I haven't always disliked Costello

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 28 Nov 2018, 22:04

Anyone read his book? I thought that was a top read.

I loved his stuff dearly up to Blood and Chocolate (which I think is excellent, the equal of King of America) but then it all got a bit patchy and AOR. Mighty like a Rose is much better than the bestselling Spike. I want to like The Bacharach stuff more than I actually do, same goes for When I Was Cruel.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby The Fish » 29 Nov 2018, 06:10

I like just about everything he's done to some extent. For me his last great album was Brutal Youth. You may well like that Yves if you prefer the early stuff. First album back with the ATtractions after quite a layoff.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby The Fish » 29 Nov 2018, 06:17

..and Get Happy is great. How can you not love this....


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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Bent Fabric » 29 Nov 2018, 06:49

The Bulfine Papers (1917) wrote:He's been patchy since day one.


Certainly my view.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Lord Rother » 29 Nov 2018, 07:11

Decent songwriter but I just cannot stand the voice. I want to punch it hard.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 29 Nov 2018, 08:05

The Fish wrote:..and Get Happy is great. How can you not love this....




well that's MY breakfast ruined!
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Diamond Dog » 29 Nov 2018, 08:36

I'm in the camp that says he had occasional flashes of brilliance, padded by a lot of terribly clever nonsense - almost right from day one.

He reached his absolute zenith with the quite magical "Imperial Bedroom" where everything - song writing, performance, production and flow- all came together in one blissful 40 odd minutes.

He only ever came close to that once with "This Years Model" which, whilst not as varied or as strong throughout, still had plenty enough to warrant high praise.

I like bits of almost everything else up until "Blood & Chocolate" but, after that, there is a fairly precipitous decline into that horrible 'look at me, I'm an artist' stuff, which really wore very thin, very quickly. I think he started to believe he really was as good a songwriter as Lennon & McCartney, or Bacharach & David. He never was.

There is one latter day exception and that's the Bacharach collaboration "Painted From Memory" in 1998. I really love that album - it has all the good points of both running throughout. It's the last time either of them ever released anything approaching greatness.

What is undeniable is that, as a live act, The Attractions were fierce. There are many examples of their bite and sass and drive - married to quite brilliant musicianship (Thomas & Thomas are probably the most under-rated rhythm section I know of). I wish I'd have seen them at their peak.

EDIT - Just remembered the compilation ""All This Useless Beauty" which features material from throughout his career, that never made it onto official releases. Generally I'm very wary of this type of release but, surprisingly, this album stands up superbly.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby caramba » 29 Nov 2018, 08:59

Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:Anyone read his book? I thought that was a top read.

I loved his stuff dearly up to Blood and Chocolate (which I think is excellent, the equal of King of America) but then it all got a bit patchy and AOR. Mighty like a Rose is much better than the bestselling Spike. I want to like The Bacharach stuff more than I actually do, same goes for When I Was Cruel.


I thought the book - like those of Pete T and Neil Y - was a terrible disappointment in that it was way too long and unfocused. It also featured far too much name dropping ('as I said to the King of Norway when Diana and I were sitting with him at the Nobel Prizewinners' dinner). In almost totally skirting over (presumably on lawyer's advice) his marriage to Cait O'Riordan, that comes across as being the one relationship in his life you'd really like to learn more about.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 29 Nov 2018, 09:33

Neige wrote:
Walk In My Shadow wrote:
Neige wrote:I won't hold my breath... but listen without prejudice (I love this to bits):




willing to do that, Felix.

You can give me a couple of more tips on albums i REALLY should hear


I'd really like to know what you think about that song (the new album's opener) in particular - it has some of his "precious" vibrato singing which seems to be a dealbreaker for the "no-further than Blood & Chocolate" brigade, but it's just a terrific tune, faultlessly arranged.

This also goes for the last track on the album - the tune here is prime Bacharach.




As has been noted by Sneelock, it's all about the sequencing, and in this respect, Look Now is perfect IMO.



So I listened. In fact, I heard the full album on Spotify.

It's good, very good. I (willingly) admit that.

You stick to Costello like I stick to Parker (see what I did there? :D ). Flashes of brilliance alternated with lesser stuff. That's in general.


P.S. hey! a thread of mine that goes to two pages. better than most of Googa's or Coan's.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Corporate whore » 29 Nov 2018, 09:45

The Fish wrote:I like just about everything he's done to some extent. For me his last great album was Brutal Youth. You may well like that Yves if you prefer the early stuff. First album back with the ATtractions after quite a layoff.




Yes, Brutal Youth and When I Was Cruel are both great albums.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby George P. Smackers » 29 Nov 2018, 12:57

When I was 14 or 15, I thought he was great.

My first show, my dad took me, it was the This Year's Model tour in the US. Nick Lowe and Mink de Ville on the bill too.

Elvis C.'s punning and heavy cleverness appealed to my young brain, which was gratified to think "I get it! Ha!"

