Reason #232: Basher: The Best Of Nick Lowe
As a rule I tend to shy away from including “Best Of” compilations on this list, but in the case of Nick Lowe, I feel I have to. You see, Lowe is far too important an artist to ignore, even if the 1980’s were not his best decade, album wise. Basher (a nickname given to Lowe due to his ability to just ‘bash’ off pop gems one right after another) is one of my all time favorite comps. It is that rarest of things, an absolutely perfect record and the best place to start if you’re interested. It’s top heavy with tracks from his first two albums (Jesus Of Cool and Labour Of Lust), but that’s OK because they, too, are perfect albums.
These songs illustrate Lowe’s McCartneyesque gift for song craft, albeit with a more sarcastic edge. Songs like Cruel to Be Kind, Cracking Up and Big Kick Plain Scrap from Labour Of Lust, and So It Goes and I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass from Jesus Of Cool (along with many others from those two LP’s) sit very nicely with the pick of the litter from those ’80’s records, including some he recorded with supergroup Rockpile: Raging Eyes, Heart, When I Write The Book, Half a Boy And Half A Man, the Rose Of England…a grand total of 25 perfect pop nuggets. Any fan of pop and/or rock music should own a copy.