Saturday, June 18, 2011
A Record a Week: Elvis Costello - The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES
(WHAT'S SO FUNNY 'BOUT) PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING?
PUMP IT UP
ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN
I CAN'T STAND UP FOR FALLING DOWN
WATCH YOUR STEP
I WANNA BE LOVED
EVERYDAY I WRITE THE BOOK
THE ONLY FLAME IN TOWN
This is the Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions version from 1985, not the 1990 version or either of the 'very' best of ones, just to be clear.
Elvis Costello is one of those artists that I think I got into because a girl I had a crush on in high school was really into him. Furthermore, he was one of the few artists in that category that were actually any good (oh, the terrible music people listen to in high school).
This album came out before my favourite of his albums, Blood and Chocolate, but does include two of my favourite Costello tracks, 'Pump it Up' and 'Radio, Radio'.
A constant re-inventor and mixer of styles, Costello is a reminder to me of what could've been a better era of music in the 1980's. Costello creates music from a blend of rock, country, folk, jazz, swing and many more, including a clear homage to the 1950's. Layered over top of that is his very distinct voice, including a British accent that doesn't entirely shine through while singing.
This album is as advertised, the best that Costello had to offer up to the time of release. A great mix of post-punk and slower jazz-influenced love songs, this includes all of the raw ingredients that formed a long, successful career.