The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Pretty self-explanatory
sulky lad
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby sulky lad » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:18 pm

cwr wrote:Again, I get not liking them but I also find Armed Forces to be the one point in EC's discography where he is pushing at the ugliness of culture and history in ways that are aggressively provocative. Songs like "Chemistry Class" are making sex jokes mere seconds before referencing Hitler's final solution. Sometimes the distance between a sexual pun and a reference to lampshades made out of human skin or a racial slur is a few seconds. So much of Armed Forces has always made me queasy, even the songs I really like and think are great. (The "Don't Join" poster with Elvis putting a gun in his mouth has always made me feel kind of out of step with the attitude of that era of Elvis, even while I do love AF as an album overall.)

I wonder if maybe what feels "off" about ANY new Armed Forces-related material being made in 2020 is connected to the difference between then and now and lessons learned the hard way at the time. The events of 1979 changed Elvis-- he would still pursue similar themes and wouldn't shy away from joking and commenting on the ugliness of this world but no album would ever have the same overconfidence that he could say the most awful things with a sneer and know that people would trust that he was doing it all ironically. But this is the first Armed Forces-related "authorized" content that is newly commissioned rather than culled from the archives, so we have to process it as a "now" thing rather than a "then" thing. I don't think if EC wrote "Oliver's Army" today and released it that I would process it the same way I did when I first heard it in the early 1990s and I processed it as a song from the late 1970s...



Brilliant, You're so right CWR - how we process this now as against in 1979 or 1990 is what makes any views much less objective. I also don't remember when the idea that the album could have been called Emotional Fascism was broadcast and although the phrase was printed on the inner sleeve, i probably didn't take as much notice back then as i did when I subsequently read about it and even being at the centre of the world ( or so I felt in 1979 as a student in London University) I wasn't astute or aware of the implications of some of these themes then that I've subsequently grown into ( I've matured so much since then, like a fat old cheese ! :roll: )

bronxapostle
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby bronxapostle » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:33 pm

let me recap my last post ten or twelve back here. It is a joke, folks!! don't think too hard. i kinda respect that he can still walk a fine line for humor in, oh so horribly politically correct, 2020!

sweetest punch
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:49 pm

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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And No Coffee Table
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby And No Coffee Table » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:08 pm

sweetest punch wrote:https://www.wsj.com/articles/elvis-costello-on-accidents-will-happen-11603900495

Anyone with a subscription?

ANATOMY OF A SONG
Elvis Costello on ‘Accidents Will Happen’
The new-wave singer looks back on his mistakes—and the real meaning behind his 1979 song
By Marc Myers
Oct. 28, 2020 11:54 am ET

“Accidents Will Happen” opened the third album by newly minted rock star Elvis Costello in 1979. Recorded with his band the Attractions, the song helped push the album, “Armed Forces,” to No. 10 on the Billboard chart for two weeks in March that year.

In a recent conversation, Mr. Costello revealed the deeper meaning of the lyrics in the autobiographical song—beyond the telling in his 2015 memoir—and shared his regrets and the song’s influences. His new album, “Hey Clockface” (Concord), is due Saturday , and his remastered “Complete Armed Forces” (UMe) box will be issued Nov. 6. Edited from an interview.

Elvis Costello: I wrote “Accidents Will Happen” in early 1978, just prior to my U.S. tour that spring. For the lyrics, I couldn’t bring myself to invent an honest narrative for the life I was living at the time.

As a song, “Accidents” has a romantic sound, but it also has this moral dilemma baked in. I’ve had to make peace with my own failings during that time as a husband and as a father. All of those years ended in a painful divorce.

The song wasn’t inspired by a romantic encounter with a female cab driver in Tucson, Ariz., as I wrote in my 2015 memoir. In the book, I needed to construct a single episode in print to stand in for the truth, which was much less funny and much more embarrassing.

Back in ’78, I was young, newly famous and I didn’t have any sense of responsibility. Temptation came along, and I gave in to it more than I should have. That’s what this song is really about.

I did indeed try to run away to Mexico, as I hinted in the book, but that was just used as a comic way of telling the story. In truth, the song was about several dalliances gone wrong, only to realize after that I shouldn’t have done that.

Several songs influenced me during the writing of “Accidents.” The drama and scale of the song was swayed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart.” Though their song doesn’t resemble “Accidents” in any way, I wanted their bell-tolling sensation in the chorus that the Attractions’ Steve Nieve articulated well on keyboards.

