Wednesday , February 21 2024
Legacy's new remastering of this pub/roots/new wave classic. . .

Rockpile, Seconds of Pleasure

Picked up a copy of the new remastering of Rockpile’s Seconds of Pleasure this week. I owned CBS’ early cheapy issuing of this pub/roots/new wave classic, but I was pulled into buying the new edition by the addition of three new live tracks and the promise of brighter sound. On both, the cd delivers.
Rockpile was the quartet that for years had served as the musical vehicle for Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, two savvy pop-rockers who both had a string of sterling releases in the midst of the late seventies/early eighties DIY movement. The year before Seconds‘ release, for instance, Edmunds and Lowe each released albums under their own name (Repeat When Necessary and Labor of Lust, respectively) that still hold up as models of wit and good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ rolling. Fans of both artists (myself included) held such high hopes for the Rockpile release when it was first announced that it couldn’t help but fail to fully meet those expectations when it actually hit the stores. Under the official Rockpile affiliation, the boys “merely” put out another exemplary set of rockin’ music: clever originals (e.g. Lowe’s “When I Write the Book” and rootsy covers. They even allowed guitarist Billy Bremner to sing on the hard-driving “Heart,” a song Lowe would later reggae up and record more slowly for one of his solo albums – to considerably lesser success.
Played today, though, the album sounds better than ever. As a rock unit, Rockpile was the dynamic answer to age-ist rock snobs: the foursome had been playing rock for over a decade (Edmunds and drummer Terry Williams went even further back, to the sixties band Love Sculpture), but you never would’ve guessed this from their high-speed live performances. (Submitted as proof: the three new bonus tracks, tiptop performances of songs that originally appeared on Edmunds’ & Lowe’s solo releases: “Back to Schooldays,” “They Called It Rock” and Graham Parker’s “Crawling from the Wreckage.”) I saw the band perform in a Schaumberg rock club not too long after this album was released – and I was lucky to do so, since they disbanded not long after, leaving behind this one “official” Rockpile studio artifact.
A great album to be resurrected, in other words. Now if only Sony/Columbia’d do likewise with the Nick Lowe albums in their catalog. . .

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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