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Nick Lowe, ‘Labour of Lust’ (Yep Roc)

Veteran of preeminent pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz and lesser-known pop-psych combo Kippington Lodge, Nick Lowe was, by 1978, playing souped-up rootsy rock with Dave Edmunds in Rockpile; he’d also just produced Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces. Recorded alongside Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary by the same musicians, Labour of Lust was Lowe’s breakthrough, deftly blending pop, rock, country, and wry humor, especially on smash single “Cruel to Be Kind.” This remaster adds the chilling 1979 murder ballad “Basing Street.”