16 All Time Lowes was released in 1984, just before Nick Lowe decided to return to American roots music with his fifth solo album, Nick Lowe & His Cowboy Outfit, and it appropriately functions as a greatest-hits collection of his new wave years. Most of the 16 tracks are culled from Jesus of Cool and Labour of Lust, with Rockpile's "When I Write the Book," the non-LP "American Squirm," and "Basing Street" added for good measure. It's a very entertaining collection, boasting such Nick classics as "Born Fighter," "Marie Provost," "Cruel to Be Kind," "Cracking Up," "So It Goes," and "They Called It Rock," but since Jesus of Cool and Labour of Lust had no weak tracks on them at all, it makes more sense to buy those records and find "American Squirm" and "When I Write the Book" on the more comprehensive Basher collection, which draws highlights from all of his '70s and '80s solo recordings, especially since "Basing Street" is merely pleasant, not remarkable.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine