Punk History [9/6/79]

On this day in 1979 Nick Lowe’s album “Labour Of Lust” was released. The album contained Lowe’s only major hit in the US “Cruel To Be Kind”. At least a half dozen musicians who were or would become famous in their own right played on this album. The style of the record leans toward the pub rock end of the punk rock spectrum.

Nick Lowe started his career in the British pop band Kippington Lodge. After some singles and not much success the band changed their sound to a blues/rock style. They also changed their name to Brinsley Schwarz after their guitar player. Lowe would leave the band in 1975 and have a long career as a songwriter/performer and also as a producer.

One of my favorite collaborations is with the band Rockpile. Rockpile consisted of Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Terry Williams and Billy Bremner. They would record four albums together. Because of different record contracts they were only able to release one album under the “Rockpile” name. The three unofficial records are Dave Edmunds’ albums “Tracks On Wax 4”, “Repeat When Necessary” and Lowe’s album “Labour Of Lust”.

If you have the time here is a 50 minute documentary about four days in the studio with Rockpile.



  1. Great stuff Keitel! I love Rockpile but thinking of them as Punk history, not so sure. I wore out that Rockpile cassette back in the day. I think my favorite tune was the rockabilly song:

    • I have a broad definition of punk. Stiff records first single was by Lowe. They also pressed records by The Damned, The Adverts, Lene Lovich and others. A lot of the pub rock guys put in the leg work at clubs which made it easier for “punk” bands to have a circuit of clubs to play in. NICK LOWE IS PUNK DAMN IT!! lol

  2. For those not familiar with Nick Lowe, Cruel To Be Kind contains footage from his wedding to country royalty princess Carlene Carter, very cool. When I got married my friends’ band played this Nick Lowe song at the wedding.

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