Remove ads, unlock a dark mode theme, and get other perks by upgrading your account. Experience the website the way it's meant to be.

Elvis Costello Band

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by Blaine Ryan, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Blaine Ryan Jun 27, 2017
    (Last edited: Jun 27, 2017)
    Blaine Ryan

    .

    This thread probably won't get much attention, but Elvis is one of my favorite songwriters, with a discography that I think ranks up there with just about anyone's both in terms of quality and scope. If you can name a genre, he's probably dabbled in it.

    Most recently he made a funk/R&B album with the Roots called Wise Up Ghost, and it's really good.

    If you've never listened to him before, I suggest This Year's Model and/or Brutal Youth as access points. They're not going to give you the full range of what he's capable of, but they're fairly accessible, straight-forward pop/rock records that clicked pretty fast for me personally.


     
  2. Blaine Ryan

    .

    I made this thread because I wanted to make a post about how good this song is:

     
  3. jdr2187

    jdr2187

    Have only heard This Years Model and My Aim is True and I think I may have listened to some of the album with the Roots a few years back. I've liked what I've heard from him but never really found anything I loved. I really enjoyed the song you posted from King of America so I think I'll give that album a listen next since I'm not familiar with the middle of his career at all.

    I consider making threads like this all the time, but don't for the exact reason you stated. In the past few weeks I know I've looked for Lou Reed, Bruce Cockburn, and Lee Hazlewood and found nothing. Would create them myself, but pretty sure they'd be ignored also.
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  4. Blaine Ryan Jun 27, 2017
    (Last edited: Jun 27, 2017)
    Blaine Ryan

    .

    I think Elvis is like Tom Waits: his mid to late career stuff is where it's at. I like his earlier albums too, but they're not what solidify him as one of the great songwriters for me.

    The thing about him is that his catalog requires a high tolerance for stylistic detours, so if certain kinds of music just plainly don't work for you, there could feasibly be just big chunks of his discography that you find completely inaccessible, which is probably why a lot of the Costello fans I've encountered only ever like him with asterisks and caveats, i.e. "he was good before he started with all that showtune shit," or however they phrase it.

    I think King of America should be right up your alley, though. If any album of his is going to convert you that isn't that one it's probably National Ransom, which was also produced by T Bone Burnett and leans even harder into the alt-country/Americana thing. I'd check those two out and see what you think.
     
    jdr2187 likes this.
  5. jdr2187 Jun 28, 2017
    (Last edited: Jun 28, 2017)
    jdr2187

    jdr2187

    Interesting to hear you suggest his later career stuff. I feel like the reason I checked out the albums I did were because every time I tried to get in to him everything I read always placed those early career albums at the top for him.

    Good call on King of America. This is definitely a side of his sound I had never heard before, and I'm not sure I even knew existed. Front to back I enjoyed it other than maybe Loveable and Glitter Gulch, to me they just felt kind of out of place on the album. His voice and/or vocal delivery kept reminding me of Taylor Goldsmith on the earlier Dawes albums and even some Jackson Brown at times. Both of those are not comparisons I would have expected to make going in to a Costello album. Also, I really enjoyed his version of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. I love that rasp in his voice when he really belts it out.

    I think I'm going to give this album another listen then move on to the other one you suggested and see what I think.

    Edit: I don't care too much for Eisenhower Blues either, but the run in the middle of the album of Indoor Fireworks through American Without Tears is perfect. I think I'll wear it Proudly might be my favorite song on here so far.
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  6. Blaine Ryan Jun 28, 2017
    (Last edited: Dec 22, 2018)
    Blaine Ryan

    .

    The first three albums are excellent (This Years Model especially) but parts of them sound dated and, in my opinion, they're a much better showcase for the Attractions' fantastic playing (albums 2 and 3, at least--they hadn't signed on yet at the time of album 1) than they are for Elvis's songwriting, which is fine but underdeveloped. From a songwriting standpoint, Get Happy!! is a big step forward--plus you've still got the Attractions firing on all cylinders, so you really can't go wrong.

    Glad you enjoyed it! Brutal Youth might be one to try, too--it's rockier and poppier than King of America, but like KOA it covers a broad range with very few ingredients and manages to hold up remarkably well over 15 tracks.

