Archive for January, 2007


Elvis Costello “This Year’s Model”

From 1978, I always think of this as Elvis Costello’s best record (though I haven’t heard like the last 10 or 15) probably because this had just come out when I saw him play in Cleveland, and I was really impressed. They didn’t turn the lights off first, like bands used to do– they just ran on the stage and started playing. They had so little equipment it didn’t even look like they were set up yet. No breaks between songs, jokes, patter, or encores. That was very inspiring to me at the time.

There are some really good songs on this record, my favorite being “This Year’s Girl.” Also, some pretty nutty lyrics, like (in “The Beat”): “I keep thinking about your mother/ ________________/ I don’t want to be your lover/ I just want to be your victim.” If anyone can tell me what the line is I left blank, and what it means, I’d appreciate it.

I used to think “Radio Radio” was my favorite song, but no more. This is another good example of the way things change. I mean it’s okay, but when he says something like: “I was seriously thinking of hiding the receiver when the switch broke ’cause it’s old…” Now come on! Are we supposed to buy that? He was forced to listen to the radio because the switch broke? He couldn’t unplug it? I’m only being critical because EC’s lyrics are generally so good.


Elvis Costello “My Aim is True”

The first Elvis Costello album, from 1977, which was about the year “The King” died, wasn’t it? I seem to recall the backup band on this record was called “Clover” and were Huey Lewis, before “The News.” I could look all that stuff up, but I don’t really care, I guess. The thing is, this sounds different than any other Elvis Costello record, and as far as the songs go, it’s my favorite (though I can’t say I’ve heard all his records over the years).

This remains a record that I’ll gladly put on and listen to, all the way through, and have yet ceased to enjoy. I mean, I still like it a lot. Another thing that I just realized, this record, as well as the last one I wrote about here (Sandinista), have titles that aren’t directly titles of songs, but come from some content or lyrics of one of the songs. I always love when people do that.

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January 2007