 1974.

Brinsley Schwarz (contains Brinsley Schwarz and Despite It All), Capitol, 1978.

Fifteen Thoughts of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1978.

With Rockpile

Seconds of Pleasure, c. 1979.

Solo albums

Bowi (EP; a response to David Bowies LP, Low), Stiff Records, c. 1977.

Pure Pop for Now People (released in England as Jesus of Cool; includes So It Goes and Marie Provost), Columbia, 1978.

Labour of Lust (includes Cruel To Be Kind), Columbia, 1979.

Nick the Knife, Columbia, 1982.

The Abominable Showman, Columbia, 1983.

Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, Columbia, 1984.

16 All-Time Lowes, Demon, 1985.

The Rose of England (includes I Knew the Bride), Columbia, 1985.

Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, Columbia, 1988.

Party of One, Warner Brothers, 1990.

Contributed to Bunch of Stiffs, Stiff Live Stiffs, and Hits Greatest Stiffs, all Stiff Records, all 1977. Also recorded Americathon: Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Lorimar Records, 1979.

Sources

Books

The Rock n Roll Years, Crescent Books, 1990.

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, edited by Jon Pareles and Patricia Romanowski, Rolling Stone Press, 1983.

Stambler, Irwin, The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock, and Soul, revised edition, St. Martins, 1987.

Periodicals

Creem, June 1983; March 1986.

Daily News, August 14, 1984.

Down Beat, November 1979; May 1990.

Musician, October 1985; June 1990.

New York Times, July 22, 1979; March 26, 1982; March 29, 1982; August 8, 1984.

People, June 20, 1988; April 16, 1990.

Rolling Stone, June 29, 1978; September 20, 1979; May 27, 1982; July 5, 1984; September 12, 1985.

Stereo Review, June 1988.

Village Voice, July 23, 1979; April 3, 1990.

Michael E. Mueller

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Lowe, Nick

Nick Lowe

Singer, songwriter

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Mention Nick Lowe to any fan of the new wave and punk rock movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s and you will most likely send them into a nostalgic journey. There is Nick Lowe the English singer, songwriter, bass guitarist, and band member of the pioneering British pub-rock group Brinsley Schwartz; Nick Lowe the ground breaking solo artist; and of course Nick Lowe, record producer extrodinare, godfather of all that was new wave. Lowe lead the pack when punk rock and new wave came alive in the late 1970s, the genius behind the legendary production company Stiff Records with artists that included Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the Pretenders, and the Damned. Artists as varied as Johnny Cash, Rod Stewart, and Curtis Stigers have recorded his songs. As a musician he has managed to reinvent himself several times over his career, never allowing himself to run out of new ideas or new musical interests.

Lowe first hit the stage with a group called Kippington Lodge in 1965. Lowe was the primary songwriter and bass guitarist of the band, which included his friend, guitarist Brinsley Schwartz. Kippington Lodge released five singles on Parla phone before evolving into Brinsley Schwartz in 1969. The group was at ground zero when London pub-rock exploded onto the scene in the early 1970s. It was with Brinsley Schwarz that Lowe first worked with Dave Edmunds. Edmunds produced the groups 1974 album, The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarzand, as The Electricians, played with the group on the soundtrack to David Bowies 1974 film, Ziggy Stardust.

By the mid-70s Lowe was a veteran of the London pub-rock scene and ready to focus his talents on production. In 1976, Lowe formed Stiff Records with Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson. He told Margit Detweiler of Philadelphia City Paper Interactive that he got the job at Stiff Records as a producer because, simply, out of the three people who started it, Id had more studio experience. Lowe would use his own talents as a musician, songwriter, and singer while honing his engineering and production skills. On any typical day at Stiff, he told Detweiler, The door would open and in would come who knows what. They would maybe only have a title or a snatch of a tune, but, generally, they had bags of attitude. So Id get the guitar out and work their thing up into some kind of demonstration of what they could do.

