40 Years Ago

Pretty self-explanatory
sulky lad
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40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:50 pm

I think I might as well start this topic as I will be encouraging all well known posters on this site to keep on uploading their live recordings from this period.
Just a quick query as we approach October 21st. The recording that I'm aware of at this time is from Salford University as advertised in both the NME and MM of this period as part of the Live Stiffs Live package tour. However, the wiki states that a concert took place in the Apollo Theatre, Manchester on this night; they refer to a Manchester Music Archive which has a picture of part of a ticket but which definitely looks like it might be from Apollo Theatr "e, Manchester"
So which is true - the original cassette recording that was the source for my good friend was just a hand written paper cover. Did anyone attend the Manchester show, was Salford scrapped for a larger venue or did it take place on the 20th or 23rd between other shows ?!
Any revelations greatly appreciated !

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby Azmuda » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:05 am

sulky lad wrote:I think I might as well start this topic as I will be encouraging all well known posters on this site to keep on uploading their live recordings from this period.
Just a quick query as we approach October 21st. The recording that I'm aware of at this time is from Salford University as advertised in both the NME and MM of this period as part of the Live Stiffs Live package tour. However, the wiki states that a concert took place in the Apollo Theatre, Manchester on this night; they refer to a Manchester Music Archive which has a picture of part of a ticket but which definitely looks like it might be from Apollo Theatr "e, Manchester"
So which is true - the original cassette recording that was the source for my good friend was just a hand written paper cover. Did anyone attend the Manchester show, was Salford scrapped for a larger venue or did it take place on the 20th or 23rd between other shows ?!
Any revelations greatly appreciated !


Some long-forgotten research is here:

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Talk:Concert_1977-10-21_Manchester

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby krm » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:05 am

Bruce Thomas old itenary that he published some months ago could be added here as a reference too. But I am sure you have that one on top of your desk already. This might or might not help out.
LiveStiffsTour.jpg
LiveStiffsTour.jpg (103.32 KiB) Viewed 17966 times

http://www.brucethomas.co.uk/?p=1961

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks, Kjell, I have it somewhere but I couldn't lay hands on it at the time,.
thanks also for Mojo form guiding me in the right direction !!

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:45 pm

Theresa Kereakes permits me to share her photo of Elvis on stage in Los Angeles on November 19 1977. 'Elvis is holding a broken glass. He broke his glass of water to shake it at a heckler', she comments. 'That photo is included in my exhibit at @gethiprecords Store’s Black Friday shindig.'

http://www.unguardedmoments.info/

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... os_Angeles

Image

Image

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:27 am

Thanks for sharing that photo. Is there anything on what happened at this show out there?
Who on earth is tapping at the window?

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:04 am

Thanks for sharing that photo. Is there anything on what happened at this show out there.




This is how EC remembers it in UM&DI:

"...some boorish, drunken English bloke forced himself into the center of the crowd, his hands roaming uninvited over a girl who was pressed up against the front of the stage. Ever the gallant, I smashed a bottle that someone had conveniently left between my vocal monitors and made some kind of offer with the jagged end that I never really saw myself following up on. Mercifully, the lout was hustled out of the premises before anybody's blood was spilled."

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:12 pm

https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 0445472771


Feb. '77 ? More likely Nov. 77. Still , it's great to see Elvis's Twitter account getting in on this.

