Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Pretty self-explanatory
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wordnat
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby wordnat » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:22 pm

Chuch Underground and Dr. Watson have now joined All These Strangers at the top of my list. These songs stun me....

Mikeh
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Mikeh » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:21 am

How on earth did Condemned Man not make it onto the album? One of the most chilling songs he has ever done. I wish he's put that on the album and left off Josephine!

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:29 am

Stations Of The Cross is possibly my favourite at the moment. I have listened to first 9 songs three or four times now and the rest just twice.

I think this album could be the classic Elvis album I've been waiting since PFM IMO.
Nothing against the other albums since. They all have plenty ong songs I really like. Except SPS, this album makes me forgive SPS as it is almost like it was what we call over here a pre season freindly before the real fooball season kicks in.
Not over keen on My Lovely Jezabel and in places it's to wordy, but that could be just because Im reading the lyrics alongside the songs instead of just listening to them.

A cracking album and very hard to pick one track out.

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:19 pm

Clearly on the first initial listens through the record for me the astounding track continues to be "Jimmie Standing In The Rain" with a close second to "You Hung the Moon" with an honorable mention to "Five Small Words". I have been, and continue to be, in love with the first two since I heard them in the summer. They are gems that belong in the 'official' canon and may well survive beyond the next few generations.
Last edited by Jack of All Parades on Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby jardine » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:51 pm

um,um,um,um, i love the fact that this is so hard to do.

ok, right now, church underground since i heard the trumpet notes at the end. the rhythm right after the title phrase feels like a cross between blonde on blonde and once the trumpet enters playing that repeated single note, it's like all you need is love.

and that spot, "I'm rolling like a barrel, swinging like a gallows, etc." is simply breathtaking, like some huge swaggering evil thing moving in. theres a bit of manoutoftime in this, a bit of deepdarktruthful mirror in the "the shaft of fanlight streaked with rain" part. yep.

and i love the chord change over "I'm trying to make peace after a long night of pretend," as if it is shifting into a two line chorus, but also heightening some sorrow and some portend.

yep. and the best news is, i'm going to change my mind unpredictably but soon...like the bass clarinet in one bell....

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Neil. » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:42 pm

A week in, and I'm still loving Church Underground - the whole, thorny, swaggering, convoluted progress to that great hook, 'It's enough to put a church underground.' - and then the mega-swagger of that line, as Jardine pointed out: 'I'm rolling like a barrel, swinging like a gallows' etc. Amazing,

That's not to say I don't love a lot of the rest of it: Slow Drag is also astounding, and All These Strangers, and JImmie Standing - and Voice in the Dark, of course!

And I'm not sick of 'I Lost You' yet! I thought that one'd pall quickly, because it hooks you so strongly on first listen - but I still love it!

The rest are good, but they're not buzzing around my head all day like the others - I'm constantly whistling Voice in the Dark and Josephine.

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Ypsilanti » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:39 pm

"Jimmie" is incredible. What a story Elvis tells in that one! Jesus Christ! Got to be one of his best ever.

"Stations Of The Cross"...hated the bootleg version I heard. LOVE it on the album. His voice is totally seductive and beautiful on this song (actually--he sounds great throughout NR). That phrase...tighten the tourniquet, turning her blue. It's brutal and horrifying, yet I can't get it out of my head. I don't know how he does it. It's just 6 little words, but totally flattens me. I can tell it's something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

And who can say no to "Josephine"? A wonderful, fun & funny song.

Really, I'm loving all of it. Maybe "Dr. Watson" & "One Bell Ringing" are slightly in the back row for me, but it's early. I'm going to change my mind a thousand times about these songs.
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby so lacklustre » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:01 pm

SoLacks Favourite: Five Small Words
signed with love and vicious kisses

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Fishfinger king
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Fishfinger king » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:25 pm

queenofthefleapit wrote:
wordnat wrote:All these Strangers


I agree. It's beautiful and I'm sort of hypnotized when I listen to it...


Didn't want to rush and respond to the first two posts, but after two weeks, yes I agree.

Honourable mention though to Bullets for the Newborn King, which doesn't seem to have had much of a mention but after a few plays is a fantastic song.

In all his best album of the millenium so far.
Is that so surprising nowadays?

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Ypsilanti
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Ypsilanti » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:25 am

After listening to NR a bunch of times, "All These Strangers" has rocketed to the top of my list. Wow!

For second place, it's a 7-way tie..."Bullets", "You Hung The Moon", "Stations Of The Cross", "Voice In The Dark", "Jimmie", "Five Small Words" & "Josephine".

I can't get enough of this record. The quality of it--in every regard--is mind-blowing.
So I keep this fancy to myself
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sheeptotheslaughter
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:30 am

It's a great record I am even starting to like my lovely Jezabel,
Stations of The Cross
Church Underground
Jimmie
You hung the moon

But I really like all the album

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Ypsilanti
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Ypsilanti » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:41 pm

sheeptotheslaughter wrote:It's a great record I am even starting to like my lovely Jezabel,

Agree! It just struck me tonight.

I have just this week started doing a longish commute for work--from Long Island to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Turns out the ride is exactly the same length as NR. It's good to have such a fine album to keep me company in the car.
So I keep this fancy to myself
I keep my lipstick twisted tight

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby pophead2k » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:15 pm

Church Underground is it for me. The chord change on the chorus hits me where it counts every time.