Stiffsand Lowesfirst release, Heart of the City/ So it Goes sold out of its first pressing. Lowes studio productions and original songs would carry the label through its nascent stages. Most notable among his protegees was Elvis Costello, whose first five albums were produced by Lowe. Lowe turned the dials during the recording of Graham Parkers first album, Stop Your Sobbing by the Pretenders, and British punk pioneers the Damneds Damned Damned Damned. It was the initial success of Stiffs first singles that helped spawn the large independent label industry in London. Major labels were scrambling thereafter to catch up with the new British Punk Rock and new wave mania and profit from its new stars.

In 1977, Lowe and Edmunds co-founded the near super group Rockpile. The band became a popular touring band in Great Britain and the United Sates, opening for Elvis Costello, Blondie, and the Cars. As a warm up band they tended to overshadow the featured artists. Lowe told Detweiler, We had so much of a better time than the groups we were opening for. Theyd tell us, Youre going down too well. So wed have to play shorter. Well, they couldnt have done anything worse, we just took out our two rather crappy tunes and hit the ground running with our full-on blasting sets for 20 minutes.

Due to contractual obligations, Rockpiles several recorded works were released as either Lowe or Edmunds solo albums. The band garnered both critical and popular acclaim with their heady brew of rock influences. But when the band seemed on the verge of stardom, Lowe would explain to Mim Udovitch of Esquire, I ran a mile. Lowes other talents in production allowed him to escape stardom. He told Udovitch Theres no more exciting

For the Record

Born March 24, 1949, in Walton-On-Thames, Surrrey, England; son of a Royal Air Force officer; married country singer Carlene Carter (daughter of Johnny Cash), 1979, later divorced.

Guitarist and songwriter with group Kippington Lodge, 1965-69; bassist and songwriter with group Brinsley Schwarz, 1969-75; formed Modern Boys Productions, 1975; co-founded Stiff Records, 1975; bassist with group Rockpile, beginning 1977; bassist with Little Village, with John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, and Jim Keltner, 1991-92.

Addresses: Record Company Warner Bros., 75 Rockefeler Plaza, New York, NY 10019-9608.

time than being just about to make it. Not being known is not much fun, and being famous and well known isnt much fun. But just being on that cusp is great. Whatever you can do to extend that, its the best place to be.

In 1977, Riviera left Stiff, and Lowe and Costello formed the Radar Label. The debut release of the newly formed label was Lowes first solo album, Jesus of Cool in England and Pure Pop For Now People in the United States. The album, more or less Rockpiles debut release, was widely praised by critics, and ushered in the burgeoning power-pop rock sub-genre. The album produced the British smash hit I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass. He followed the first albums success with the 1979 release of Labour of Lust of which yielded his only top 40 hit in the United States, Cruel to Be Kind, and the British hit Cracking Up.

Lowes studio style earned him the nickname Basher for his proclivity towards borrowing from past artists. Lowe, however, would later explain to Michael Gelfand of Musician that no one can get to the source of it all. Not even Ray Charles or Bob Dylan or Johnny Cashyou know, the signpost artists. They got it from someplace else. It goes back and back and back. Everyones just doing reruns of their own influences. After a busy decade of producing, writing tunes, and touring with bands, Lowe married country singer Carlene Carterdaughter of Johnny Cashin 1979.

In the early 1980s, Lowe continued producing for the likes of John Hiatt, Paul Carrack, the Fabulous Thunder-birds, and his wife Carlene Carter. For most of the decade, Lowe was known more for his production credits than his solo releases. His solo efforts seemed rushed as he devoted more and more of his time to producing. Personally he was increasingly frustrated with his own music, telling Udovitch I was only operating on two or three cylinders, and if I tried to get serious, then I didnt like it. While operating one or two cylinders short, Nick Lowe only increased his catalogue of flop albums in the 1980s. His slump would actually help him get back to the more relaxed independent labels that he knew and enjoyed. Lowe told Detweiler that his label, Warner Brothers, just said Have some money and go away, which was fantastic. Lowe was uncomfortable with the blitz of public appearances that are associated with major record label releases.