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:08 am

I wonder if he's listening to any of the old recordings that are doing the rounds in celebration ? :shock:

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:36 am

So, 40 years ago today I attended my first Elvis Costello gig at the Roundhouse in London.
A scene setting is probably overkill but I still feel excited about it and this nostalgia is a bit precious to me !
I was brought up in a village in West Devon in a most rural setting and had a sheltered happy upbringing where everyone knew me and my family because of our connection to the local chapel and my family's bakery business. I spent my early weekends and holidays driving around the village with my parents, delivering bread and attending church functions and local football matches. After taking "A" levels and with no idea what I was going to do with my life, I failed to get into medical school with my grades but was offered a choice of either London or Surrey University. Naively, my father had heard Surrey had "an immoral" reputation and so I left home with an enormous suitcase early in October 1977 for London and stayed with the mother and step-father of a fellow 6th former in Highbury, North London who took me in and made my transition so easy as I slipped into a family home. I will never be able to thank them or repay them for their kindness to me over the three years as an under-graduate. My first term was a tumultuous rush of new experiences and rapid growing up and I was befriended by a fellow undergrad who decided my musical tastes needed broadening and so, In January 1978 we met at Camden tube station and made our way to the Roundhouse for a free gig by Elvis and The Attractions. I know he had contacts within the music business and we had no problem getting our free tickets and entering the old railway shed.
Sadly, I recall little of that gig, except for the comments about needing a bottle of water to wash my hair afterwards - (I'm sure I've explained that before on this forum). I know at the time we saw quite a few punk/new wave bands together and I can only remember the excitement of these shows even if most of the bands disappeared without a trace. My friend Graham hardly ever paid for tickets and indeed we were planning to see Elvis at the Dominion Theatre in December of 1978 but he had been obliged to go home at the end of term before these gigs and then was tragically killed in a motorbike accident over the Christmas holiday.
Today I'm grateful to my landlord and landlady and their sweet daughter Lesley and to Graham (RIP) who planted seeds that have dominated my musical life ever since. Although not fantastically overwhelmed by the gig, I did go to Camden market within a couple of weeks and bought a cassette of the Roundhouse show from a trader who, for the whole of the time I was in London, always had a huge number of bootleg shows available within hours of their recording and who always was knowledgeable and friendly. The recording captured some of the excitement, and Elvis' fury at the amount of spitting that had been going on throughout the show and this apparently caused him to only perform one encore. I have a feeling Night rally struck a chord but this may just be a 40 year old desire to have been "right-on" politically after all these years ! No doubt this show will appear at some stage on some well know torrent site ?! :shock:

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:26 am

Thanks for sharing your story. It makes me want to find this recording. Sounds like quite a gig.
Who on earth is tapping at the window?

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:27 am

This Year’s Model was released on March 17, 1978 in the UK: http://ultimateclassicrock.com/elvis-co ... ars-model/

40 years ago: Elvis Costello releases his masterpiece, “This Year’s Model”

Elvis Costello's debut album, 1977's My Aim Is True, arrived less than a year before its follow-up, This Year's Model. But the two records boasted a sound, style and attitude that were far removed from each other -- a sign of things to come from the singer-songwriter, whose restless catalog has swung from one genre to another with little dip in quality along the way.

My Aim Is True was recorded in 1976 and 1977 in London by Costello, who was born there, and a California-based country-rock band called Clover that included members who would later join Huey Lewis and the News and the Doobie Brothers. (Lewis was actually a member of Clover at the time but did not appear on the album, which didn't credit the band because of contractual reasons.)

For This Year's Model, Costello enlisted his own band, the Attractions, which he formed after the release of his debut. (Even though they did receive credit, they didn't receive an official cover co-billing until 1979's Armed Forces.) And the upgrade, or at least the familiarity of working with musicians he had spent plenty of time on the road with at that point, pushed Costello's second LP to new levels of intensity. Not that My Aim Is True didn't have that; This Year's Model just had more of it.

The critical success of My Aim Is True also gave Costello more confidence as a songwriter. At 23, he was one of the best young writers of the era, pulling from earlier artists as much as he was riding the new wave of punk upstarts. With This Year's Model, released on March 17, 1978, Costello made his masterpiece -- an album that bridged his brief past with his wide-open future.

The album's sessions started in late 1977 and ended in early 1978 at London's Eden Studios, with Nick Lowe, who worked on My Aim Is True, once again producing. More than a dozen songs were recorded, including some of his most enduring songs: "No Action," "Pump It Up," "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea," "Lipstick Vogue" and "Radio, Radio," among them.

