You are here

Log in or register to post comments
jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Elvis Costello - what are your favorites?

It seems that there are more than a few Elvis Costello fans here on this forum which is really great and therefore this thread should hopefully make for some interesting reading.

Here are a few of my favorite Costello recordings, listed in order of their original release date.

"This Year's Model" (1978) - the early, angry Elvis at his acerbic best.

"King Of America" (1986) - Costello's first post "Attractions" release finds his song writing reaching newer and higher peaks. Playing like a song cycle, the last few songs on the first side and the entire second side of the original US LP release is classic from start to finish. "Suit of Lights" and "Sleep of the Just" are two of Elvis' greatest songs.

"All This Useless Beauty" (1996) - the Attractions' swan song is perhaps also their greatest work. Costello's song writing is fully matured and brilliant in very way imaginable. The title song and "Poor Fractured Atlas" are Costello at his best. This recording is far too often and undeservedly underrated.

Those are my top three. There are many other very good Costello recordings but for me these three stand out from all the rest.

trevort
trevort's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: Aug 21 2007 - 8:05am
Re: Elvis Costello - what are your favorites?

I'll claim EC fan status, although its my wife that really carries the torch. She's besotted! In fact I met her because our "matchmaker" knew she was a fan, and I had just been to see him (Armed forces tour, what, 1979).

As rvance and I nodded together, Armed Forces really takes it for me. Again its the considerable increase in sophistication that overcompensates for the slight reduction in passion compared to This Year's Model, which I also really really like. My Aim is True -- also amazing, but without the Attractions, doesn't quite measure up: I really appreciate the ensemble with the Attractions.

I'll mention just a couple standouts from later on:
Painted from Memory (with Burt Bacharach). Of all his significant departures from his core style (maybe not counting King of America, which is very roughly still in his usual mode), he seems most natural in this one.

Brutal Youth. The Attractions are back, mid-90s. Halfway through the sessions, EC brought Bruce Thomas back -- brilliant bassist, but not an easy fit with EC personality-wise. Sulky Girl is a brilliant song. The only slight detraction on the album is that Thomas wasn't there to play bass on all of the album.

Mighty Like a Rose. Marc Ribot on guitar. Co-writing with Paul McCartney, I think a bit on this one.

As a non-LP type, I'm still waiting eagerly for his latest on CD.

Oh-- ps, maybe check out Live At El Mocambo. This Year's Model era bootleg, eventually released properly. This is how I like to hear the My Aim Is True songs, played by the Attractions.

And PPS. Hey Jazzfan, from your heads up on Hancock Does Joni: came to love the album. Have tickets to see him in June. thanks to you.

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: Elvis Costello - what are your favorites?

Everything he wrote and Linda Ronstadt recorded or sang.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Elvis Costello - what are your favorites?

The crcle of life is intact...

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading