Jesus of Cool

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Jesus of Cool / Pure Pop for Now People
Nick Lowe Jesus of Cool.jpg
Studio album by Nick Lowe
Released March 1978
Recorded 1976 – 1977
Studio Chalk Farm Studios, London, England; Eden Studios; Jackson Studios, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England; Pathway Studios, Stoke Newington
Genre Rock, power pop, new wave
Length 33:17 (UK)
36:55 (US)
(first CD reissue 40:08, 2008 reissue 62:51)
Label Radar (UK)
Columbia (US)
F-Beat (Scandinavian reissue)
Demon (UK reissue)
Proper Records (UK reissue)
Yep Roc (US reissue)
Producer Nick Lowe
Nick Lowe chronology
Jesus of Cool
Labour of Lust
(1979)Labour of Lust1979
Back cover
From the original Radar Records release
From the original Radar Records release
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
American Songwriter 4/5 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly A[4]
Mojo 4/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork 9.3/10[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[7]
Spin 4/5 stars[8]
Uncut 5/5 stars[9]
The Village Voice A[10]

Jesus of Cool is the solo debut album by British singer-songwriter Nick Lowe. Produced by Lowe, it was released in March 1978 by Radar Records in the UK. In the United States, the album was retitled Pure Pop for Now People, with Columbia Records replacing "Shake and Pop" with "They Called It Rock" (a Rockpile version of the same song, which had been included as a single-sided bonus 45 in the Radar album), swapping the live version of "Heart of the City" for the studio version that had been released as a single on Stiff Records (the other side of the single, "So It Goes", was included in both versions of the album), and adding "Rollers Show" from a pre-Stiff United Artists maxi-single. The songs are also in a different order than the UK version.

The album has been highly acclaimed by critics. The album was reissued in an expanded, deluxe edition by Proper Records (in the UK) and Yep Roc Records (in the US) in February 2008.[11]

Two verses of "So It Goes" were included in the sound track to the 1979 film Rock 'n' Roll High School.


Jesus of Cool has a number of tracks attacking the commercialism and greed of the record industry and the shallow content of pop music: "Music for Money", the fraternal twin songs "Shake and Pop" and "They Called It Rock", and "Rollers Show"; the last being a parody of the teen audience of the Bay City Rollers. Although musically sophisticated in conventional genres, the album shares the energy, cynicism and rebelliousness of the contemporary new wave movement.

Album cover[edit]

The original vinyl album cover features six pictures of Nick Lowe (or five of Lowe and one of Dave Edmunds),[1] with some different pictures appearing on the UK cover to the US one. On both covers, spelled out in small letters on the photos is Pure Pop for Now People. "PURE" was small yellow print in the top left photo, "POP" was small red print in the top middle, "FOR" was small blue print in the top right, "NOW" was small blue print bottom left, "PEO" was small yellow print in the bottom middle and "PLE" was small red print in the bottom right.

The UK version had a photo of three kitsch glass swan ornaments on the back sleeve. However, the US version had a picture of Nick Lowe dressed up in a green Riddler suit; a shot deliberately posed to make him look like Dave Edmunds (since one of the shots of "Lowe" on the front cover is Edmunds). The design of the inner sleeve also differs between the UK and US versions.

Both UK and US sleeves were designed by Barney Bubbles.

Track listing[edit]

Jesus of Cool[edit]

All songs written by Nick Lowe except where noted.

  1. "Music for Money" – 2:03
  2. "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" (Lowe/Andrew Bodnar/Steve Goulding) – 3:05
  3. "Little Hitler" (Lowe/Dave Edmunds) – 2:51
  4. "Shake and Pop" – 3:13
  5. "Tonight" – 3:45
  6. "So It Goes" – 2:23
  7. "No Reason" – 3:25
  8. "36 Inches High" (Jim Ford) – 2:50
  9. "Marie Provost" – 2:41
  10. "Nutted by Reality" – 2:46
  11. "Heart of the City" (Live) – 4:15

Bonus single[edit]

  1. "They Called It Rock" (Lowe/Rockpile/Edmunds) – 3:10 (bonus single-sided 45, credited as Rockpile, not on original LP)

The track "Rollers Show," included on the US issue of Pure Pop for Now People, was added as a bonus track for the UK CD re-release of this album.

Pure Pop for Now People[edit]

  1. "So It Goes" – 2:23
  2. "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" – 3:05
  3. "Tonight" – 3:45
  4. "Marie Provost" – 2:41
  5. "Heart of the City" – 2:01
  6. "Rollers Show" – 3:31
  7. "They Called It Rock" – 3:10
  8. "No Reason" – 3:25
  9. "Little Hitler" – 2:51
  10. "Nutted by Reality" – 2:46
  11. "36 Inches High" – 2:50
  12. "Music for Money" – 2:09

Jesus of Cool 2008 deluxe edition[edit]

The original album

  1. "Music for Money" – 2:03
  2. "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" – 3:05
  3. "Little Hitler" – 2:51
  4. "Shake and Pop" – 3:13
  5. "Tonight" – 3:45
  6. "So It Goes" – 2:23
  7. "No Reason" – 3:25
  8. "36 Inches High" – 2:50
  9. "Marie Provost" – 2:41
  10. "Nutted by Reality" – 2:46
  11. "Heart of the City" (Live) – 4:15

And more

  1. "Shake That Rat" – 2:12
  2. "I Love My Label" (Lowe/Profile) – 3:00
  3. "They Called It Rock" – 3:13
  4. "Born a Woman" (Martha Sharpe) – 2:27
  5. "Endless Sleep" – 4:08
  6. "Halfway to Paradise" (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) – 2:26
  7. "Rollers Show" – 3:32
  8. "Cruel to Be Kind" (Lowe/Ian Gomm) (original Brinsley Schwarz version) – 2:52
  9. "Heart of the City" – 2:07
  10. "I Don't Want the Night to End" 1:57


The album cover when first released deliberately omitted any mention of the musicians involved. [ref sleeve notes for 2008 deluxe edition]



Year Chart Position (UK) Position (US) Position (Netherlands) Position (Sweden)
1978 Pop Albums 22 127 26 31

Related links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pure Pop for Now People – Nick Lowe". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Waterman, Doug (1 March 2008). "Nick Lowe > Jesus of Cool: 30th Anniversary Edition". American Songwriter. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  4. ^ Brunner, Rob (3 March 2008). "Jesus of Cool: 30th Anniversary Edition". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Nick Lowe: Jesus of Cool". Mojo (172): 120. March 2008. 
  6. ^ LeMay, Matt (18 February 2008). "Nick Lowe: Jesus of Cool". Pitchfork. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (21 February 2008). "Nick Lowe: Jesus of Cool". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Hermes, Will (March 2008). "Reissues". Spin. 24 (3): 97. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Jones, Allan (13 February 2008). "Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool". Uncut. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (24 April 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  11. ^ [1]