When it came time to release the LP in the U.S., a couple months after the original U.K. debut, two songs were dropped from the track listing -- "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally," reportedly because they were too British for American ears -- and replaced by "Radio, Radio," which was released in Costello's home country seven months later as a stand-alone single.

By the time "Radio, Radio" made its debut on record, it was already a notorious chapter in Costello's short history after he and the Attractions played Saturday Night Live in December 1977 (filling in for the missing Sex Pistols, who were having problems securing visas). Costello was scheduled to perform "Less Than Zero" from My Aim Is True, which still wasn't officially available in the States, but changed course after a couple seconds and launched into "Radio, Radio" instead. As a result, he was banned from the TV show for a dozen years, before being invited back in 1989, when he repeated the stunt, this time with the Beastie Boys and with SNL's consent, on the program's 25th anniversary special.

The song serves as a linchpin of This Year's Model, even though it wasn't part of the original release and closed the album it first appeared on. It represented a more robust sound for Costello, thanks to both the addition of the Attractions and Lowe's punchier production, and a more biting undertone that helped build Costello's standing as one of punk's most promising Angry Young Men.

He also became one of the era's most prolific genre jumpers, making R&B, country, baroque pop and Americana albums over the next decade. But This Year's Model serves as Costello's model, the record that introduced Steve Nieve's defining keyboard riffs and fills, a sturdier musical backing and Costello's sneering vocals -- all of which would find their way in and out of various albums over the years. He's made more cohesive records since then. And more innovative ones. But he's never made a better one.
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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby supplydavid » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:09 am

March 22nd Newcastle City Hall 1978, my first show, the wiki shows audience recording exists, anyone able to help me with a copy?

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:36 pm

Once I've sorted out my "DAD" issues, should be a recording surfacing there !

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby Top balcony » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:31 pm

supplydavid wrote:March 22nd Newcastle City Hall 1978, my first show, the wiki shows audience recording exists, anyone able to help me with a copy?

sulky lad wrote:Once I've sorted out my "DAD" issues, should be a recording surfacing there !


if Mr Lad's prediction does come to pass and another from the attic does surface I'll forward to you.

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:38 am

https://bestclassicbands.com/elvis-cost ... es-1-9-19/

Elvis Costello: ‘Armed Forces’ @40

What a difference an ocean makes. In the U.K. and Europe, Elvis Costello’s third album, Armed Forces, could be heard as a leap forward in songcraft and sonic ambition, a song cycle weaving the personal and political into a survey of “emotional fascism” in a showcase for the elegant interplay of Costello’s band, the Attractions, accorded far more studio polish than its full-length predecessor. Released 40 years ago, on January 5, 1979, the LP also marked the first time the band enjoyed co-billing with its leader.

For many North American fans, the album’s legacy has been eclipsed by a last-minute swap that replaced a Costello original with a one-off cover of a Brinsley Schwarz song written by former front man and Costello producer Nick Lowe, the now anthemic “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.” As a warmup for their own album, Costello and the Attractions bashed out a fast and furious cover of the Lowe song, pumping up the original’s rhythm guitar riffs into a virtual barrage against Costello’s howled vocals.

Like Costello’s prior studio work, the song was recorded live with minimal overdubs. Billed as Nick Lowe and His Sound, the track was cut as B-side to the pending single of Lowe’s “American Squirm,” stripping away Lowe’s tongue-in-cheek earnestness and power pop bloom to transform the song into a cri de Coeur of authentic, pissed-off rage.

The performance is undeniably powerful—and conspicuously out of place in the sonic landscape and thematic context of the Costello album. But Columbia Records, his U.S. label, was anxious to seed radio airplay, and had already set precedent with its revised track sequences for both of Costello’s prior albums. In his superb memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Costello asserts executives were worried that some of the material was “too English” in its lyric references and cultural perspective. Thus, “Sunday’s Best,” a sardonic waltz echoing English music hall tropes and explicit homeland allusions, was jettisoned and “(What’s So Funny)…” was added as the LP’s last song.

