The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Pretty self-explanatory
sweetest punch
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The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:41 pm

Armed Forces Redux: first mentioned in Mojo #324 ( viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11654 ) and now in Billboard: https://www.billboard.com/articles/colu ... -interview

Punch the 'Clockface': Elvis Costello On Making Albums In a Streaming World

The legend's new album sounds both current and timeless — and he’s looking back at his catalog, too.

(...)

You own a lot of your master recordings. How important is that to you?

I own all of my albums except the ones made for Warner [from 1989 to 1996]. The ones I’ve recorded for Universal [starting in the late ‘90s] will revert to me and I own the ones before Blood and Chocolate, as well as my publishing. The kind of music I make doesn’t sell a lot of copies, and I’m not fantastically wealthy, partly because I’ve always invested what I have made into making more music or into fantastic follies like the “Spectacular Spinning Songbook” [the 1986 and 2011 tours on which Costello decided which songs to play by spinning a giant wheel onstage]. But I like the danger and the uncertainty. And the idea that there’s an audience for music I made a long time ago as well as music I’m making now is a wonderful thing.

At the same time, my catalog has been in some disarray for a number of years.

Are you planning to address that?

Recently I went to a meeting at a record company for the first time since the ’90s [at Universal, which last year renewed its global license deal for most of Costello’s recordings]. We began with the idea that if we were going to do another edition [of reissues], we couldn’t simply issue the records again. And I realized that, who better than the person who wrote the songs to tell you what else is there – things that I never released, live recordings. Let’s face it: This is now 40 years [after Costello’s early albums]. I can’t imagine there being another edition of releases after this one. And the first will be a six-record set based on “Armed Forces.”

Armed Forces is full of references to fascism, often as a metaphor, so it resonates with what’s happening now in an uncomfortable way.

There are all those sayings about history repeating itself. It’s not something you can plan for. That said, I think Armed Forces holds up pretty well. And the package includes three live recordings ranging from the summer of ‘78 to the summer of ‘79, so it traces the development of the Attractions as a live act, from a club combo to a successful pop group – it’s quite interesting to hear. I had expert help in photographing my handwritten notebooks. So you’re getting something.

Are you going to do that with all of your albums?

If we can. Right now, it’s in everybody’s interest to let me do it the way I’m seeing it.

I can’t be certain when I’ll set foot on the stage again; or, frankly, whether the audience that largely comes to see me — who are inevitably more of my generation — will ever want to come to a theater again. So in the interim, I want to take the music I recorded some time ago and present it in a way that’s as exciting as it was when we first released it.

We’ve done a new version of one of the albums from my catalog, and that’s going to come out next April. And we’re making a compilation based on [Costello’s 1998 album with Burt Bacharach] Painted from Memory, in the hope that we’ll complete the picture with some other songs we’ve written that people still haven’t heard.

Armed Forces is a great album, but you’ve talked about how that wasn’t a happy time in your life. Was it difficult to look back?

There’s a difference between the person who made the record and the person who was on the road – constantly from the summer of 1977 to the summer of 1979, while making two albums during that time. The disarray of my life has been written about. So look at what the songs are saying, not the words that came out of my mouth on one night.

I assume you’re talking about the infamous incident in 1979, in a hotel bar in Columbus, Ohio, where you got into a drunken argument with members of Stephen Stills’ band and made racist comments about Ray Charles and James Brown. You’ve said that those comments don’t reflect your real feelings.

I was trying to make a joke, which in my youthful arrogance horribly backfired. And it’s been in my biography in the most humiliating way. It’s a source of great pain that we’re even speaking about it. But I say that with no self-pity. And I’m not having it that that’s who I am. I love every note of music played by the people that I said those terrible things about.

So I don’t want to focus Armed Forces on a sense of personal tragedy. It’s a familiar and not very noble story, but inside of all that, we were still making songs that I value and obviously some people still hold in some kind of regard.
Last edited by sweetest punch on Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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krm
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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby krm » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:10 am

" three live recordings ranging from the summer of ‘78 to the summer of ‘79"
hmm....... can we hope for some "new" recordings or will it be the more well known Rockpalast Germany1978, LeHigh Philiadelphia 1979 and the Palomino 1979?
Where can I preorder?????

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:14 am

Speculating on what is currently widely available (but hoping for something new), runners and riders could be:

7th June 1978 San Francisco Winterland ("Last Foxtrot" bootleg): was previously mooted as a Japan only official release. The concert was only three days after the already released Hollywood High show and has a very similar setlist, with only two Armed Forces era songs played (Goon squad, Party girl)

21st June 1978 Rockpalast tv show (mono version on "Superlative live" bootleg, video on YouTube): a short 13 song set and only one Armed Forces track (Two little Hitlers)

3rd December 1978 Sydney was supposedly broadcast on radio and some tracks are on the bootleg Live at the Regent. I've never heard it but described on the wikipage as "excellent sound, great performance". Only 8 songs though.

