Saturday, June 25, 2011

#34 Nick Lowe "I Love My Label" 1977

The lead off track to the 1977 Stiff Records compilation A Bunch of Stiff Records, Nick Lowe's " I Love My Label" is getting a lot of  attention more than 30 years later because Wilco has chosen to cover the song as the B side to their new single "I Might".

   Among the lines in the song:

 They always ask for lots of songs/Of no more than 2:50 long/So I wrote 'em some
They never talk behind my back/And they're always playing my new tracks/When I come along

  It's probably safe to assume the lyrics shouldn't be taken at face value. On the other hand, Lowe helped establish Stiff Records ( and the careers of The Damned, Wreckless Eric and Elvis Costello) . On the other other hand he left Stiff the first chance he got. On the other other other hand, he never found great success as a recording star. But on the fifth other hand, after Curtis Stigers recorded his Brinsley Schwarz era tune "What' So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" Lowe may have fallen in love with business all over again.

  He made a remarkable trip to the mailbox, opened a letter, read the numbers on a check and discovered he was a millionaire. The Stigers version appears on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard which sold between 15 and 17 million copies.

  Of course Wilco has had its share of label problems. In 2001 Reprise rejected Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The album would go on to win the Village Voice Pazz and Jop critics poll for best album of 2002. They seemed to have a decent relationship with Nonsuch since then, but this year Wilco will release an album on their own label: DBpm Records.

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