Preview: Nick Lowe’s “Quality Street” to be Reissued
Yep Roc Records Will Release a Special 10th Anniversary Edition of Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family on October 20 with Extras!
TothNotes: The Nick Lowe camp has been on a tear lately: reissues and live dates. And who can get enough of this guy? His body of work - while always respected and widely-enjoyed - is still sort of a hidden treasure. I'm fond of this album and am kind of disturbed that it's already 10 years old. I'll be glad to revisit it and - of course - who doesn't love puzzles? Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? I've heard of Christmas in July, but does it work in August? Sure.
When Yep Roc Records released Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family in 2013, The New York Times observed that “Nick Lowe is surely up there with Bob Dylan and Scott Weiland as one of the most surprising artists to record a Christmas album.” And yet, in the intervening decade the record has become that rare thing, a modern classic, landing on Time Magazine and Rolling Stone’s lists of all-time essential holiday albums. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this pa-rum-pa-pum-perennial Yep Roc Records has announced an exclusive new red vinyl pressing of the album accompanied by a bonus 45 featuring Lowe and Los Straitjackets putting their singular spin on two additional holiday chestnuts, “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow,” both making their vinyl debut. The release is strictly limited to 1000 copies worldwide and is available for pre-order here. A limited edition Quality Street jigsaw puzzle is available to be bundled with the LP pre-order as well.
Described as a “sleighbell-free zone” by the man Rolling Stone would ordain “St. Nick” in a 2018 career-spanning profile, Quality Street is anchored by two Lowe originals - “Christmas at the Airport” and “I Was Born in Bethlehem” - both future holiday standards in the making. Other new songs on the collection include “Dollar Short of Happy,” a co-write with former Little Village bandmate Ry Cooder, and the Ron Sexsmith groover “Hooves on the Roof,” written expressly for the collection. In between there’s a beguiling mix of covers ranging from the obscure (“The North Pole Express”) to the ubiquitous (“Silent Night”) all deemed "characteristically great" (New York Magazine) and "unimpeachably tasteful" (Washington Post) by critics. Reviewing Lowe’s performances on Quality Street, The New York Times concluded simply, “He spoils you, this guy.”
Quality Street would prove a pivotal release for Lowe. It was his last album recorded with two of his closest friends and collaborators, drummer Bobby Irwin and producer Neil Brockbank, who died in 2015 and 2017 respectively. It also spawned his first tour with Yep Roc labelmates Los Straitjackets, a partnership that has evolved from its original “Quality Holiday Revue” to multiple tours across the US, Europe, Australia, and two consecutive Summer runs supporting Elvis Costello and the Imposters.
Lowe and Los Straitjackets will hit the road again this fall for three weeks of U.S. dates commencing November 1 in Boston, that might see them revisiting a couple numbers from the original Quality Holiday Revue. See below for a full list of upcoming dates and look for new music from Lowe and the Straitjackets in the coming year.
NICK LOWE QUALITY STREET 10TH ANNIVERSARY TRACK LISTING:
1. Children Go Where I Send Thee
2. Christmas Can't Be Far Away
3. Christmas at the Airport
4. Old Toy Trains
5. The North Pole Express
6. Hooves on the Roof
7. I Was Born in Bethlehem
8. Just to Be with You (This Christmas)
9. Rise Up Shepherd
10. Silent Night
11. A Dollar Short of Happy
12. I Wish It Could Be Chrismas Every Day
Bonus 45 single:
1. Winter Wonderland
2. Let It Snow
NICK LOWE TOUR DATES FEATURING LOS STRAITJACKETS
August 19 - Folk in the Park - Sutton, United Kingdom*
August 26 - Open House Festival - Bangor, United Kingdom*
October 4 - Billboard Live Osaka - Osaka, Japan*
October 6 - Billboard Live Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan*
November 1 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA
November 2 - The Warehouse - Fairfield, CT
November 4 - White Eagle Hall - Jersey City, NJ
November 5 - The Bowery Ballroom - New York City, NY
November 7 - The Colonial Theatre - Phoenixville, PA
November 8 - Jefferson Center - Roanoke, VA
November 10 - Haw River Ballroom - Saxapahaw, NC
November 11 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA
November 12 - Franklin Theatre - Franklin, TN
November 14 - Delmar Hall - St. Louis, MO
November 15 - Knuckleheads - Kansas City, MO
November 21 - SPACE - Evanston, IL*
* denotes Nick Lowe solo performance