Armed and dangerous: Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve, Elvis Costello and Bruce Thomas
The sonic gulf between the guitar onslaught of the Nick Lowe cover version and the rest of Armed Forces is sharply defined by comparison to the intricate arrangements and spacious mixes that dominate the rest of the album, starting with the opening “Accidents Will Happen.”

“Oh, I just don’t know where to begin,” sings Costello before the Attractions kick into gear, a line that signals the singer’s frustration while offering a sly bit of misdirection. Apart from beginning the album, the statement belies the meticulous detail and verbal ingenuity heard throughout the dozen originals on the U.K. version. However angry Costello’s image may have seemed, the songs convey the musical imagination of a wide-ranging pop magpie as well as word-drunk verbal acuity.

Both My Aim is True, Costello’s 1977 debut, and 1978’s This Year’s Model had been recorded swiftly, with producer Lowe cutting Costello live in the studio with minimal overdubs, trading live-wire immediacy for nuance. For the next album’s sessions, the team took six weeks, a luxury compared with the 24 hours needed to cut the debut. The power heard in the Attractions’ tough, sinewy playing on the second album meanwhile deepened; the band’s frequent touring had accelerated a learning curve. That enabled Costello and his bandmates to work out more intricate arrangements in which keyboard player Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Pete Thomas (no relation) created interlocking parts. The thin, reedy signature of Nieve’s Vox Continental organ was now cushioned by lusher synthesizers and grand piano to sculpt a wide, orchestral space decorated with Bruce Thomas’ contrapuntal bass figures.

The pop instincts lurking beneath Costello’s aggression surface repeatedly across the albums, most explicitly on “Oliver’s Army,” a scathing and, yes, very English broadside against militarism and the class warfare underlying its history in Britain. With its name-check of Oliver Cromwell, its shout-out to the cannon fodder of “the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne,” and a snapshot of British soldiers in Northern Ireland, the track is stridently political, only heightening the irony of the music: Costello’s crooned vocals are set against a widescreen arrangement punctuated by Nieve’s exuberant piano flourishes, a touch Costello himself cheerfully cites as influenced outright by ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”

Add Costello’s soulful vocal tag on the fade, a note-for-note salute to Ronnie Spector’s ecstatic coda on Phil Spector’s Ronettes classic, “Be My Baby,” and it’s clear that Costello delighted in lifting ideas from a wider swatch of styles than new wave fashionistas might have bargained for, such as the dense chromatic vocal harmonies overdubbed on the title refrain in “Moods for Moderns.” At the same time, the material’s Anglocentric imagery and recurrent conflation of romantic and sexual encounters with British politics provide context for both the final album title and the “emotional fascism” initially considered and then relegated to an inner sleeve copy line. The concept is evoked precisely on “Green Shirt,” a song in which seduction and indoctrination mingle ominously.

Musically, “Green Shirt” typifies the band’s nearly telepathic agility. Pete Thomas’ drumming is rooted in economy, subtracting elements in the service of skeletal riffs that push and pull against Nieve’s lean keyboard figures to provide a coiled tension the track. The lyrics’ title garment serves both as a totem of sexual desire and a play on the infamous “brown shirts” of Germany’s Nazi Party. Elsewhere, Costello invokes thug threats in “Goon Squad” and leans into a “final solution” as a provocative metaphor in “Chemistry Class.” And in the track that closes Radar’s British version of Armed Forces, the political and personal equation is spelled out in “Two Little Hitlers.” With Margaret Thatcher’s election as British Prime Minister in the months after Armed Forces’ release, Costello’s ominous preoccupations seemed prescient.