14th February 1979 Long Beach (soundboard bootleg): 20 song show, 9 Armed Forces track (10 if you include PLU)

16th February 1979 Palomino - early show 8 tracks officially released on the Get Happy!/Almost Blue bonus discs, none of which are from Armed Forces; late show exists as an audience recording but conceivably was also professionally recorded, 19 song set with 5 Armed Forces tracks

29th March 1979 Boston: 7 songs bootlegged, 2 from Armed Forces. The complete show was a 21 song set, with 6 Armed Forces tracks

12th April 1979 Bethlehem (soundboard bootleg): 20 song set, 6 Armed Forces tracks

4th June 1979 PinkPop Holland (radio broadcast of some of the show; High Fidelity officially released on Get Happy! bonus): 19 song set, 7 Armed Forces tracks.

There are a couple of tv shows from around that time, Countdown (officially released on The Right Spectacle) and Chorus (officially released) but mostly TYM material.

Any others that are known?

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:45 am

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby sulky lad » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:21 pm

Ulster Boy wrote:Speculating on what is currently widely available (but hoping for something new), runners and riders could be:

7th June 1978 San Francisco Winterland ("Last Foxtrot" bootleg): was previously mooted as a Japan only official release. The concert was only three days after the already released Hollywood High show and has a very similar setlist, with only two Armed Forces era songs played (Goon squad, Party girl)

21st June 1978 Rockpalast tv show (mono version on "Superlative live" bootleg, video on YouTube): a short 13 song set and only one Armed Forces track (Two little Hitlers)

3rd December 1978 Sydney was supposedly broadcast on radio and some tracks are on the bootleg Live at the Regent. I've never heard it but described on the wikipage as "excellent sound, great performance". Only 8 songs though.

14th February 1979 Long Beach (soundboard bootleg): 20 song show, 9 Armed Forces track (10 if you include PLU)

16th February 1979 Palomino - early show 8 tracks officially released on the Get Happy!/Almost Blue bonus discs, none of which are from Armed Forces; late show exists as an audience recording but conceivably was also professionally recorded, 19 song set with 5 Armed Forces tracks

29th March 1979 Boston: 7 songs bootlegged, 2 from Armed Forces. The complete show was a 21 song set, with 6 Armed Forces tracks

12th April 1979 Bethlehem (soundboard bootleg): 20 song set, 6 Armed Forces tracks

4th June 1979 PinkPop Holland (radio broadcast of some of the show; High Fidelity officially released on Get Happy! bonus): 19 song set, 7 Armed Forces tracks.

There are a couple of tv shows from around that time, Countdown (officially released on The Right Spectacle) and Chorus (officially released) but mostly TYM material.

Any others that are known?


I don''t like to pretend to be an expert on live recordings from 40 years ago but ..............................................

If Elvis is genuinely looking to show the progression through each song from initial conception to ultimate live performance, it seems to me he must include some of the concerts when these songs first appeared going back to 1978. However, these would appear piecemeal ( for example Sunday's best first appeared in Guildford in October 1977 whilst Two Little Hitlers appeared first in Brighton on March 29th 1978, Oliver's Army and Accidents in the Roundhouse, London in April 1978 and so on up until Busy Bodies in Santa Monica in May 197. Perhaps the Portsmouth show in April 1978 would make a good representation of the early templates for some songs when Nick Lowe deputised for the injured Bruce Thomas but was late and Elvis debuted several songs solo an with a two piece Attractions until Nick arrived
Further decent recordings that are known to exist ( at least by me and followers on certain torrent sites ) include the Louisville show from 18th march 1979 ( a soundboard recording) or Boston on 29th march also a soundboard or maybe a compilation of the three New York shows performed on 1st April though maybe the performance might be flagging by the end of that stunt!
Sorry I'm such an OCD person about these live shows - but someone has to do it ! :(
Finally, another professionally recorded concert is the Concert For Kampuchea, supporting Wings in the Hammersmith Odeon in December 1979 though maybe would have been more heavily skewed towards Get Happy! tracks rather than Armed Forces ones - though no-one knows the complete setlist !

