Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Pretty self-explanatory
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pophead2k
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Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby pophead2k » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:53 am

Stereogum has ranked EC's albums from 'worst to best' in anticipation of WUG:
http://www.stereogum.com/1426582/elvis-costello-albums-from-worst-to-best/top-stories/lead-story/

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docinwestchester
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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby docinwestchester » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:50 am

Those album reviews are extremely insightful and well-written.

Armed Forces is the record on which Costello's head basically explodes.

may be my favorite line, followed closely by (also in reference to Armed Forces):

Music this frightening should perhaps not be allowed to be so catchy.

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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby brilliantmistake » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:57 pm

Right off the bat, MLAR is not worse than Goodbye Cruel World! I think the key point on both of those albums are that they both have great songs on them that got mucked up with bad productions. The MLAR songs on the Unplugged are amazing and the GCW songs solo show their true beauty.

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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby Poor Deportee » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:50 pm

I agree that the synposes are well done. And although I too will object strenuously to some of these rankings - how can WIWC be as high as 15, when it's clearly bottom-scraping sludge? - it's hard to imagine a list that would please everyone. This is an unusually informed and thoughtful version of this sort of exercise, and perhaps more proof that the new album has more "buzz" than any EC album in years.
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cwr
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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby cwr » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:55 pm

I think the stereogum list is generally pretty good-- MLAR at the bottom I disagree with totally, and there are certain trends (like valuing "toughness" over seemingly all other traits songs might have) that are weird.

Plus, there are areas where they are less knowledgable than they think they are, like when they cite "Hidden Shame" and "Complicated Shadows" (described as "tough-minded") as the two examples that prove EC is still writing good songs in 2009, since both of those songs are from the early 90s (and one of them quite obviously so since it's on 1996's ATUB.)

But any article that would go through all of them rather than simply listed a Top 5 at least gets it that Costello is all about the massive body of work, not just one or two early albums...

The imposter
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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby The imposter » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:19 pm

I see the article is listed on The Official EC site under the heading.. More People In Need Of A Time Machine :) :) :)

http://www.elviscostello.com/news/Elvis ... o+Best/458

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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:30 pm

This list had me at MLAR picked dead last........ it secured my respect with SPS at #21. 8)
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby Poor Deportee » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:35 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:This list had me at MLAR picked dead last........ it secured my respect with SPS at #21. 8)


Ha ha, two issues we are doomed to disagree about, Jack :D Although of course I recognize significant limitations to both albums. WIWC would be dead last in my book, were it not for the existence of Kojak Variety. (Are there really Costello fans who would prefer to own KV over MLAR? That seems an extravagant position to me, no matter how we slice it).
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I hope no living thing cries over his bones

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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:25 am

"(Are there really Costello fans who would prefer to own KV over MLAR? That seems an extravagant position to me, no matter how we slice it).[/quote]

Well, PD, count me as one particularly if I can create my own selection from amongst the additional tracks offered on the Rhino two disc reissue. I am definitely with you in the case of WIWC-sonic sludge indeed- but I will take it over MLAR which is just about unlistenable to my ears- hence why it found a new home in Vancouver. :wink:
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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VoiceInTheDark
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Re: Elvis album rankings at Stereogum

Postby VoiceInTheDark » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:40 am

This is a pretty entertaining, well written article with some interesting choices. It’s nice to see underrated albums like Trust and Blood & Chocolate in the top ten. Likewise, it’s really refreshing to see the Juliet Letters and Almost Blue get some recognition, the latter of which is so often unfairly maligned that I usually expect to see it dead last on these kinds of lists.

On the other hand Armed Forces is a somewhat disappointingly predictable number one pick. And I’m in agreement with most others here that Mighty Like A Rose deserves much better than last place, it’s a flawed album but has far too many redeeming qualities to be considered his worst. It’s surprising to see masterpieces like All This Useless Beauty, Brutal Youth, The Delivery Man, and National Ransom outranked by Punch the Clock, North, and Painted From Memory, all of which I would place squarely in the bottom five along with Goodbye Cruel World and Kojak Variety. Despite my disagreements with the author, I must admit that after the bottom five or six, ranking the top 20 best EC albums is a task that makes Sophie’s Choice look like a walk in the park so I suppose I shouldn't be too critical.


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