A Thread About Rockpile

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http://theseconddisc.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/rockpile.jpg

Somehow there isn't a single thread on these guys. A great concept to be sure: phantom band that supports two guys' competing solo careers: Dave Edmunds, on the bleeding edge of 50s revivalism, building his own vacuum tube studios and whatnot; Nick Lowe, then-stepson of Johnny Cash, establishing himself as one of the decade's preeminent ironists. The combo was roots-sounding but marketed, somehow, as new wave.

The actual record (Seconds of Pleasure, har) was believed to be a disappointment but could anything with "When I Write the Book" and "Teacher Teacher" be that disappointing?

Personal fave: "Never Been In Love" -- a Lowe-sung song on an Edmunds album (Tracks on Wax 4).

http://open.spotify.com/user/124420673/playlist/18e6lnxLOYF3YONh4Skx6j

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 25 January 2013 06:13 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, they used to make each others albums (I remember a documentary, them in the studio making Wax 4 and Labour of Lust at the same time. Dave was singing "Endless Grey Ribbon", clearly not well enough as it went on Nick's album with him singing it instead.

I think it was them who were disappointed as it was the first time contracts had allowed them to be Rockpile, but they'd run out of original songs and were left rummaging around their record collections for suitable stuff..

Mark G, Friday, 25 January 2013 07:03 (seven years ago) link

My dad played the shit out of Repeat When Necessary when I was a kid, really fun album imo.

a la recherche du tempbans perdu (NickB), Friday, 25 January 2013 07:43 (seven years ago) link

Trying to remember what the disappointment was. Yeah, some of the songs seemed substandard, "Knife and Fork," for instance, and the 'democratic' nature of alternating singers especially giving some to Billy to sing when he sounds like Lotte Lenya after she gargled with cactus, flossed with sandpaper and caught a cold ends up interrupting the flow and enhances the impression that this was an odd lot batch of leftover material. Also, the production seemed to lack some of the finesse of the solo stuff that preceded it, it seemed a little more, um, bashed out, as if no one was really in charge. Maybe if they had stayed together it could viewed as some kind of growing pains or "difficult second album" but their breakup shortly afterward only confirmed that they had run out of gas.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 11:43 (seven years ago) link

Always regret that I never got to see them live and am still a little mad at the guy in high school who told me that they broke up without a proper lead-in of "sit down I have something important to tell you" or the like who later grew up to be a record company executive. So maybe it was a little sour grapes mixed into being disappointed but not all. As I said on the Graham Parker thread, I went to a lot of gigs in the aftermath to see various members of the Rumour touring with Dave or Nick and was very happy to finally go to the GP and the Rumour reunion last month and now only await the Rockpile reformation. No hard feelings, guys.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 11:55 (seven years ago) link

Saw the Nick band in 1982, Reading Hexagon, and got to meet them after, backstage.

Mark G, Friday, 25 January 2013 12:40 (seven years ago) link

Who was in that band, Martin Belmont, Paul Carrack?

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 13:04 (seven years ago) link

Seem to recall that the thing I liked best on that album was actually the EP that came with of Everly Brothers covers

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 13:10 (seven years ago) link

Martin I remember, he is very tall. I think Paul Carrack was there, vaguely remember him doing "Tempted" as is the law..

Roddy Radiation and the Tearjerkers were support.. While I was takling to Nick, Roddy popped his head round the door and asked Nick to produce their next single. He said to contact Andy Lauder, but pointed out his recent hit form was quite low.

Still, about six months later, the single happened. It was about an inflatable woman. It was not a hit.

Mark G, Friday, 25 January 2013 13:16 (seven years ago) link

Seem to recall that the thing I liked best on that album was actually the EP that came with of Everly Brothers covers

That's on the reissue now (included in the Spotify playlist linked upthread) -- and yes, it's awesome.

What is the best record Rockpile did?