While critics were nearly unanimous in hailing the musical growth heard on Armed Forces, there was less agreement about the material’s dark thematic heart, a pessimism verging on nihilism that Costello would himself later characterize as steeped in “paranoia.” That makes the bruised idealism of Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” stand out even more boldly. The track became the U.S. album’s most recognizable moment, and with yet another cover, Curtis Stiger’s rendition on the hit soundtrack to The Bodyguard, not only extended its reach but revitalized Nick Lowe’s third act as a solo singer and songwriter.
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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Fri May 03, 2019 8:05 am

As there's now a lull in live performances from 40 years ago, can I make a plea from any UK fans for any details of the 1980 (anywhere but here!) tour of towns in the U.K. off the beaten ( to the punch) track. It was reviewed in the first instance by the major music weeklies at Runcorn (!) but apart from Elvis' "moment" on Hastings pier, little else is recorded either literally or aurally. I can't help feeling disappointed that there are no soundboard or hi fidelity recordings out there as the ones I have are at the low end of the High Fidelity ( another Maserati) scale.
incidentally when John and I did the West Country trail after our success at Camelford/Davidstowe and slightly less success at the studios at Roche, we went to Carlyon Bay where the famous Cornwall Coliseum once stood.Elvis first played here in 1980 and again in 1981 and 1984 - I was there for that one. I'd visited the site a few years earlier when it was a cordoned off shell but by the time John and I got there, it had been completely demolished and I've just found a newspaper cutting about the final demolition of the concert hall.

http://www.staustellvoice.co.uk/news/73/article/4745/

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:55 am

Recently had contact from someone selling Costello stuff - he's no longer quite as infatuated as I am, and he recalled seeing Elvis and The Attractions at the Top Rank Suite in Sheffield in 1978 on April 5th and apparently after the concert had ended, a lighting rig crashed onto the stage and wiped out the drum kit - Sheffield providing a pretty miserable reaction to the return on the native, its own Pete Thomas !
Anyone else know anything about this occurrence and did Bruce play despite cutting his hand the night before ?

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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:38 pm

https://louderthanwar.com/elvis-costell ... reciation/

Elvis Costello & The Attractions ‘Get Happy’ Turns 40. An Appreciation
By louderthanwar -February 14, 2020

On 15th February, Get Happy by Elvis Costello & The Attractions celebrates its 40th birthday. Gordon Rutherford tells Louder Than War why it is worth revisiting.

It’s hard to believe that Get Happy, that iconic slice of vinyl by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, celebrates its fortieth birthday this Saturday. It’s an album that is so special to me for a number of reasons. I remember the day I bought it with my own hard-earned cash, accumulated from delivering newspapers seven days a week. Whilst I no longer deliver papers, I do still listen to Get Happy, not for nostalgic reasons but simply by virtue of its utter brilliance.

It’s fair to say that it’s not Costello’s most technically accomplished work. That epithet probably belongs to King of America. Nor is it his finest collection of songs. That would be Imperial Bedroom or Trust. But it is his most joyous, energetic, frantic, idiosyncratic, completely impossible body of work.

I saw Costello & the Attractions live for the first time shortly after Get Happy’s release. The thing I remember most was the absence of any breaks in between songs. They played for a frenetic two hours, lurching from one song to the next without missing a beat. By the end of the show, everyone, artists and audience alike, was exhausted. Of all Costello albums, Get Happy is the one that most emulates that experience.

Before we get to the music (and, of course, the lyrics) we absolutely must address the little quirks that make this album so differentiated and so special. Firstly, we have the number of tracks. Twenty. On a single vinyl album. This was breaking all of the rules. Albums were forty minutes long and comprised ten tracks (sometimes twelve). To produce an album with twenty tracks meant a massive compromise when it came to sound quality. It could only be achieved (allegedly) by ‘groove cramming’, a technique that results in significant deterioration in sound quality. To be fair, the longest song on the album (Riot Act) clocked in at just over three and a half minutes with thirteen tracks closing in under two and a half minutes. This wasn’t Tales From Topographic Oceans. Despite that, to put people’s minds at rest, producer, Nick Lowe, composed a missive for the album’s back cover that basically assured the listener that sound quality was not blighted in any way by the sheer volume of songs. I’m no engineer, but to my ears it sounds as good as anything else produced in the era.