The other inspiration was a lyric line—“I don’t want to hear it”— from Randy Newman’s “I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore.” Dusty Springfield recorded it on her 1969 “Dusty in Memphis” album. I used the line in my chorus:

“Accidents will happen / We only hit and run / I don’t want to hear it / ’Cause I know what I’ve done.”

When writing the lyrics, I decided to add a bit of disguise by shifting the perspective throughout the song, from first to third person—he, she, him, we, they. You hear this immediately in the song’s opening verse:

“Oh I just don’t know where to begin / Though he says he’ll wait forever / It’s now or never / But she keeps him hanging on.”

If I had used the first person—“I”—throughout, it would have sounded too confessional. The third person distracts from the confidence the singer is sharing with the listener and makes the drama more universal and less personal.

That was probably self-defense on my part. When I wrote the lyrics, I couldn’t quite live with what I was saying in the first person. I also was ashamed, as I was married at the time.

The first verse continues on about a guy trying to seduce some girl who has a girlfriend with her. The guy is trying to lose the other girl:

“The silly champion / She says she can’t go home / Without a chaperone.”

Cast in the third person, the lyrics also became more journalistic—I’m relaying something I’ve witnessed. That’s particularly true in the second verse:

“There’s so many fish in the sea / That only rise up in the sweat and smoke like mercury / But they keep you hanging on / They say you’re so young / Your mind is made up but your mouth is undone.”

In reality, the lyrics describe a club scene, the way the eye casts around, and everybody is looking at each other.

From my perspective, I had gone from being an outsider and not very social to being aware of people looking at me because I was on a record cover. There were girls taking an interest because I was somebody they’d heard of. There was all of that conundrum in the verse.

I think in a weird way, there’s a kind of innocence in there or inexperience. I see that now. Of course, all of these things I didn’t see when I was writing it.

I don’t know where the melody came from specifically. I think somewhere in my mind was the song “Walk Away Renée.” I was a huge Levi Stubbs fan and I knew the 1967 version by the Four Tops. Then, when I first came to America on tour in ’77, I found the Left Banke’s 1966 original in a second-hand record store. I remember thinking, “I wish I could write a melody that was that airborne.”

Back in London in late June ’78, the Attractions and I began rehearsing “Accidents” just outside of London in a church hall next to a school. A bunch of girls came out and recognized us from TV or a pop magazine. They wanted to know what we were doing there.

They came into the studio with us and became our focus group as we rehearsed. We were thrilled, since we were playing for an age group we hoped was our audience. The girls just sat there, somewhat bewildered, listening for a little while.

Then they said they had to go. I remember one of them turned around and said, “You look stupid in that jacket.”

In August, we went into London’s Eden Studios to record. We didn’t have a written musical arrangement. Everything was worked out during rehearsals and memorized. We recorded with engineer Roger Béchirian and producer Nick Lowe.

The first two words of the song, “Oh, I,” were always going to be sung a cappella. My influence was the Beatles’ “Girl” from Rubber Soul. I always liked how John Lennon sang the first two words a cappella—“Is there….” The music kicks in and John continues: “…anybody going to listen to my story / all about the girl who came to stay?”

There’s no guitar on the basic track of “Accidents.” It’s just keyboards, bass and drums. We could have used ringing guitars, but we had Steve play these cascading keyboard arpeggios instead. In the second half, you hear Steve on an early synthesizer, which adds mystique.

We had been listening a lot to ABBA’s use of layered keyboards. ABBA’s Benny Andersson added a very grand, almost classical-style piano on their songs. Steve did that for us.

Once the music was recorded, I overdubbed my vocal. Then Nick and I did all the vocal harmonies. We double-tracked our voices to make the background vocals a little wider, for a gauze effect rather than a close harmony.

With distance, I hear the song the way other people do. If there’s anything in it at all, I know that there is a true story behind it.

But I didn’t falsify the story in my memoir. I simply romanticized it to illustrate the dilemma and tragedy I found myself in. It’s the same with the song. If you relayed the details of an important life event precisely in the lyrics, they’d be crushingly boring.

You’d also be thinking of your moments of indecision and prevarication. The moment where you wanted to escape but didn’t and found yourself in some compromise.

