Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday 8-Track

Denver has a great radio station, 102.3 KCUV, that really plays an ecclectic mix. So driving back to my hotel from Coors Field on Tuesday I was tuned in and much to my delight they played some old-school Elvis Costello. I was very happy so today's mix is all about EC.

"Brilliant Mistake" - King of America

I think this is one of his "prettiest" songs with a lot of great imagery. The chorus is killer.

"Everday I Write The Book" - Punch The Clock

Some people have told me that they don't like the production on this track or think the literary theme is corny but I think it's clever as hell. "But you were up to your old tricks, in chapters four, five, and six."

"Opportunity" - Get Happy!!

This whole album just grooves and "Opportunity" is a good example of what Bruce Thomas' bass playing did for the early Costello albums. The melodic descension in the chorus is my favorite part.

"Lipstick Vogue" - This Year's Model

This song is angry as hell and sounds like a runaway train. I often expect it to crash through the speakers and fall to little pieces on the floor.

"Radio Radio" - My Aim Is True

In some ways it is best known for its allegedly off-the-cuff performance on Saturday Night Live -- the label supposedly wanted the band to play "Less Than Zero" but Elvis stopped it live during the intro and broke into this rallying tune. For me, this song proved that punk could have musicianship, melody, and well-crafted songwriting.

"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?" - Armed Forces

A desperate plea for peace that sounds like a war cry. One of his few covers (originally penned by longtime producer Nick Lowe -- a helluva songwriter in his own right), he and the band definitely made it all their own.

"King Horse" - Get Happy!!

I don't know why I like this song so much, I just know that I can listen to it over and over again.

"Watching The Detectives" - My Aim Is True

Hands down my favorite Elvis Costello tune. It has got reggae, punk, and New Wave styles all mashed together that somehow sound like the aural definition of film noir. The song is creepy, powerful, and shockingly good especially considering that this was his first album. The lyrics are so incredible and dig the two-track vocals on the last verse.


At 9/29/2006 10:18 AM, Blogger Dara said...

I love Elvis Costello -- and these songs are great. But my favorite, hands down, is Deep Dark Truthful Mirror. I know it's a little cheesy, but something about it just speaks to me.

At 9/29/2006 10:20 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Watching the detectives is indeed a clever song. I think that many people don't give enough credit to smart lyrics. He definitely produced some good ones.

At 9/29/2006 11:34 AM, Anonymous Ryane said...

Oh, good call w/an Elvis Costello Friday. However, I think in honor of your giving notice, you should include, "Get Off Of My Cloud" by the Stones...

At 10/02/2006 10:37 AM, Blogger Jason said...

I can't get enough of his wit and rage on those early albums. Good stuff.


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