Then we have the confusion over what exactly is side one and what is side two. On the sleeve, it states that side one is the one that kicks off with Sam & Dave’s I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down, with side two commencing with Love for Tender. Take the vinyl from its sleeve, however, and the former introduces side two with Love for Tender setting the tone on side one. Most confusing. For what it’s worth, I have always gone with the order on the sleeve.

The third quirk is the Barney Bubbles designed cover. It has a real sixties retro feel to it, but that in itself is not particularly unusual. No, what makes you stop and think twice is the ‘ring wear’ on both front and back cover. As many people will know, this occurs over a long period of time if, apparently, you don’t keep your vinyl in pristine conditions. Originally, when I purchased Get Happy, I was convinced that the cover was damaged. Between that and the side one/side two confusion, there’s a lot to think about before you even get close to the music.

The final little interesting foible worth mentioning is the fact that the album was recorded in the Netherlands with the exception of one track. Yup, you guessed it…New Amsterdam.

It’s a project littered with mini-subterfuges, all of which serve to make the whole experience much more fun. As an aside, those little things illustrate just how significant physical slabs of music (i.e. vinyl) are. Listen to Get Happy digitally and all of the above will drift past you without impact or relevance and that would be a massive shame.

All of these little nick-nicks make Get Happy an interesting album. But it’s the music that makes it special. Between 1977 and 1986, Costello (with or without The Attractions) released no fewer than eleven albums. He was prolific. He was also incredibly versatile. Those eleven albums are all quite different, from the refined punk of This Year’s Model to the biting political commentary of Armed Forces; from the roots Americana of King of America to the shimmering sophistication of Imperial Bedroom. Hell, there’s even a country album (Almost Blue). Get Happy is his homage to vintage R&B. To Motown, Sun, Stax and everything in-between. Although, despite that, it still sounds edgy, uncompromising and claustrophobic in its intensity.

It has been suggested that the reason for the clearly black influenced theme of Get Happy stems from an argument that occurred whilst Costello was touring the US in 1979. A very drunk Costello vociferously told Stephen Stills and Bonnie Bramlett just how bad American music was. Worse, he descended down the most regrettable avenue possible when he started to racially slur James Brown and Ray Charles. It’s an incident about which Costello has always felt great remorse, apologising on many occasions. It’s something that could have ended his career there and then. Indeed, on Get Happy’s Riot Act, he sang “But it doesn’t look like I’m gonna be around much anymore”. But he was and he returned twelve months later with Get Happy. People have surmised that the events are connected and that Get Happy is a homage paid in contrition. Costello, however, has since denied that, stating that “I simply went back to work and relied on instinct”.

As the reader, you will undoubtedly be delighted that I’m not about to dissect twenty songs in precise detail. What I will say is that whoever put the running order together, whether it was Costello or Nick Lowe, did an incredible job. Because the journey through the twenty tracks is akin to being on the world’s most thrilling rollercoaster. For example, you go from the incredible, moving ascent of Clowntime is Over, take a breath during the folksy New Amsterdam, before descending crazily with High Fidelity. And that’s how it goes. Relentlessly, the jittery Black and White World, segues into the groove of Five Gears in Reverse. The onslaught suddenly shifts with the beautifully bass-driven skiffle of B Movie, a song with such gorgeous changes in tempo and rhythm that it literally takes the breath away.

King Horse powers through everything in its path, Men Called Uncle is Costello at his lyrical finest, all biting satire and knowing puns. Beaten to the Punch is similar, just more frenetic. As you would expect, Get Happy’s lyrics are quite wonderful. They manage to be poignant and thought provoking throughout. His wordplay is, as always, unrivaled.