In the 1990s, Lowe began to regain his perspective explaining to Detweiler, OK, Ive got my little pop star thing out of the way, learned a thing or two, but now its time for me to do something thats actually good. Lowe released The Impossible Birdin 1994, arguably his best work to date. The album includes his own rendition of Beast in Me, a song he had written for Johnny Cash. Lowes biggest financial success to date came when Curtis Stigers covered his song (Whats So Funny Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, for the soundtrack to the Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston film, The Bodyguard. Lowe received millions of dollars in royalties for the song, which hit pay dirt the first time when Costello recorded it in 1979.

In 1998, Lowe released his tenth solo album, Dig My Mood. The album explores a range of styles from blues, jazz, soul, and country. Coupled with his 1994 release, Impossible Bird, it marked a new direction for Lowe. As the new lounge movement was heading into the mainstream the now silver-haired Lowe found himself once again at the lead. As to the secret of his long term success, he told Udovitch, I havent done my best stuff yet, and reflects, Theres not many (artists from the 1970s) where you feel that their story is still unraveling somehow.

Selected discography

With Brinsley Schwarz

Brinsley Schwartz, 1970.

Despite It All, 1971.

Silver Pistol, 1972.

Nervous on the Road, 1972.

Please Dont Ever Change, United Artists, 1973.

The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1974.

(As The Electricians)Ziggy Stardust (soundtrack), 1974.

Brinsley Schwarz, Capitol, 1978.

Fifteen Thoughts of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1978.

With Rockpile

Seconds of Pleasure, Columbia, 1979.

Solo albums

Pure Pop for Now People (includes So it Goes and Marie Provost), Columbia, 1978; released in England as Jesus of Cool, Radar, 1978.

Labour of Lust (includes Cruel To Be Kind), Columbia, 1979.

Nick the Knife, Columbia, 1982.

The Abominable Showman, Columbia, 1983.

Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, Columbia, 1984.

16 All-Time Lowes, Demon, 1985.

The Rose of England (includes I Knew the Bride), Columbia, 1985.

Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, Columbia, 1988.

Party of One, Warner Brothers, 1990.

Impossible Bird, 1994.

Dig My Mood, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

Down Beat, August 1998.

Esquire, July 1998.

Guitar Player, July 1998

Musician, December 1998

Rolling Stone, August 20, 1998.

Online

City Paper Interactive, June 6, 1998; www.cpcn.com

CDNOW, January 8, 1999; www.cdnow.com

Rounder Records, January 8, 1999; www.rounder.com

Tige Cosmos

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"Lowe, Nick." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Lowe, Nick

Nick Lowe

Singer, songwriter, guitar player

Mention Nick Lowe to any fan of the new wave and punk rock movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s and you will most likely send them on a nostalgic journey. There is Nick Lowe, the English singer, songwriter, bass guitarist, and band member of the pioneering British pub-rock group Brinsley Schwartz; there is Nick Lowe, the groundbreaking solo artist; and of course Nick Lowe, record producer extraordinaire, godfather of all that was new wave. Lowe led the pack when punk rock and new wave peaked in the late 1970s, as the genius behind the legendary production company Stiff Records, with artists that included Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the Pretenders, and the Damned. Artists as varied as Johnny Cash, Rod Stewart, and Curtis Stigers have recorded his songs. As a musician he has managed to reinvent himself several times over his career, never allowing himself to run out of new ideas or musical interests.

Lowe first hit the stage with a group called Kippington Lodge in 1965. He was the primary songwriter and bass guitarist of the band, which included his friend, guitarist Brinsley Schwarz. Kippington Lodge released five singles on Parlaphone before evolving into Brinsley Schwarz in 1969. The group was at ground zero when London pub-rock exploded onto the scene in the early 1970s. It was with Brinsley Schwarz that Lowe first worked with Dave Edmunds. Edmunds produced the group's 1974 album The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz and, as The Electricians, played with the group on the soundtrack to David Bowie's 1974 film Ziggy Stardust.

