Nick Lowe, Quiet Please… The New Best Of Nick Lowe
The man with the jukebox brain
A maverick with mainstream appeal, Lowe has charted a course through the winding streets of the pop map for more than three-and-half decades. This compilation stops off at various points of his journey, from the fledgling New Wave of early Stiff Records cuts "So It Goes" and "Heart Of The City" to radio-friendly hits "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass" and "Cruel To Be Kind," to the electric folk of "Rose Of England" and "Lovers 'Jamboree." Later, less celebrated singles "Ragin 'Eyes" and "All Men Are Liars" display a sly wit and a never-failing ear for a catchy tune, while the elegant and mature country of his more recent albums is represented by the sublime "Lately I've Let Things Slide" and "I Trained Her To Love Me."
Solo recordings dominate, but tracks by three of Lowe's bands flesh out the picture. The collection kicks off with the 1974 Brinsley Schwarz original of "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding," which remains a staple of Elvis Costello's live set (though it was the Curtis Stigers cover of the song on the mega-selling Bodyguard soundtrack that brought lifelong financial security). Two tracks from Rockpile's only album remind us they were possibly the best bar band since Creedence Clearwater Revival, while both "Don't Think About Her" and "Fool Who Knows," which Lowe recorded with Ry Cooder and John Hiatt as part of the supergroup project Little Village, reveal themselves to be savvy odes to heartbreak that were cruelly overlooked. A heady brew of beat group stylings, blue-eyed soul, roots rock 'n 'roll and laconic Americana, Lowe has never been shy of wearing his influences on his sleeve while steadfastly remaining his own man.