Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Music Library: Elvis the C

Elvis Costello: I'm going to keep this one short. If you're looking to me to help you navigate the Elvis the C library, you're probably ignoring the considerable (and considerably more helpful) information elsewhere on the web.

  • My Aim Is True (1977). The mostly excellent debut with Clover, aka Huey Lewis and the News backing him up. This is the 1993 Ryko reissue.
  • Live at the El Mocambo (1978). An early live show with the Attractions, who play everything at light speed. Will peel your ears.
  • This Year's Model (1978). My favorite Elvis C album. This is the 1993 Ryko reissue.
  • Armed Forces (1979). My 2nd-favorite Elvis C album. This is the 1993 Ryko reissue.
  • Get Happy! (1980). Elvis's R&B album. This is the 2002 Rhino reissue.
  • "You'll Never Be A Man" (from Trust, 1981). I used to have a cassette of this, but I've never sprang for a reissue or download. Should remedy this.
  • Almost Blue (1981). Elvis's Nashville album. It's not terrible, and his version of Leon Payne's "Psycho" is one of the best. This is the 1994 Ryko reissue.
  • Imperial Bedroom (1982). Elvis's big studio album. Near perfect, despite its flaws. This is the 1994 Ryko reissue.
  • Goodbye Cruel World (1984). Elvis's worst album (by stint of the crappy production, not the songs, which sound better in a different setting). This is the 2004 Rhino reissue (includes Elvis's cover of Richard & Linda Thompson's "Withered & Died.")
  • The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1985). Only the tracks that aren't on the albums in my collection, namely Trust and 1983's Punch The Clock. If/when I get around to picking those up, I'll delete the rest of these.
  • King of America (1986). A touching Americana album that serves as Costello's analog to Dylan's Blood On The Tracks. This is the 2005 Rhino reissue.
  • "Beyond Belief (Live)" from Girls Girls Girls (1989). I'm actually not sure where this is from. I think the version of "Beyond Belief" on Girls Girls Girls isn't a live version.
  • When I Was Cruel (2002). Reportedly Elvis's return to form with most of the Attractions. The touchstone for reviewers was 1986's Blood & Chocolate, an album sadly missing from my collection. I think: eh, it's okay.
  • My Flame Burns Blue (Live with The Metropole Orkest) (2006). Maybe the best of Elvis's arty albums. I like it, which is more than I can say for most of his art/jazz/classical stuff.


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