    Elvis rules. Keep at him.
     
    Aregala likes this.
  7. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    For me, he needs hooks and sound to really make his songs pop, and the early albums do that better than the latter, from what I've heard.
     
  8. Blaine Ryan

    .

    It's going to come down to individual taste, but I don't think he ever lost anything melodically.

    I actually find a lot of his later records to be more immediate and catchy than the earlier stuff; Brutal Youth is one of those.
     
  9. Thanks to my mom....'My Aim Is True' is one of my top 10 favorite albums of all time. Absolutely love that album.
     
  10. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I do still have to hear some big ones like Brutal Youth and King of America and shit, so my opinion still has room to shift.
     
  11. jdr2187

    jdr2187

    Still listening to King of America pretty regularly and still loving it. Think I'm about to move on to another Elvis album, I'm thinking The Delivery Man. I saw where Tom Waits had it listed as one of his 20 favorite albums, and who better to take music advice from than Tom Waits?
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  12. Blaine Ryan

    .

    I did the same thing. It's a great album.
     
    jdr2187 likes this.
  13. Matthewconte

    Regular Supporter

    My Aim Is True is the greatest album of all time.
     
  14. Blaine Ryan Jul 10, 2017
    (Last edited: Jul 10, 2017)
    Blaine Ryan

    .

  15. lina555

    Regular

    Never heard of him) Very worthy! Thank you)
     
  16. jdr2187

    jdr2187

    Awesome! Always enjoy stuff like this.

    Checked out The Delivery Man and it didn't grab me the way King Of America did. Immediately followed that up by checking out Trust and loved it right away. I'm kind of bouncing all over the place with his discography.
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  17. Blaine Ryan

    .

    Nothing wrong with that.

    Don't miss Spike, either. It's not as well-regarded as some of his others but it's one of my favorites. Very eclectic, and darker than his stuff usually is. And Marc Ribot plays on it.
     
  18. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  19. Matthewconte

    Regular Supporter

    I'd say his top five are: My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, The Juliet Letters, Armed Forces, King of America
     
  20. Aregala

    Blistering Guitar Lead

    One of my favorites thanks to my father

    I used to think Armed Forces was in that upper-echelon for me, but I actually think it's one of his weaker efforts songwriting wise from the early stretch. The attractions sound great of course though.

    My favorite will likely always be My Aim is True which I think is pretty astounding in terms of how fully formed he came out on his debut LP.

    Trust is probably my pick for most underrated during his classic run, and I LOVEEEEEE Painted from Memory as a late-period high point

    I also have a soft spot for Punch the Clock as a slice of 80s pop, but it's one of his most dated sounding albums by far (those horns and keyboards lol)

    "Shipbuilding" might be his best ever song for me. God bless Chet Baker
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.
  21. Blaine Ryan Jul 11, 2017
    (Last edited: Jul 11, 2017)
    Blaine Ryan

    .

    Yeah, I like Armed Forces, but overall it feels to me kind of like a valley between the two twin peaks that are This Year's Model and Get Happy. But there are a few excellent songs on there, "Oliver's Army" being one. I've always really liked the solo piano version of "Accidents Will Happen" from Hollywood High too.

    I liked My Aim is True a lot more as an EC newbie. Now it feels kind of weak and quaint to me. Elvis hadn't found his voice yet. And it lacks the great playing of the Attractions, which is a huge selling point of those early records for me.

    "Shipbuilding" is a favorite of mine, too. Love that one.
     
    Aregala likes this.
  22. Blaine Ryan

    .

    Did you ever finish the RS list?
     
  23. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Not yet. Been slowly making my way along. I'll do a couple here. Go about finding other stuff to listen to. Do a few more.

    I like it that way.
     
  24. Blaine Ryan

    .

    I miss that thread. Don't care for the list at all personally, but there was some great discussion in there.
     
  25. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Should revive it somehow. It was one of the best on there.

    Just did a quick check and it would appear I have 55 more to hear before I'm satisfied that I've finished the list. That includes 5 I've heard in the past but need another spin on.

    I skipped a bunch of comps though.
     
    Blaine Ryan likes this.