Nick Lowe is a master of the catchy pop song, up there with McCartney and Brian Wilson, these two were obviously great influences on this album, in particular. Some highlights:
Track 1.The opening cut sets the album ablaze right from the start. “So It Goes” was one of the singles
from the album and it sets a pattern for the rest of the album. Fun, verging on, hilarious lyrics, unbelievably catchy melodies that glisten with crystal clear sound/ production, which not only grooves, enticing the listener to jump around in dance, but packs a power pop punch with great singing. Absolutely one of the highlights of the album, “So It Goes” is not only my favorite track on the original American version, but also one of, if not, my favorite Nick Lowe track of all time.
Track 4.“Marie Provost”(sic) is another highlight of “Pure Pop”. The lyric is based on the death of 1920’s silent film actress Marie Prevost (actual spelling) who killed herself and left her poor dog alone to starve. In actuality, the dog, in extreme hunger after a several days without food, nudged, and bit at his owner to try to unsuccessfully arouse Marie so she could feed him and, most likely, out of concern for her, as well. However, the way Lowe tells it, the dog helped himself to her flesh and left only a mangled corpse in his wake. The line “she was a winner, that became the doggie’s dinner”, is absolutely hilarious if, like me, the listener didn’t know the real story of Marie Prevost. The humor of the lyrics along with the instantly memorable melody of the song, make “Marie Provost” an truly great track.
Track 5.“Heart of The City” (the studio version, that is) was another single from the album and another highlight. This song kicks the power pop volume and speed up a few notches. Lyrically discussing seeking out the ladies in the city, the song is also humorous, but it is the fast paced song that rocks and keeps one coming back for repeated listens. This version here (the British version) features the live version of the song.
Track 7.“They Called It Rock” (another single) is another great song featuring fabulous rockabilly guitar by Dave Edmunds. The lyric makes fun of what a rock band has to do in order to get a record contract or get played on the radio. The groove of the music only gets better as the second section of the song breaks out with Lowe listing the demands of each record label. The harmonies are great, even featuring a brief occapella harmony. Truly one of the great Nick Lowe songs.
Track 10.“Nutted By Reality” begins with a hilarious premise: “I heard they castrated Castro” in a disco groove and simple melody that sounds a little out of place on this album, but the melody quickly shifts to another pop/rock melody that fits quite nicely in with the rest of the album, as catchy a melody as any other song on the album, again featuring great harmonies. In this section the castrated Castro is “living in a different world, till I was Nutted By Reality”, of course. Wacky and another highlight of this album.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above is the “Jesus of Cool” English versions is not only the order changing, so that a weak cut like “Music For Money” opens the album, instead of the amazing “So It Goes”, but the far inferior “Heart of the City (Live)” is included instead of the fabulous studio version that was a single. Finally, one of my favorite songs on the album, “They Called It Rock”, the rockabilly guitar, fast paced groove fest, is replaced by an electronic, robotic “Shake and Bop”. Get these tracks today, you won’t be disappointed!