Anybody can make that kind of mistake. It’s also not the end of the world. That’s why the song is called “Accidents Will Happen.” In life, there are happy accidents as well as tragic ones.

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docinwestchester
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby docinwestchester » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:00 pm

Thanks for posting that WSJ article. Really interesting.

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krm
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby krm » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:54 am

docinwestchester wrote:Thanks for posting that WSJ article. Really interesting.


indeed!

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby Neil. » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:00 am

Interesting. But why was he not telling the truth about the Mexico story? I don't get that.

I love 'Accidents' - it's got to be a top-tenner, I think.

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby krm » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:28 am

Neil. wrote:Interesting. But why was he not telling the truth about the Mexico story? I don't get that.

I love 'Accidents' - it's got to be a top-tenner, I think.


I quote the article: "The song wasn’t inspired by a romantic encounter with a female cab driver in Tucson, Ariz., as I wrote in my 2015 memoir. In the book, I needed to construct a single episode in print to stand in for the truth, which was much less funny and much more embarrassing."
The truth was NOT funny at all, and embarrasing.

Then comes the question why bother to mention it at all. Maybe it was a key moment for him and felt it was necessary to bring up. *me speculating*

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby rightbrain » Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:12 pm

I noticed the "AUTUMN!30" 30% Discount Code no longer works. Anybody know of a new 30% Discount Code that DOES work? $140 is better than $200. In fact, at $200 there's no way this EC Lifer can take the plunge.

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby erey » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:08 pm

I'm just popping in to take a victory lap for figuring out a couple of years ago that the Tucson cab driver story actually recounted the origins of "Busy Bodies", not "Accidents Will Happen". :D

Receipts here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10747&p=7735085#p7732862

At the time I attributed the song swap to EC's unconscious mind rewriting the narrative over the years so that this memorable experience produced a memorable song, rather than a forgettable one. But it turns out he was conscious of it after all.

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:45 pm

Great to see you back erey.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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krm
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby krm » Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:51 am

erey wrote:I'm just popping in to take a victory lap for figuring out a couple of years ago that the Tucson cab driver story actually recounted the origins of "Busy Bodies", not "Accidents Will Happen". :D

Receipts here: http://www.elviscostellofans.com/phpBB3 ... 5#p7732862

At the time I attributed the song swap to EC's unconscious mind rewriting the narrative over the years so that this memorable experience produced a memorable song, rather than a forgettable one. But it turns out he was conscious of it after all.


Exactly, I was thinking about this thread as well yesterday but somehow my attention was caught be something else (food or football I guess). My attention span nowadays is shorter than ever.
Thanks for the reminder, and good to see you back erey

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:20 pm

https://www.jazzwax.com/2020/10/elvis-c ... dents.html

Elvis Costello on 'Accidents'

Recently, I had a 45-minute phone conversation with Elvis Costello about Accidents Will Happen for my "Anatomy of a Song" column in The Wall Street Journal (go here). I've always been fascinated by the 1979 song that opens his album Armed Forces. It has an urgent pop structure and a new-wave delivery, but there are tensions within its lyrics that were never fully explained in Elvis's 2015 memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink.

I last interviewed Elvis at length in 2015, when we talked about (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes. This time, I was looking for the full story behind the enigmas in Accidents Will Happen, the song's influence and how it was recorded. Elvis was remarkably candid and confessional. In his book, he had hinted that the song was inspired by a dalliance with a female cab driver in Tucson, Ariz., in early 1978. During our interview, he said he had fabricated the encounter and used artistic license to concoct an anecdote that stood in for multiple dalliances.

We talked about the bad judgment he used at the time and the price he paid—a broken marriage. As Elvis put it, "I needed to construct a single episode in print to stand in for the truth, which was much less funny and much more embarrassing." Continuing, he talked about a bad decision he made that few rock stars regret: "Back in ’78, I was young and newly famous, and I didn’t have any sense of responsibility. Temptation came along, and I gave in to it more than I should have. That’s what this song is really about."

My job isn't to judge Elvis or anyone else. This is art, and sometimes art is found in real-life errors once they're given a spin. What I found fascinating was Elvis's willingness to talk about it and how he feels now. Equally intriguing was how his regrets about his dalliances fed into the song's lyrics. A revealing conversation about an artist's emotional tug of war and the creative process behind pop songwriting.