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Miclewis » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:01 pm

I agree with everyone else, but I have give a shout out to "That's not the Part of Him I'm Leaving". Plus "The Spell that You Cast" gets better and better everytime.
I must say, this album has many stand outs.

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Poor Deportee » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:01 pm

I just got the album yesterday and I've listened to the first 10 songs twice - haven't got to the rest yet. A couple of tracks leave me cold (the title track, Stations of the Cross) but all I can say is: HOLY MACKAREL. This is it! - this is Elvis at his absolute, breathtaking, heart-catching peak. This is the Elvis of King of America...but he has found a new vein to mine, the historical storytelling opened up on SP & S, and the results are a creative nuclear blast. I actually teared up a couple of times, not so much over any specific tune as at the unexpected return of that spine-tingling senesation of being totally blown away by an Elvis Costello album - a feeling I remember well, from youthful days of listening, with jaw dropped, to records like 'Get Happy' and KOA. I haven't experienced that in a long time. In fact, I thought I was beyond that kind of response. It's a bit like discovering you call still fall wildly in love 8)

Best song so far: well, like many others, I must nominate Jimmie Standing in the Rain. 'Church Underground' is a great composition (oddly, its meandering, painful ascent reminds me of The Band's 'Reuben Remus' of all things) but perhaps not the greatest recording. One song that fascinates me, though, is 'Dr. Watson I Presume.' Mysterious and jittery, the writing is just choke-chain tight. It seems to be getting short shrift around here...but it's unique in EC's repetoire and I have a feeling it will repay repeated listenings.

Anyway...the writing! The writing on some of these songs. Inspired hardly does some of them justice. Astonishing stuff.

And I'm only halfway through... :shock:
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby jardine » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:36 pm

another listen to the first half. 3 things
1. jimmie still reminds me of early ellington, east st. louis toodle-oo almost referenced by name, but also that pulsing beat, and in the brass, black and tan fantasy. and he mentioned his grandfather's sea voyages as a musician and having a picture of ellington from one of those cruises in the early 1930s--mentioned on the steve earle show. fabulous song.

2. josephine is just beautiful instrumentally. little flourishes from several instruments as it proceeds, then that sort of cascading chorous "garottes" etc., where the music kind of tumbles down, then almost square dances. his acoustic guitar playing on this nearly reminds me of mccartney circa 1968-ish. the whole song is actually very English psychedelic/old-nostalgic nearly.

3. ok, church underground is now my favourite song. last time around, the trumpet near the end that i could hear on the "alternate" version sold me. and that growling aggressive build. This time, I was in tears by the end. Heartbreaking and frightening at the same time. amazing song, amazing arrangement, and when that build starts at "rolling like a barrel"--i haven't had a moment in a song like this in a long time, where I sort of break down under its weight. Fabulous.

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wordnat
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby wordnat » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:44 pm

jardine wrote:another listen to the first half. 3 things
1. jimmie still reminds me of early ellington, east st. louis toodle-oo almost referenced by name, but also that pulsing beat, and in the brass, black and tan fantasy. and he mentioned his grandfather's sea voyages as a musician and having a picture of ellington from one of those cruises in the early 1930s--mentioned on the steve earle show. fabulous song.

2. josephine is just beautiful instrumentally. little flourishes from several instruments as it proceeds, then that sort of cascading chorous "garottes" etc., where the music kind of tumbles down, then almost square dances. his acoustic guitar playing on this nearly reminds me of mccartney circa 1968-ish. the whole song is actually very English psychedelic/old-nostalgic nearly.

3. ok, church underground is now my favourite song. last time around, the trumpet near the end that i could hear on the "alternate" version sold me. and that growling aggressive build. This time, I was in tears by the end. Heartbreaking and frightening at the same time. amazing song, amazing arrangement, and when that build starts at "rolling like a barrel"--i haven't had a moment in a song like this in a long time, where I sort of break down under its weight. Fabulous.


Agreed: C.U. is a monster. This has been mentioned before, but it really does sound like a forgotten exile from the MLAR sessions -- although it's vastly superior to anything on that record....

BTW, what the hell is C.U. about, exactly? I can't follow the narrative!

Neil.
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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Neil. » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:22 pm

wordnat wrote:BTW, what the hell is C.U. about, exactly? I can't follow the narrative!


A theory from the great John Foyle on this:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8452&p=135488&hilit=church+underground#p135488

Ruth Etting? Will have to research further to find out more! But, Christ, the way he depicts this woman as a force of nature, battling her belligerent fate, is ASTOUNDING!

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Dr. Luther » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:51 pm

I do believe that Church Underground is the class of this field.
I think it is the primary candidate to withstand (pathologically) repeated listenings.

Costello's best songs almost always sound a bit meandering, melodically, to me upon initial listenings.
A few listens later, the thread of the melody starts falling into place.

Followed closely by :
"How the fuck did somebody formulate that tremendously complex melody?"

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Re: Yes, it's early, but NR's greatest song is:

Postby Neil. » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:56 am

Dr. Luther wrote:"How the fuck did somebody formulate that tremendously complex melody?"


...yep, Doc - followed hot on the heels by "...and how the fuck has he managed to pull it off YET AGAIN?!"


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