The more you listen, the more you realise that these aren’t just songs. They are short stories, little vignettes that reflect life and all of its tragedies perfectly. And you understand that almost all of the songs are under three minutes because they don’t need to be any longer. They deliver all that is necessary in that minuscule timeframe. Anything else would just be a waste.

For me, the finest moment on the album comes with Riot Act. A song that many have assumed to be about the racism scandal, Costello sings, “You can read me the riot act/ You can make me a matter of fact/ Or a villain in a million/ A slip of the tongue is gonna keep me civilian”. It is a wonderful, beautiful ballad that is the perfect closer to the album (although it may not be the closer depending upon what you believe side two is).

Of course, no conversation about Costello’s work would be complete without mention of The Attractions. They are to Costello what The Bad Seeds are to Nick Cave. They take the songwriter’s work and develop and enhance it in the most unique and compelling way. Bruce Thomas’s bass playing is at the core of the whole album. It drives the music on and you get a sense that the more R&B themed approach really suited his supple, fluid style. His bass lines meander gorgeously, serving the music entirely. The other half of the rhythm section, drummer Pete Thomas, is equally vital, pinning down the music with perfect timing and slashing fills. Then, of course, you have the driving keyboards of Steve Nieve.

In summing up. Get Happy is uplifting, energetic and joyous. It makes you want to throw weird shapes and dance around the house. It makes you laugh and cry and throw yourself on the floor. It paints pictures in your head. It’s like an amphetamine, the way it gets into your bloodstream and takes control of your senses.

It’s lyrically brilliant, it’s incredibly ambitious, it breaks all the rules.

It’s forty on the 15th February 2020. And that’s surely one birthday worth celebrating.
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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:24 pm

In summing up. Get Happy is uplifting, energetic and joyous. It makes you want to throw weird shapes and dance around the house. It makes you laugh and cry and throw yourself on the floor. It paints pictures in your head. It’s like an amphetamine, the way it gets into your bloodstream and takes control of your senses.

Perfect - so true for me - still the best album in the world and still stirs me up in so many ways every time I listen to it!
"There'll never be days like that again when I was just a boy and just a man"

Azmuda
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Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby Azmuda » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:17 am

sulky lad wrote:...he recalled seeing Elvis and The Attractions at the Top Rank Suite in Sheffield in 1978 on April 5th and apparently after the concert had ended, a lighting rig crashed onto the stage and wiped out the drum kit - Sheffield providing a pretty miserable reaction to the return on the native, its own Pete Thomas !
Anyone else know anything about this occurrence and did Bruce play despite cutting his hand the night before ?

Perhaps someone here could ask Pete about it after one of the upcoming UK shows.

sulky lad
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Location: Out of the kitchen,she's gone with the wind

Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:39 am

Azmuda wrote:
sulky lad wrote:...he recalled seeing Elvis and The Attractions at the Top Rank Suite in Sheffield in 1978 on April 5th and apparently after the concert had ended, a lighting rig crashed onto the stage and wiped out the drum kit - Sheffield providing a pretty miserable reaction to the return on the native, its own Pete Thomas !
Anyone else know anything about this occurrence and did Bruce play despite cutting his hand the night before ?

Perhaps someone here could ask Pete about it after one of the upcoming UK shows.

Sounds like a plan !! :wink:

sweetest punch
Posts: 4182
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:42 am

http://1001-songs.blogspot.com/2020/02/ ... ic.html?m= 1

Elvis Costello unleashes a frantic tribute to American soul with Get Happy!!

