The Daily Cut: Nick Lowe “Cruel to Be Kind”

Nick Lowe: “Cruel to Be Kind”

ALBUM: Labour of Lust

YEAR: 1979

WRITERS: Nick Lowe, Ian Gomm

Peaked at number-12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Coincidentally, it also peaked at number-12 on the British and Canadian charts.

“Cruel to Be Kind” is Nick Lowe’s biggest American hit, and got plenty of airplay on multiple radio formats. Lowe shares the song’s history. “I wrote that when I was with a band, Brinsley Schwarz, that I was with from the early ‘70s to about the mid-‘70s. I originally wrote that to sound a bit like Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, it was more of a soul thing. We recorded it on a demo, it never came out, and when I signed to Columbia Records the A & R man there at the time suggested I record it again. And I didn’t think it would do anything, but he kind of bullied me into it.”

Nick Lowe celebrates his 68th birthday today (March 24th).

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