Monday, 22 February 2010

The Very Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions 1977-86

It took me hours to get home on Thursday night and the only company was Cornershop, I chose to sit in gridlock on the M6 in silence, the only voice was my own cursing myself for going the Motorway home and not sticking to the A roads.
Friday it was not Cornershop though, its Elvis Costello and The Attractions and their 1994 compilation, The Very Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions 1977-86. Its quite specific that, pre beard?
I have a lot of Elvis Costello singles, possibly more than any other artist, all 7 inches and none bought by me, I don’t know how I got them but I have them, I only own one Elvis Costello album though and this is it. I think someone gave it to me, I don’t recall buying it. Maybe they took pity on me not having any Costello on CD.
Its of course excellent, in parts. Its classic in parts, its extremely well known, in parts. The parts that aren’t in parts are pretty good as well, you can hear him contemplating growing a beard though. “What would it take for McCartney to work with me? A BEARD!!!!!!!” “Hi is Pavarotti there? Yes, yes I have a beard” Costellos beard period isn’t really represented here. We have his clean shaven period and that takes in Radio Radio, Allison, I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down, Olivers Army, one of my all time favourite songs in his version of Shipbuilding (Favourite being the Wyatt version), you get the idea, as the name suggests, its his very best from 77 to 86.
I like it a lot to be honest and think its possibly worth at the very least a 7, maybe an 8. Yes it is not as great when he gets to his stubble phase around 85 or 86, and even now you feel like saying yes Elvis, but what have you done lately? The reply would almost certainly be “Been on The One Show mate, what have you done?” Listened to Cornershop mate. 8 out of 10.

Alison by Elvis Costello

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