On February 15, 1980 Elvis Costello and the Attractions released Get Happy!!, a 20 track album inspired by 60's soul music that arrived nine months after Costello called Ray Charles a "blind, ignorant nigger" in a hotel bar argument with Stephen Stills and Bonnie Bramlett. Though critics were quick to point out the timing, Costello said in the liner notes of the 2003 version of Get Happy!! the album is no act of contrition:

It might have been tempting to claim that I had some noble motive in basing this record on the music that I had admired and learned from prior to my brush with infamy. But if I was trying to pay respects and make such amends, I doubt if pride would have allowed me to express that thought after I had made my rather contrived explanation ... I simply went back to work and relied on instinct, curiosity, and enduring musical passions.

Among Costello's enduring musical passions is American soul music. Before the band began recording in The Netherlands, he wanted to abandon the "new wave" sound for something else: Again from his liner notes:

I had begun listening again to the R'n'B records, filling in the gaps between the compilations of my teenage years, Atlantic's This Is Soul and Motown Chartbusters Vol. 3, with stacks of Stax singles purchased in Camden Town. The first trips to America had yielded still more riches: whole albums by someone like Garnet Mimms, who had previously only been the name on a single track of a "various artists" collection. Drawing on all of these sources, we set about re-arranging the songs using an R'n'B motor.

Fans can play spot the influences are just let Costello spell them out:

We made a pretty good job of lifting the main figure of Booker T. and the MGs' "Time Is Tight" for "Temptation," while the guitar part of "King Horse" alluded to The Four Tops' "Reach Out (I'll Be There)." Even the lyrics drew on these influences. The opening line of "High Fidelity" quotes a Supremes song, while "Love For Tender" (itself a re-working of the Armed Forces outtake "Clean Money") made use of the same "You Can't Hurry Love" riff that The Jam would take to the top of the UK charts three years later with the vastly superior song, "Town Called Malice."

Only "New Amsterdam" broke away from the formula.

(That) song, about a bewildered new arrival in the New World, proved impossible to improve on the demo rendition captured at Archipelago Studios a ₤15 per hour recording facility in Pimlico, London, and on which I played all the instruments.

I had a bit of a Twitter back and forth with Bebe Buell and came away with the impression that there are a few songs about her affair with Costello. There is certainly a female object of obsession that keeps popping up in these songs.

From Bebe:
Of course- there are so many rumors out there- including some started by EC himself. I NEVER thought or claimed that any of the songs on This Year's Model or Armed Forces held me as the subject. Anything after that? All bets are off! EC is famous for denying!

40 Year Itch:
Oh! I’m going to listen to Get Happy right now!!!

BeBe:
Now you're on the right path!

Tom Carson wrote the review for Rolling Stone :

The tightly worked pop-song structures on Get Happy!! are built around one instrumental flourish after another, with no context to sustain them. Yet the effect isn’t slick. Instead, this method makes the music sound raw, urgent and all the more driven, because there’s nothing underneath it. Costello doesn’t give himself time to linger over any of these numbers: they’re jotted down in haste, each of them no more than just another fix on his obsession. If this one doesn’t capture her, he figures, maybe the next one will. He is, of course, fortunate in having a band that not only can keep up with him but give him a run for his money. The Attractions were one of the best backup groups in the world on This Year’s Model, and since then they’ve gotten better.

In its year-end list, the NME named Get Happy!! the second best album of 1980, while the album placed seventh on The Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop music critics' poll.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4182
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Location: Belgium

Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:51 am

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

sulky lad
Posts: 2019
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Out of the kitchen,she's gone with the wind

Re: 40 Years Ago

Postby sulky lad » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:09 pm

sweetest punch wrote:https://www.theringer.com/music/2020/2/19/21140313/elvis-costello-get-happy-40th-anniversary

https://www.breakingnews.fr/sport/elvis ... 56074.html

That Ringer review is one of the greatest reviews I've ever read about Get Happy! ( and I've read a few over the years).
I've been playing the album very loudly in my car over the last couple of weeks and even after the 10 millionth listen I'm never discouraged or disappointed - pure genius and musical virtuosity par excellence.


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