By the mid-1970s Lowe was a veteran of the London pub-rock scene, ready to focus his talents on production. In 1976, Lowe formed Stiff Records with Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson. He told Margit Detweiler of Philadelphia City Paper Interactive that he got the job at Stiff Records as a producer "because, simply, out of the three people who started it, I'd had more studio experience." Lowe used his own talents as a musician, songwriter, and singer while honing his engineering and production skills. On any typical day at Stiff, he told Detweiler, "The door would open and in would come who knows what. They would maybe only have a title or a snatch of a tune, but, generally, they had bags of attitude. So I'd get the guitar out and work their thing up into some kind of demonstration of what they could do."

Stiff's—and Lowe's—first release, "Heart of the City"/"So it Goes," sold out its first pressing. Lowe's studio productions and original songs carried the label through its nascent stages. Most notable among his protégées was Elvis Costello, whose first five albums were produced by Lowe. Lowe turned the dials during the recording of Graham Parker and the Rumour's debut album, Howlin' Wind, the remake of the Kinks' single "Stop Your Sobbing" by the Pretenders and British punk group the Damned's Damned Damned and single "New Rose," often considered the first British punk single. It was initial success of Stiff's first singles that helped spawn the large independent label industry in London.

In 1977 Lowe and Edmunds co-founded the group Rockpile. The band became a popular touring Great band in Great Britain and the United Sates, opening for Elvis Costello, Blondie, and the Cars. As a warm-u band they tended to overshadow many of the featured artists. Lowe told Detweiler, "We had so much of a better time than the groups we were open for. They'd tell us, 'You're going down too well.' So we'd have to play shorter. Well, they couldn't have done anything worse, we just took our two rather crappy tunes and hit the ground running with our blasting sets for twenty minutes."

Due to contractual obligations, Rockpile's several recorded works were released as either Lowe or Edmunds solo albums. The band garnered both critical and popular acclaim with their heady brew of rock influences, but broke up just when the band seemed on the verge of stardom. Lowe later blamed a clash of personalities with his old chum Edmunds, but discussed the breakup further with Creem interviewer Bill Holdship: "I knew what the real reason was. I think we all did. We had reached the point where we finally had to do some work. We had five or six years of not really working at all. We were more or less 'working at it'—you know, working at being a band." Despite the eventual rancor between band members, Rockpile consistently performed impeccably. Even during their long estrangement, Lowe credited Edmunds for teaching him the basics of record production.

Of his success, Lowe told Udovitch, "There's no more exciting time than being just about to make it. Not being known is not much fun, and being famous an well-known isn't much fun. But just being on that cusp is great. Whatever you can do to extend that, it's the best place to be."

For the Record …

Born on March 24, 1949, in Walton-On-Thames, Surrrey, England; son of a Royal Air Force officer; married country singer Carlene Carter (daughter of June Carter), 1979 (divorced).

Guitarist and songwriter with group Kippington Lodge, 1965–69; bassist and songwriter with group Brinsley Schwarz, 1969–75; formed Modern Boys Productions, 1975; co-founded Stiff Records, 1975; bassist with group Rockpile, beginning 1977; bassist with Little Village, with John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, and Jim Keltner, 1991–92; released The Impossible Bird, 1994; released Dig My Mood, 1998; released The Convincer, 2001.

Addresses: Record company—Yep Roc Records, web-site: http://www.yeproc.com; phone: (336) 578-7300, ext. 204. Publicist—The Press Network, phone: (615) 463-9730.

In 1977 Riviera left Stiff, and Lowe and Costello formed the Radar Label. The debut release of the newly formed label was Lowe's first solo album, released Jesus of Cool in England and as Pure Pop F Now People in the United States. The album, more Rockpile's debut release, was widely praised by critics and ushered in the burgeoning "power-pop" rock subgenre. The album produced the British smash ht "I Love the Sound Of Breaking Glass." Lowe followed the first album's success with the 1979 release of Labour of Lust, which yielded his only top 40 hit in the United States, "Cruel to Be Kind," and the British hit "Cracking Up."