But for a very long time now, that's among my least favorite aesthetic responses. I can't totally reject him because I really did like him as a kid. But if I really listen, I wince.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Osgood » 29 Nov 2018, 13:22

I was a strong fan up to and including Blood and Chocolate. For me the only misstep up to then is Goodbye Cruel World.

I haven't seen mentioned the B-sides comp Ten Bloody Marys and Ten How's Your Father, absolutely brilliant, I played it to death at the time (most of its content was included as bonus tracks on CD releases).

Of the later stuff I like Brutal Youth and When I Was Cruel a lot, but basically lost track afterwards. I am not to keen on the Bacharach album, but I definitely love the one he did with Allen Toussaint The River In Reverse.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Sneelock » 29 Nov 2018, 17:02

I like the one with the Roots even more. Like I said about "when I was cruel" I think the gimmicky production is actually a plus and gives the material an unfamiliar quality that it might not otherwise have.

I must say, I'm not nearly as taken with the new one as the BCB consensus seems to be. I'll give it another go eventually but nothing really jumps out and grabs me by the front of my shirt.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby sloopjohnc » 29 Nov 2018, 17:10

Osgood wrote:I haven't seen mentioned the B-sides comp Ten Bloody Marys and Ten How's Your Father, absolutely brilliant, I played it to death at the time (most of its content was included as bonus tracks on CD releases).


I really enjoy that too.
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 30 Nov 2018, 21:10

caramba wrote:
Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:Anyone read his book? I thought that was a top read.

I loved his stuff dearly up to Blood and Chocolate (which I think is excellent, the equal of King of America) but then it all got a bit patchy and AOR. Mighty like a Rose is much better than the bestselling Spike. I want to like The Bacharach stuff more than I actually do, same goes for When I Was Cruel.


I thought the book - like those of Pete T and Neil Y - was a terrible disappointment in that it was way too long and unfocused. It also featured far too much name dropping ('as I said to the King of Norway when Diana and I were sitting with him at the Nobel Prizewinners' dinner). In almost totally skirting over (presumably on lawyer's advice) his marriage to Cait O'Riordan, that comes across as being the one relationship in his life you'd really like to learn more about.


It just shows how subjective our reactions are as I hated the Neil Y and Pete T bios and completely agree they’re shite but the Costello one I loved as it had an entertaining authorial voice and a thorough approach to digging up the past, and you got a real sense of just how much EC loves music himself in his various digressions. Ultimately I think I’m just more interested in EC’s digressions so they didn’t bore me, like the other two did (and let’s not forget Bruce S, his autobiography was dull too).

My sense of reading the Cait O’Riordan stuff is that EC himself didn’t want to talk about her much, as they clearly hate each other now, and she seemed to remind him of a time in his life when he was self destructive and very unhappy.

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Diamond Dog » 01 Dec 2018, 08:00

Diamond Dog wrote:What is undeniable is that, as a live act, The Attractions were fierce. There are many examples of their bite and sass and drive - married to quite brilliant musicianship (Thomas & Thomas are probably the most under-rated rhythm section I know of).




That just absolutely crackles, doesn't it?
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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby caramba » 01 Dec 2018, 08:46

Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:
caramba wrote:
Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:Anyone read his book? I thought that was a top read.

I loved his stuff dearly up to Blood and Chocolate (which I think is excellent, the equal of King of America) but then it all got a bit patchy and AOR. Mighty like a Rose is much better than the bestselling Spike. I want to like The Bacharach stuff more than I actually do, same goes for When I Was Cruel.


I thought the book - like those of Pete T and Neil Y - was a terrible disappointment in that it was way too long and unfocused. It also featured far too much name dropping ('as I said to the King of Norway when Diana and I were sitting with him at the Nobel Prizewinners' dinner). In almost totally skirting over (presumably on lawyer's advice) his marriage to Cait O'Riordan, that comes across as being the one relationship in his life you'd really like to learn more about.


It just shows how subjective our reactions are as I hated the Neil Y and Pete T bios and completely agree they’re shite but the Costello one I loved as it had an entertaining authorial voice and a thorough approach to digging up the past, and you got a real sense of just how much EC loves music himself in his various digressions. Ultimately I think I’m just more interested in EC’s digressions so they didn’t bore me, like the other two did (and let’s not forget Bruce S, his autobiography was dull too).

My sense of reading the Cait O’Riordan stuff is that EC himself didn’t want to talk about her much, as they clearly hate each other now, and she seemed to remind him of a time in his life when he was self destructive and very unhappy.


Each to his own and all that. The saving grace of the book was how brightly his love for his dad shone through.

Not bothered with the Bruce S book and from what you say above it sounds as if I'm better off not bothering. Did you read the Dylan one?

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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Canis lupus » 01 Dec 2018, 10:35

The Fish wrote:..and Get Happy is great. How can you not love this....




I'll raise you:
CRANK UP THE VOLUME




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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby Canis lupus » 01 Dec 2018, 10:40

On some days, this could be my favourite EC track


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Re: I haven't always disliked Costello

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 01 Dec 2018, 11:23

Canis lupus wrote:



Great, but ripped off Booker T and the MGs BY HIS OWN ADMISSION
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