Tracks on Wax 4
Juppanese (1/2 of Mickey Jupp album)
Labour of Lust
Repeat When Necessary
Seconds of Pleasure
Musical Shapes (Carlene Carter)
Live at Montreaux

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 25 January 2013 13:51 (seven years ago) link

Labour then Tracks then Repeat

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 13:54 (seven years ago) link

Those three, in some order, for sure (though I've never heard of Live At Montreaux.) I have dollar-bin copies of those Mickey Jupp and Carlene Carter LPs; they're passable but far from great. As was Seconds Of Pleasure, maybe, but I don't even have it anymore -- always thought it was pretty thin.

xhuxk, Friday, 25 January 2013 14:02 (seven years ago) link

Completely forgot about Dave Edmunds's Twangin... which apparently was an assortment of material recorded before Seconds of Pleasure but released afterward and is mostly Rockpile.

Martin Belmont is indeed tall and skinny and full of energy, gray-haired and bespectacled but bouncing around on the balls of his feet so that he completely towers over the rest of the Rumour, even Bob Andrews with a hat on. Andrew Bodnar on the other hand doesn't look like he has aged at all.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 14:15 (seven years ago) link

Wondering if the implosion of Rockpile may have caused any bereft fans to throw in their lot even more with Elvis Costello since that BFF had not quite jumped the shark yet, but no I don't think so.

Listened to that Live Album recently. Glad it's out there but the live version s don't really trump or vary the original studio tracks in any significant way.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 14:49 (seven years ago) link

OMG, my iPhone in my pocket just randomly clicked on some Charlie Haden country album and the guest vocalist on the track was none other than EC. He cannot be escaped! You Win Again.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 January 2013 14:55 (seven years ago) link

I forgot Twangin'...

Also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=1V7WubQ1uiY

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 26 January 2013 02:47 (seven years ago) link

some of the songs seemed substandard, "Knife and Fork," for instance, and the 'democratic' nature of alternating singers especially giving some to Billy to sing when he sounds like Lotte Lenya after she gargled with cactus, flossed with sandpaper and caught a cold ends up interrupting the flow and enhances the impression that this was an odd lot batch of leftover material. Also, the production seemed to lack some of the finesse of the solo stuff that preceded it, it seemed a little more, um, bashed out, as if no one was really in charge.

this is a succinct/otm review. I saw Rockpile in 1978 opening for Van Morrison - or was it Blondie? - anyway dim memories of pleasant bashing away but somehow alling short of the rockin' transcendence I expected after the Nick Lowe/Dave Edmunds album run.

screen scraper (m coleman), Saturday, 26 January 2013 11:39 (seven years ago) link

falling short

screen scraper (m coleman), Saturday, 26 January 2013 11:40 (seven years ago) link

Whole lotta boozin' goin' on in that studio documentary I linked upthread.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 26 January 2013 14:36 (seven years ago) link

Enjoyed the geekiness of Dave bringing science to correct Nick's version of how Phil Spector's records were made.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 January 2013 14:43 (seven years ago) link

Intense geekiness.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 26 January 2013 15:29 (seven years ago) link

No wonder they couldn't get along.

Also, you would think Nick would have learned his lesson from the Rockpile debacle and not gone on to form Little Village.

Leopard Skin POLL-Box Hat (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 January 2013 15:40 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Guys, this Dave Edmunds and the Refreshments A Pile of Rock album is aces. Billy Bremner is in the band so it's as close to Rockpile as you might want, if I didn't know I would swear it was them.

https://open.spotify.com/artist/1bGNLaMOusBGam5Ps9RSCZ

Tompall Tudor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 6 April 2014 14:31 (five years ago) link

two years pass...

Listening to Edmunds' Tracks on Wax 4, and of course it's a blast. Never occurred to me that he remains semi-retired. Also had forgotten his connections to Led Zeppelin/Swan Song, how weird is that.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 9 September 2016 22:02 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOpZ2DL4FnM
Happy Birthday, Elvis

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 January 2020 02:00 (two weeks ago) link

this is not a band i got too familiar with, yet i somehow feel real familiar with while listening to them. whenever i see "rockpile" i think "oh yeah, my friends' older brothers and sisters were into them." but i listened and i'm liking that show.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:12 (one week ago) link

I just watched “Born Fighters” the other day. It explains so much about the sound of “Repeat When Necessary” and “Labour of Lust”.

(Spoiler: the culprit is cocaine.)

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Friday, 17 January 2020 04:39 (one week ago) link


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