Lowe's production methods earned him the nickname "Basher" for his ability to "bash out" songs one after another with seeming effortlessness. In 1979, after a busy decade of producing, writing tunes, and touring with bands, Lowe married country singer Carlene Carter, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash and daughter of June Carter and Carl Smith. Carter had moved to England to launch her own recording career, beginning with a debut album that featured support from Lowe, Rockpile's Terry Williams, Graham Parker, and members of the Rumour.

In the early 1980s Lowe continued producing for the likes of John Hiatt, Paul Carrack, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Carter. For most of the decade, Lowe was known more for his production credits than his solo releases. His solo efforts seemed rushed as he devoted more and more of his time to producing, and he had succumbed to a debilitating drinking problem. While operating one or two cylinders short of his usual level, Lowe increased his catalogue of flop albums in the 1980s, but the slump actually helped him get back to the more relaxed independent labels that he knew and enjoyed.

In the 1990s Lowe began to regain his perspective, explaining to Detweiler, "OK, I've got my little pop star thing out of the way, learned a thing or two, but now its time for me to do something that's actually good." Lowe released The Impossible Bird in 1994, arguably one of his best works. The album included his own rendition of "Beast in Me," a song he had written for Johnny Cash. He also reaped a financial windfall when Curtis Stigers covered his song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" for the soundtrack to the Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard. Lowe received millions of dollars in royalties for the song, which was originally recorded by Lowe as a member of Brinsley Schwarz.

In 1998 Lowe released his tenth solo album, Dig My Mood, an album that explored a range of styles from blues, jazz, soul, and country. Coupled with his 1994 release of Impossible Bird, it marked a new direction. As the new lounge movement was heading into the mainstream, the now silver-haired Lowe found himself once again in the lead. In 2001 he recorded his debut album for the Yep Roc label, The Convincer, which marked a conclusion of sorts to a trilogy begun with The Impossible Bird. His fondness for 1960s folk rock was represented in a cover of Johnny Rivers's "Poor Side of Town." He also used The Convincer to display a return to the cheekiness of much of his earlier work, telling Udovitch, "I haven't done my best stuff yet."

Selected discography

With Brinsley Schwarz

Brinsley Schwartz, 1970.
Despite It All, 1971.
Silver Pistol, 1972.
Nervous on the Road, 1972.
Please Don't Ever Change, United Artists, 1973.
The New Favorites of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1974.
(As The Electricians) Ziggy Stardust (soundtrack), 1974.
Brinsley Schwarz, Capitol, 1978.
Fifteen Thoughts of Brinsley Schwarz, United Artists, 1978.

With Rockpile

Seconds of Pleasure, Columbia, 1979.

Solo albums

Pure Pop for Now People, Columbia, 1978; released in England as Jesus of Cool, Radar, 1978.
Labour of Lust, Columbia, 1979.
Nick the Knife, Columbia, 1982.
The Abominable Showman, Columbia, 1983.
Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, Columbia, 1984.
16 All-Time Lowes, Demon, 1985.
The Rose of England, Columbia, 1985.
Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, Columbia, 1988.
Party of One, Upstart, 1990.
Impossible Bird, Fiend, 1994.
Dig My Mood, Yep Roc, 1998.
The Convincer, Yep Roc, 1998.
Untouched Takeaway, Yep Roc, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

Creem, May 1982.

Down Beat, August 1998.

Esquire, July 1998.

Guitar Player, July 1998.

Musician, December 1998.

Rolling Stone, August 20, 1998.

Online

City Paper Interactive, http://www.cpcn.com (June 6, 1998).

"NIick Lowe," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (July 6, 2006).

Nick Lowe Home Page, http:/www.nicklowe.net (July 6, 2006).

Rounder Records, http://www.rounder.com (July 6, 2006).

Yep Roc Home Page, http://www.yeproc.com (July 6, 2006).

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"Lowe, Nick." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Lowe, Nick." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/lowe-nick-1

"Lowe, Nick." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved October 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/lowe-nick-1