Nils Lofgren Face The Music (2014) liner notes

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Liner notes


Nils Lofgren

Elvis Costello

"I was living in Liverpool when I picked up a copy of Grin's first album in the shop where all the cool records hid. I knew Nils' playing from his work with Neil Young but never expected to encounter this beautiful voice and songs 'Like Rain.'

Here's some words from the chorus: Love you like rain, Darlin' / Always fallin'

How beautiful is that?

The whole story is seven words.

I didn't know any girls with a 'Saturday night dress' but quickly learned 'Take You to the Movies Tonight' and hoped that if I sang it as pretty as Nils did, then maybe I might find one and one day, I did.

The first time I saw Nils Lofgren, it was in London, he was flying through the air with the greatest of ease. He sings like that, he plays the guitar AND the accordion and now he turns out to be a world-class gymnast with a vaudeville specialty. I was jealous. It is possible to have two left feet. I have three of them.

A new band from Gainesville were on the bill that night. The way I remember it, Tom Petty was the opening act.

Like a lot of multi-talented people, Nils has the power to surprise. You'd come in the door to hear him sing like a bird and he would launch into a guitar solo worthy of Jimi Hendrix, turning somersaults right there on his fretboard. I've heard him do this in the middle of a Springsteen show and nearly steal the limelight. Only a very secure bandleader would let this guy on the bandstand, only a great musician like Nils knows when the spotlight truly belongs to him.

When I first came to America, we were still pretending we'd made everything up and there was no past. You could say, 'What a bunch of clowns' but it was just youthful arrogance and insecurity. When I got to Santa Monica on our second visit and found Nils had come to say 'hello,' I tried not to make a fool of myself but knew if we had people like Nils listening, then it would never matter what it said on the fashion page.

I had heard the echo of a Four Tops song in that very first Nils tune that I'd loved, so I knew that he had begun as a listener then brought in the gifts he had in order to tell the tale. Nils truly does know how to 'Back It Up.'

Now it's years from everything and the music we were once so lucky to make has become a lifetime affair. I'll listen in to this collection hoping that a later heartbreaker like 'Black Books' may be found alongside jewels that have been overlooked until now and, of course, the songs that I've carried all this time."

— Elvis Costello


Nils Lofgren: Face The Music (2014) liner notes

EC's testimonial for Nils Lofgren's Face The Music box set liner notes.


Nils Lofgren Face The Music album cover.jpg
Album cover.

Nils Lofgren Face The Music page 115 clipping.jpg
Page 115 clipping.

Nils Lofgren Face The Music page 116 clipping.jpg
Page 116 clipping.

Nils Lofgren interview in Rolling Stone

David Browne


Of the testimonials in the package, which ones surprised you the most?

I had no idea Elvis Costello was familiar with Grin that early on, from the very first record. I remember seeing him with the Attractions in Santa Monica and I thought, "Wow, a great band" — punk or whatever they called it. So that was surprising.


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