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:52 pm

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

Ulster Boy
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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:31 am

sulky lad wrote:
If Elvis is genuinely looking to show the progression through each song from initial conception to ultimate live performance, it seems to me he must include some of the concerts when these songs first appeared going back to 1978. However, these would appear piecemeal ( for example Sunday's best first appeared in Guildford in October 1977 whilst Two Little Hitlers appeared first in Brighton on March 29th 1978, Oliver's Army and Accidents in the Roundhouse, London in April 1978 and so on up until Busy Bodies in Santa Monica in May 197. Perhaps the Portsmouth show in April 1978 would make a good representation of the early templates for some songs when Nick Lowe deputised for the injured Bruce Thomas but was late and Elvis debuted several songs solo an with a two piece Attractions until Nick arrived
Further decent recordings that are known to exist ( at least by me and followers on certain torrent sites ) include the Louisville show from 18th march 1979 ( a soundboard recording) or Boston on 29th march also a soundboard or maybe a compilation of the three New York shows performed on 1st April though maybe the performance might be flagging by the end of that stunt!
Sorry I'm such an OCD person about these live shows - but someone has to do it ! :(
Finally, another professionally recorded concert is the Concert For Kampuchea, supporting Wings in the Hammersmith Odeon in December 1979 though maybe would have been more heavily skewed towards Get Happy! tracks rather than Armed Forces ones - though no-one knows the complete setlist !


Well, he’s said that the range is summer 78 to summer 79 so I guess that rules out the Kampuchea show (maybe that’ll turn up on the Get Happy! Deluxe set? Though aren’t there some complicated contractual reasons that have prevented the whole thing from coming out, and what did come out never got a cd or dvd release?).

Of the ones I mentioned PinkPop sounds the best, most energetic performance (perhaps chemically enhanced). Though I did not know of the Louisville show of which you speak....

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby sulky lad » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:08 am

PM me and I'll send you a copy !!

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:02 am

sulky lad wrote:PM me and I'll send you a copy !!

PM sent I hope, sometimes they seem to get stuck in the Outbox

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Dr. Luther » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:35 am

Ulster Boy wrote:
sulky lad wrote:PM me and I'll send you a copy !!

PM sent I hope, sometimes they seem to get stuck in the Outbox


They stay there until the recipient opens it. Then it moves to "sent".

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby bronxapostle » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:37 am

One of my best loved boots ever was 4/12/1979 Bethlehem, Pa. .....wish i was there!!! 2 weeks after my first shows!

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:25 am

CBS News' list of upcoming music releases has November 18 as the release date for "Armed Forces (super deluxe edition box set)."

I'm not sure that's correct though! New releases are usually on Fridays. November 18 is a Wednesday.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby sulky lad » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:07 am

It seems Mrs. MacManus is also releasing material to make up for lack of performance revenue and a retrospective of "Gimme Some Truth" is released on what would be John Lennon's 80th birthday - unthinkable!

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby krm » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:11 am

The excitement is still a bit limited. Which shows? What kind of package? Extensive booklet? Will it be pricey or expensive? Will there be international distribution or we have to face postage fees that are as high as ever?? More info is needed. The sooner the better.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:26 am

& a November release right after CLOCKFACE October release would surely eat into the hoopla associated with something new, no?
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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ymaginatif » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:39 am

6 discs

disc 1 album
disc 2 rhino bonus disc
disc 3 live at the holywood bowl

those we have

disc 4: live
disc 5: live

probably concerts we have floating around already

so disc 6 might be new?

It suddenly sounds a whole lot less exciting ... :)
More about me (including some Elvis Costello covers): http://ymaginatifandmusic.blogspot.com/

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby krm » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:10 am

Ymaginatif wrote:6 discs

disc 1 album
disc 2 rhino bonus disc
disc 3 live at the holywood high



The Rhino bonus disc is full of songs from Hollywood High, so this doesn´t really work. Definately a good proposal as a starter!

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:28 am

Ymaginatif wrote:6 discs

disc 1 album
disc 2 rhino bonus disc
disc 3 live at the holywood bowl

those we have

disc 4: live
disc 5: live

probably concerts we have floating around already

so disc 6 might be new?

It suddenly sounds a whole lot less exciting ... :)


It’s not yet clear whether it will be vinyl only or cd as well. He did talk up vinyl in the press article (though if memory serves Momofuku was originally billed as a vinyl only release). I’ve been thinking about what bonus material there might be and I’ll try and post something more detailed later but initial thought is a lot of the tracks on Armed Forces were written on the road and first performed shortly after so may not be many demos.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Top balcony » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:41 am

Ymaginatif wrote:6 discs
disc 4: live
disc 5: live
probably concerts we have floating around already
so disc 6 might be new?


