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Nick Lowe — Switch Board Susan
Album: Labour of Lust
Avg rating:
6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 358









Released: 1978
Length: 3:39
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Switchboard Susan, won't you give me a line?
I need a doctor, give me 999
First time I picked up the telephone
I fell in love with your ringing tone

I'm a long distance romancer
I keep on trying till I get an answer
Gimme gimme one more chance
She's a greater little operator

Switchboard Susan, let me off the hook
I've been this way since you give me your look
Switchboard Susan, you're all the rage
Come on sugar, let's get engaged

I'm a long distance romancer
I keep on trying till I get an answer
Gimme gimme one more chance
She's a greater little operator

Said I'm a long distance romancer
I keep on trying till I get an answer
Gimme gimme one more chance
She's a greater little operator

When I'm near you girl, I get an extension
And I don't mean Alexander Graham Bell's invention
Switchboard Susan, can we be friends?
After six, at weekends

I'm a long distance romancer
I keep on trying till I get an answer
Gimme gimme one more chance
She's a greater little operator

She's a greater little operator

Hey babe, you're number's great
38-27-38
Oh you bring a smile to my dial
Oh you're great, operator's great
Comments (86)add comment
Good god this is miserable
 Businessgypsy wrote:
eight six seven five three oh nine
Sorry, I know, Nick's a God
 
Yes, another great phone-related tune - Tommy Tutone's "Jenny Jenny/867-5309."

It was a real number and many, many people called it after the song came out.  Needless to say, the owners changed their number.
 :+:_DL wrote:
I like Nick Lowe.... but damn this song is stupid. 
 

LOL, yup. 
I like Nick Lowe.... but damn this song is stupid. 
Nick, you are just awesome.  Music when it was fun.  
Haven't heard this tune in a long time!
Reminds me of that 16th Century piece: "Lust's labour's Lost", also probably performed by Nick.
 Bat wrote:


My old roommate used to have the Stiffs Live album.  Wow, I wonder if I can find a copy of that?

That picture makes Nick Lowe look like a giant.  The first thing I noticed when I finally saw him (2 times within the past year) is that he's become a little white haired old man.  Much smaller and older than I had always pictured him in my mind's eye (people don't age in my mind's eye).  He doesn't rock much any more but he still gives a very entertaining show.
 
I would love to find a copy of Live Stiffs, but I've only seen it at ridiculous prices. Elvis' version of Don't Know What to do With Myself is fantastic.
Nick Lowe is sixteen types of awesome.
 chasech5 wrote:

A "3" ?

You were being generous. A '1.'
 
I like the song overall, but that whole "Alexander Graham Bell's invention" lyric is painful. Still a good song, a good sound. But hey.
 
 Huey wrote:

"When I'm near you girl, I get an extension
And I don't mean
Alexander Graham Bell's invention".
You are kidding .... a 3.


 
A "3" ?

You were being generous. A '1.'

A blues-rock classic, well played with plenty of zip. I first heard this played live by the hard-gigging Brit band The Hamsters, and have enjoyed every cover I've heard of it. Who did the original, anyone know? 7 from the toe-tappin' Nottingham jury.
eight six seven five three oh nine
Sorry, I know, Nick's a God

Doctor, doctor, give me the news, I got a bad case of loving you...
Any chance you have Lowe's "Marie Provost" in the vault there?  A rare 10 in my book.
 Huey wrote:

"When I'm near you girl, I get an extension
And I don't mean
Alexander Graham Bell's invention".
You are kidding .... a 3.
 
C'mon we are not kidding you.... that's a great line in a guilty pleasure song. a solid 7.
 Misterfixit wrote:
Heh this is good. True Story: My mom was a long distance telephone operator back in the 1920's and 30's. She used to put through calls from San Diego to Los Angeles all the time. Used to chat with my dad who was a hotel clerk while he played music in the "pit" at Grauman's Chinese Theater (they had a live orchestra plus the Great Organ in those days). One thing led to another and they were married. 62 years of life together with me, my brother and my sister the result of those long distance calls.
 

Good story.
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

I have a few copies of it. US Version, UK version, one on colored vinyl....
 
