Sunday, August 14, 2016

40 Year Itch : 50-Thousand Watts

Nick Lowe : So It Goes

On August 14, 1976 Stiff Records was launched with the release of the Nick Lowe single "So It Goes/ Heart of the City". Recorded for forty-five pounds, with The Rumour's Steve Goulding on drums and Nick Lowe doing everything else,  "So It Goes" was named the Star Single of the Week by Sounds Magazine, which  went on to call the B-side  an "A-1 smash". 

The song didn't chart, but it marked the beginning of a new sound, which Lowe described as "clever words over a simple rhythm", and a label with such a tongue-in-cheek promotional style, they'd soon announce "if it ain't Stiff, it ain't worth a fuck".

"So It Goes" sold 10,000 copies, just enough to keep Stiff Records in business. IN November the label would release the first punk single, The Damned's "New Rose". In 1977, Stiff would sign Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury and Elvis Costello, whose first five albums would be produced by Lowe.

Says co-founder Dave Robinson:

  The idea of Stiff was to be a conduit for people who could not find the music business any other way. My theory was that there was an Elvis Presley out there, but he's working in a factory in Coventry and he doesn't know how to get in touch with me.


  1. 40 years old and still fresh as a daisy

  2. Nearly as good as "reeling in the years" by Steely Dan