Saturday, 2 June 2018

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Imperial Bedroom (1982)


Released July 1982

Recorded at Air Studios, London

By 1982, the “new wave” had faded somewhat, the two tone thing had gone the same way and the preposterous flouncings of “new romanticism” abounded. Little more than five years and six albums later - was Elvis Costello still relevant?

Commercially, his star was waning, for sure, but he remained highly respected and showed himself to be an artist who was prepared to diversify and push his own boundaries, albeit still at the moment within the confines of his band, The Attractions. He certainly did that with this, his “Sgt Pepper”.


1. Beyond Belief
2. Tears Before Bedtime
3. Shabby Doll
4. The Long Honeymoon
5. Man Out Of Time
6. Almost Blue
7. ...And In Every Home
8. The Loved Ones
9. Human Hands
10. Kid About It
11. Little Savage
12. Boy With A Problem
13. Pidgin English
14. You Little Fool
15. Town Cryer

Ironically, employing the very engineer who worked on “Pepper”, Geoff Emerick, Costello and his band produced a “chocolate box” of an album, with tracks differing from track to track, from the short and snappy, bass-driven “Beyond Belief” to the tuneful pop of “Human Hands” to the longer, mysterious “Shabby Doll”. Then to the gentle piano ballad of “The Long Honeymoon” and the slow jazzy ballad “Almost Blue”. A great pop single is there in “You Little Fool” and “Man Out Of Time” is classic overblown Costello. “Little Savage”, “Pidgin English”, “..And In Every Home” and the echoey “Kid About It” are all equally impressive.

It took me quite a long time to “get into” this album at the time. Therein lies its appeal. Even now, I still find it a fascinating listen. Highly recommended. It still sounds good today.


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