Saturday, 2 June 2018

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Almost Blue (1981)


Released October 1981

Recorded in Nashville


1. Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used To Do
2. Sweet Dreams
3. Success
4. I'm Your Toy
5. Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
6. Brown To Blue
7. Good Year For The Roses
8. Sittin' And Thinkin'
9. Colour Of The Blues
10. Too Far Gone
11. Honey Hush
12. How Much I Lied

When this was released, in 1981, the album actually carried a sticker that read “WARNING: This album contains country & western music and may cause offence to narrow minded listeners.” Many punks and new wavers were appalled by the fact that their anti-hero had released and album of Country and Western covers. Motown? Sure. Northern Soul? No problem. Rock n Roll/Rockabilly? Ok, maybe. But Country And Western? You're having a laugh, aren'tcha? Many fans pretended to like it at the time, like me I guess, just as we had with David Bowie's "Pin Ups". Actually, I always liked the single releases "Good Year For The Roses" and "Sweet Dreams" and also the frantic, bluesy "Honey Hush" and the piano-driven "How Much I Lied". The punky-ish opener "Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used To Do" had appeal too.

As the years have passed, however, I have found I have come to appreciate the others like "Brown To Blue", "Success" and "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" a lot more. "Sittin' And Thinkin'" has crept in to my consciousness as well.

Taken for what it is, a New Wave artist trying his hand at the Country & Western music he loved, it is an enjoyable effort. Fair play to Costello for having the balls to release it at the time too.


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