Rockpile: Seconds Of Pleasure (1980)

Rockpile was the working name for the band comprised of Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and a few additional musicians who played on Lowe's and Edmunds' respective solo albums in the 70s.  The sole album they released under the Rockpile name was thus, not surprisingly, kind of like half a Lowe solo album and half an Edmunds solo album smushed together.  Stylistically the album leans more towards the rockabilly and roots rock championed by Edmunds than to Lowe's new wave power pop (though Lowe wrote most of it), but there's a decent blend; on the whole, it's basically a "solid" album -- not as great as Lowe's best solo work, but entertaining enough if falling a bit short of what fans might have hoped for.

As more of a Lowe fan, I'm partial to the tunes he sings.  Lead-off track "Teacher Teacher," though not penned by Lowe, is probably the album's best song, a sweet little number about a teacher crush that's, shall we say, a tad more innocent than "Hot For Teacher" -- but it's got a killer hook and sounds like a true band effort.  Elsewhere Lowe offers the album's other killer tune, "When I Write The Book," which would have fit comfortably on his solo albums, a bit of a throwback to the poppier sound he championed on Jesus of Cool. "Now And Always" is a nifty retro number that sounds like it could have been recorded by the Everly Brothers (and, in fact, Rockpile separately recorded an EP of Everly Brothers covers that is appended to the cd); and "Play That Fast Thing" rocks a similar 50s vibe, basic blue-eyed R&B that's reminiscent of Lowe's pub rock work with Brinsley Schwarz.

The Edmunds-fronted stuff is a little more bland, basic rockabilly-tinged roots rock, perfectly fine but nothing quite up there with his best solo work.  "If Sugar Was As Sweet As You" is the best of 'em, nothing wrong with it, works fine as a party tune.  Guitarist Billy Bremner takes the mic a couple times, and his songs are plenty enjoyable; "Heart" is another surprisingly authentic retro-tune you can imagine blaring from the jukebox in some diner circa 1958, again nothing stunning but good spirited fun.

Anyway, it's a really good album, maybe not as great as some of the work the band did on the Lowe and Edmunds solo albums but certainly on the must-own list for fans of either musician.

Here's "Teacher Teacher" live on tv:
Here's a great recent clip of Lowe performing "When I Write The Book" (paired with a stripped-down "What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love & Understanding):
And here's a fantastic full-length Rockpile concert from 1980 (featuring various Lowe/Edmunds solo tracks but, alas, nothing from Seconds of Pleasure):


  1. I love their live version of So It Goes. Pretty sure it's on that live record you linked to above. Just as pop perfect as Cruel to be Kind but with a Pete Townsend-strength rock punch.


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