 
All of them nailed at the toilet-wall?


Another proof why Nick never made it!
He always stops half-way...!

Still a great guy, great guitar player,
and real Rock'n'Roller!

KRAUTROCK!
 Frater_Kork wrote:

Precisely!
I thought it was something hilarious from Southern Culture on the Skids at first.
 
"When I'm near you girl, I get an extension
And I don't mean
Alexander Graham Bell's invention".
You are kidding .... a 3.


 Bat wrote:


My old roommate used to have the Stiffs Live album.  Wow, I wonder if I can find a copy of that?

 
I have a few copies of it. US Version, UK version, one on colored vinyl....
 
Available on CD (import only)

 


 treatment_bound wrote:


Here's the official Stiffs Live tour poster from 1909.  Nick, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric & Larry Wallis are still going strong 100 years later, but we sadly lost Ian Dury in 2000.

 

My old roommate used to have the Stiffs Live album.  Wow, I wonder if I can find a copy of that?

That picture makes Nick Lowe look like a giant.  The first thing I noticed when I finally saw him (2 times within the past year) is that he's become a little white haired old man.  Much smaller and older than I had always pictured him in my mind's eye (people don't age in my mind's eye).  He doesn't rock much any more but he still gives a very entertaining show.
as annoying as it ever was.
 peter_james_bond wrote:

Yes 1909 was a good year; Taft was President, the Montreal Canadians hockey team was formed, and Nick Lowe was touring. {#Wink}
 

Here's the official Stiffs Live tour poster from 1909.  Nick, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric & Larry Wallis are still going strong 100 years later, but we sadly lost Ian Dury in 2000.



 papaman wrote:
This ranks right up there with 'Sex farm woman' by Spinal Tap.  Love it!
 
Yeah, it's downright quaint!

i love  nick lowe!
 mrandrew wrote:
Wow.  This brings me back.  I havent heard this in about 100 years.
 
Yes 1909 was a good year; Taft was President, the Montreal Canadians hockey team was formed, and Nick Lowe was touring. {#Wink}
Wow.  This brings me back.  I havent heard this in about 100 years.
 ndad47 wrote:
how can you not like this song. the genius of the lyrics is great. its a lot better than most of the drivel these days that gets played.
 
I agree.  Maybe it's one of those "ya had to be there" kind of songs? {#Cheers}
When Labour came out 30 years ago, they actually played this cut first for about a week on Mpls.' AOR station to a collective yawn.  Cruel to be Kind hit the airwaves about a month later, and Nick finally had a hit in the US.  Personally, I think they should have tried Without Love as a 2nd single.
 sqqqrly wrote:
When I first heard this, I thought he was saying "Sweat Spot Susan"...
 
Precisely!
I thought it was something hilarious from Southern Culture on the Skids at first.
This ranks right up there with 'Sex farm woman' by Spinal Tap.  Love it!

Meh
One of the great underrated albums! And great segue from Librarian to Switchboard. The band really kicks on this one.  {#Bananajam}