I am aware that i get suckered in by the prospect of 'new stuff' to re-buy the 'old stuff' continually, nevertheless I feel a moral imperative to purchase the official versions of things ' I have floating round already'. See 'Pump' officially released as 'El Mocambo' and 'The Great Lost Album' which became 'Kojak Variety'.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:36 pm

So, completely speculative of course as we don't know whether there's any "stuff" in the vaults that was previously not felt fit to release, or has only recently come to light, some thoughts about the non-live bonus aspects of the superdeluxe set. First thing to note is that EC has said many of these songs were written on the road so there may not have been time/need to set down demo versions - the band would be aware of the songs. Also, the album was recorded in a six-week session Aug/Sept, by when some of the tracks had been played live and were 'oven-ready' for the studio, so not much scope for alternative studio versions:

Accidents will happen - according to the oft-told story by EC, composed after an encounter with a taxi driver in Tuscon Arizona; however he wasn't there until 28 May 1978 and the song was premiered on 16 April 1978, in London. Possibly a mis-remembered story. First performance was just EC and Steve on piano, and the version on Live at Hollywood High on 4 June 1978 is in that mode, though verse/chorus in different order than the released version. Either way, a demo is only a possibility. Although setlists are incomplete for the spring/summer tour it does not seem to have featured much on the road so a studio outtake version is maybe more possible.

Senior Service - first performed live 28 December 1978 but rarely thereafter. Demo, and studio outtakes of what ended up as a track with a few production tricks a possibility.

Oliver's army - written after a trip to Belfast on 17 March 1978 and first performed, just with Steve, on 16 April. Didn't feature much on spring/summer tour 1978 so demo and alternate studio version a possibility.

Big boys - a demo version recorded in early 1978 was on the TYM bonus disc and an alternate version from the Aug/Sept 1978 sessions was on the Armed Forces bonus disc. Little possibility of anything else emerging.

Green shirt - a demo version recorded in early 1978 was on the TYM bonus disc. The song was performed solo on 12 April but seemingly not again that year. Studio outtake a possibility, EC mentions in the liner notes to the Rhino release that it involved a loop.

Party girl - according to a Nick Lowe quote, written on the spring 78 US tour; first performed in Boston on 4th May 78 (as preserved on the 20/20 footage) and that version, as well as the one on Live at Hollywood High are in full band form very similar to the version as released, so probably learnt by the band on the road. Demo and studio outtake only a low possibility.

Goon squad - first performed 1st April 1978; the version on Live at Hollywood High is very much like the version as released. Demo a possibility, studio outtake less likely.

Busy bodies - first performed 30 May 1978 and given a few run outs. Possibly written and learnt on the road so low possibility of a demo. An alternate version was released on the Armed Forces bonus disc.

Sunday's best - written for Ian Dury (possibly during the 1977 Stiff tour?) so a demo a possibility. Rarely played live in 1978 and not ever in band version so studio outtake a possibility.

Moods for moderns - first performed 29 March 1978 and rarely thereafter so demo and studio alternate a possibility.

Chemistry class - performed solo as released on the Armed Forces bonus disc, 28 February 1978 and a few times thereafter. Demo and studio outtake a low-ish possibility.

Two little Hitlers - first performed 29 March 1978; by the time of the Rockpalast show on 21 June 1978 the band arrangement was in place though the vocals weren't finalised. Demo and studio outtake a possibility.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Ulster Boy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:57 pm

Apparently 2x10” vinyl with the PinkPop concert, according to Someone on Facebook who has the Mojo article

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby WindUpWorld » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:03 pm

Interesting to hear Ulster boy and all speculate on this, definitely some treats in store and EC will I’m sure present it all to us very cogently. Part of me feels like this is rather hard work though. Having both sets of reissues already I’d be happy for a box that traces eg the Attractions live through the various eras and stages - I guess that’s essentially what began to happen a couple of years back but got stopped in its tracks.

With touring (and what’s become crucial touring income) perhaps off the cards for a long time I’d settle for live sets that trace right through the corners of his career so far. Plus an Imposters webcast would certainly improve on the live sound quality many of us have been subjected to on and off in recent years!

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby fred darden » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:50 pm

Will probably be out of my price range in this day and age. Work as stage manager of live music venue, relying on unemployment and finances dwindling. Hopefully Biden will be elected and money will be available again.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby WindUpWorld » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:53 pm

So sorry to hear about your pandemic circumstances Fred. Wishing you all the best in tough times, with hopes that live music can get restarted for all our benefit. I’m sure we’ll share whatever we can with you here.

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Re: Armed Forces Redux - 6 record set

Postby Arbogast » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:34 pm

Another reissue, another shakedown.


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