We also talked about the inspirations behind his song: Burt Bacharach and Hal David's Anyone Who Had a Heart, Randy Newman's I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore, the Four Tops' version of Walk Away Renée and the Beatles' Girl. None of these songs were cribbed. They were muses: Anyone Who Had a Heart's "and one" pauses to build drama; Newman's defensive line in a song that appears on Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis; Walk Away Renée's descending bass line; and the first two words of the Beatles' Girl (Is there...) that John Lennon sings a cappella. (Elvis opens Accidents with the words Oh I... sung a cappella.)

I found Elvis's reflections compassionate and the details about his songwriting process revealing and eclectic. He remains one of the finest songwriters of the new-wave era and his lyrics are neatly enigmatic and biting, weaving together stories about romantic struggles and other personal issues. The result is always a personal puzzle, so unpacking Accidents was gratifying.

Image

(...)
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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And No Coffee Table
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:17 pm

rightbrain wrote:I noticed the "AUTUMN!30" 30% Discount Code no longer works. Anybody know of a new 30% Discount Code that DOES work?

30OFF!FALL

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby rightbrain » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:38 am

A $59.99 "Thank You" to And No Coffee Table. The 30% Off Code you provided worked perfectly today.

It's still insane to pay $139.99 (+ taxes) for this, but "I don't want to hear it, 'cause I know what I've done. I know . . . I know . . . I know . . . I KNOW!!!!"

: 0 )

Many thanks!

bronxapostle
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby bronxapostle » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:21 pm

rightbrain wrote:A $59.99 "Thank You" to And No Coffee Table. The 30% Off Code you provided worked perfectly today.

It's still insane to pay $139.99 (+ taxes) for this, but "I don't want to hear it, 'cause I know what I've done. I know . . . I know . . . I know . . . I KNOW!!!!"

: 0 )

Many thanks!



down to $139 already?? under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby Top balcony » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:57 am

bronxapostle wrote:under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:


could this be translated into Scouse please? I'm a vegetarian and this means nothing to me (oh Vienna)!

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:31 am

Top balcony wrote:
bronxapostle wrote:under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:


could this be translated into Scouse please? I'm a vegetarian and this means nothing to me (oh Vienna)!


Sorry....a chop is a hundred dollar bill in nyc/urban slang. PARDON! :D


P.S. i love the Ultravox reference. May i tag you when i do post that one at my top million albums thread at fbook??

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby Top balcony » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:14 am

bronxapostle wrote:P.S. i love the Ultravox reference. May i tag you when i do post that one at my top million albums thread at fbook??

Yes of course, although does it matter that I'm not on fbook? or that that lot certainly wouldn't make my top million?

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:30 am

bronxapostle wrote:under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:

As a matter of fact, you can get it RIGHT NOW for $98.

There is a sitewide sale for 30% off without a code, but you can still use the 30% off code (30OFF!FALL) on the sale price, which means you can get the black vinyl for $98.00 or the color vinyl for $127.40.

https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set
https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set

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Top balcony
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby Top balcony » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:59 am

And No Coffee Table wrote:
bronxapostle wrote:under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:

As a matter of fact, you can get it RIGHT NOW for $98.

https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set
https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set


Those links take me to the UK branch of "udiscovermusic", where this product can still be purchased for £249.99 ( that is $322.68 or 3 chops and a side salad in NYC).

sulky lad
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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby sulky lad » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:17 am

Top balcony wrote:
And No Coffee Table wrote:
bronxapostle wrote:under a chop by Easter :lol: :lol: :lol:

As a matter of fact, you can get it RIGHT NOW for $98.

https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set
https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collect ... on-box-set[/quote

Those links take me to the UK branch of "udiscovermusic", where this product can still be purchased for £249.99 ( that is $322.68 or 3 chops and a side salad in NYC).



Or a rather tasty pizza in old Mudchester with a vintage title of wine or three !! :D :wink:

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby fred darden » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:15 pm

Depending on election outcome, I can grab the set.

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:34 pm

the way this dropped, now i want it for half a chop!!! :) :)

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Re: The Complete Armed Forces (Super Deluxe Edition)

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:00 pm

Top balcony wrote:Those links take me to the UK branch of "udiscovermusic", where this product can still be purchased for £249.99 ( that is $322.68 or 3 chops and a side salad in NYC).

If you want to order from the US branch, try shop.udiscovermusic.com, rather than store.udiscovermusic.com.


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