Well, at least the operator is well fed....
Misterfixit wrote:
...me, my brother and my sister the result of those long distance calls.
That's gotta be some phone bill. *slaps knee*
a_genuine_find wrote:
I get an extension 7
I get an extension 7
Paulbot wrote:
Me too, I thought it was "Sweat Box Susan"... imagine that
I thought that too - Some interesting lyrics there!
sqqqrly wrote:
When I first heard this, I thought he was saying "Sweat Spot Susan"...
Me too, I thought it was "Sweat Box Susan"... imagine that
When I first heard this, I thought he was saying "Sweat Spot Susan"...
Heh this is good. True Story: My mom was a long distance telephone operator back in the 1920's and 30's. She used to put through calls from San Diego to Los Angeles all the time. Used to chat with my dad who was a hotel clerk while he played music in the "pit" at Grauman's Chinese Theater (they had a live orchestra plus the Great Organ in those days). One thing led to another and they were married. 62 years of life together with me, my brother and my sister the result of those long distance calls.
how can you not like this song. the genius of the lyrics is great. its a lot better than most of the drivel these days that gets played.
The old saying that "half the World's population has never used a telephone" is apparently no longer true! But I'll wager that there are very few switch board operators any more :-(
Nick's new album is out, folks.
A blast! Love Nick from this period.
Corny, at best.
Whoa... Going back a bit, eh?
I was going to say something about this being teenybopperish drivel, but when I saw it was Nick Lowe, I gave it a pass.
i like jonny lovesin's workin girl
Completely politically incorrect and thourougly enjoyable!
Love it! Classic...
So glad to hear some Nick Lowe. Always liked this album.
Yet another of my very favorite artists. His stuff from the '90s is just the best. This old stuff is kinda fun, too.
jdorn1 wrote:
Long live Nick Lowe!!!!
I'd like it if it was about 1/3 shorter. Other wise it draws out a bit to long for such a... fluffy... song.
jdorn1 wrote:
Long live Nick Lowe!!!!
I'll cheeze to that !!
Long live Nick Lowe!!!!
This whole cd rocks. Nice surprise !
yuck. Only a 2 by me, but still better than most I hear on commercial radio. Long live RP.
Dandy, sweet power pop from the granddaddy of the genre! (Mickey Jupp the great-granddaddy?)
JerseeeGirl wrote:
NOOOOO !!! I can't believe I missed this song More Nick Lowe please
You should come back today! ..... ....
What a difference a better telephone connection made in the world. I guess no phone at all to a party line was a bigger change than the internet. Or maybe not.
f@$k yeah! 10
NOOOOO !!! I can't believe I missed this song More Nick Lowe please
Man, it was good to hear this song again! I haven't heard it since the glory days of WNEW-FM. A rock 'n roll song in true essence!
UltraNurd wrote:
How is it possible for him to be fully Man and fully Cool at the same time?
Ummmm, things only a NERD would say?!?
deadfdr wrote:
This is the kind of a song that you would think would never be played on an eclectic radio station that usually shows good taste.
Why?
junebaby65 wrote:
Man, Creem magazine loved this guy back in 1979-1980...He's cool though, good song.
2 solid solo albums, produced the first 4 Elvis Costello albums, early Graham Parker and the Rumour, married Johnny Cash's daughter, damn, the guy is a living legend-- just check it out yerself: (click here)
ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Nick is cool. It's like, he's the Jesus of Cool.
amen!
Man, Creem magazine loved this guy back in 1979-1980...He's cool though, good song.
What a clever & funny song... When I hear this song, I get an extension...
UltraNurd wrote:
These lyrics are great - they're almost as hilariously bad as Weird Al's "Wanna B Ur Lovr" - but specific to telephony.
Except, unlike Weird Al, I don't think he's trying to be funny. Weird Al aims for being funny and juvenile. This is just juvenile. -mt-
Signature guitar licks by guitar God Dave Edmunds...Excellent. Sorry you barfers don't like it.
"I fell in love with your ringtone"
Pretty confident it wasn't this particular tune. And not just 'cause they didn't have fancy phones at the time
Silly. Just silly. Please don't follow this up with a Jim Croce tune. PLEASE!
etwilson wrote:
Why the hell is this album out of print? It's one of the great records of the late seventies. Strange.
not only this album, but Jesus of Cool/Pure Pop for Now People, his first solo effort, is also OOP...
This is the kind of a song that you would think would never be played on an eclectic radio station that usually shows good taste.
ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Nick is cool. It's like, he's the Jesus of Cool.
So Nick Lowe exhibits the Cool-Man duality - how is it possible for him to be fully Man and fully Cool at the same time?
Why the hell is this album out of print? It's one of the great records of the late seventies. Strange.
These lyrics are great - they're almost as hilariously bad as Weird Al's "Wanna B Ur Lovr" - but specific to telephony.
this IS a great tune. the lyrics crack me up.
this is such a great album. As old as this song is it stands up so well. Great Great tune.
Nick is cool. It's like, he's the Jesus of Cool.
No really, I love this song! The British phone terminology is hilarious. "Let's get 'engaged' tonight." Also the bridge.... "When I'm with you girl I get an extension and I don't mean Alexander Graham Bell's invention. Swichboard Susan can we be friends? After six and at weekends."