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Cruel To Be Kind

Cruel To Be Kind

‘Brilliant biography of an undersung late-blooming treasure . . . subtly profound as well as wickedly entertaining, this biography does its subject scintillating justice’ Mojo

Cruel to Be Kind is the definitive account of Nick Lowe’s uncompromising life as a songwriter and entertainer, from his days at Stiff Records, to becoming the driving force behind Rockpile, to the 1979 smash hit ‘Cruel To Be Kind’.

Nick’s original compositions have been recorded by the best in the business, from enfant terrible of the New-Wave, Elvis Costello, to ‘The Godfather of Rhythm and Soul’, Solomon Burke; from household names, including Engelbert Humperdink, Diana Ross, and Johnny Cash, to legendary vocalists such as Curtis Stigers, Tom Petty, and Rod Stewart.

His reputation as one of the most influential musicians to emerge from that most formative period for pop and rock music is cast in stone. He will forever be the man they call the ‘Jesus of Cool’.

‘Nick’s poise as a singer, his maturity, and his use of tone is beautiful. I can’t believe it’s this guy I’ve been watching since I was a teenager’ Elvis Costello, 2013

‘The master of subversive pop’ Nick Kent, NME, 1977

‘Nick Lowe is such a f*cking good songwriter! Am I allowed to say that?’ Curtis Stigers, 2016


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Genre: The Arts / Music

On Sale: 15th August 2019

Price: £20

ISBN-13: 9781472129178

Reviews

Even the Jesus of Cool needs a St. Paul to spread his gospel and Will Birch is more than up to the task in Cruel to Be Kind. In this intimate, engrossing, and eye-opening biography of Nick Lowe, Birch reveals deep insights into the man and his work. It's a book as elegant as one of Lowe's songs: filled with just the right combination of pathos, humor, and wit, told with an economy of style, and nary a wasted word or sentence. Absolutely brilliant
Bob Mehr, author of the New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
Brilliant biography of an undersung late-blooming treasure . . . subtly profound as well as wickedly entertaining, this biography does its subject scintillating justice
Mojo
Birch also knows a good Spinal-Tappish anecdote when he hears one and, drawing on Lowe's formidable skill as a raconteur, this book is stuffed with them
Spectator