Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - The Best Of Elvis Costello: The First Ten Years


  

This is an excellent compilation from this outstanding group who arrive on the coat-tails of punk and became a leading light in the "new wave" genre of the late seventies/early eighties.

Elvis Costello's bespectacled "anti-hero" image was the thing people remember, and his lyrics - always described by writers as being "ascerbic". Their sound also featured Steve Nieve's instantly recognisable organ sound Pete Thomas's pounding, rhythmic drums and Bruce Thomas's (no relation) inventive, melodic bass.

This compilation covers the best of the albums from 1977's debut "My Aim Is True" to 1986's "Blood And Chocolate". Costello would not record again with The Attractions until 2004's "Brutal Youth". Actually, "My Aim Is True"'s music was played by Clover, an American session group and there are two tracks from the solo album "King Of America", otherwise everything else is with The Attractions.

The group put out some seriously great new wave singles - "Oliver's Army",  "Radio Radio", "Watching The Detectives", "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea", "Accidents Will Happen", the sixties soul cover "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" and "High Fidelity". Other highlights that were not really in the new wave category were the country song "Good Year For The Roses" and the poppy "Everyday I Write The Book". There are also some great album tracks on here too, like "New Lace Sleeves", "Beyond Belief" and "Shipbuilding".

The compilation ends with the decidedly non-commercial, cynical "anti-love song" in "I Want You". Great stuff. Highly recommended if you just want to dip into classic early Costello. The sound is remastered too, and is of high quality.

B+

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