Elvis Costello, The Attractions
Media Condition: VG
Sleeve Condition: G+
Genre: Rock, Funk, New Wave
Notes: German import with 'in concert' hype sticker on cover. Issued with a custom inner sleeve. Jacket has corner wear, tape in top left corner and crease in bottom left corner
If you like: Elvis Costello, a copy of Get Happy!! is a great addition to your collection.
About: Elvis Costello arrived as a sneering spitfire, the smartest and meanest singer/songwriter in the first wave of 1970s British punk backed by The Attractions, a band who could match his ferocity. Soon, Costello galloped away from the loud, fast rules of punk, demonstrating his musical and verbal facility with Armed Forces, a 1979 album that contained “Oliver’s Army”, “Accidents Will Happen” and his cover of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding”, a trio of singles that turned into new wave standards. Such rapid musical evolution and switches in style became the rule in Costello’s career, as he amassed a catalog that seemed to touch upon every conceivable genre of popular music. Many of his more esoteric projects arrived in his middle age and beyond, after he’d cultivated a loyal audience in the ‘80s through a series of rapid-fire masterpieces, most backed by The Attractions. He later reconvened the band–and later still, retains most of the players for his latter-day backing group The Imposters–but starting with 1989’s Spike, Costello seized the freewheeling opportunities that came with being a solo act, bouncing from dense pop to classical compositions to collaborations with ‘60s icons Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. This sense of adventure increased in the 2000s as he toured with The Imposters, cut Americana albums with his old cohort T-Bone Burnett, and collaborated with both New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint and the venerated hip-hop group The Roots. His eclecticism never seemed forced: the one constant in his career was an insatiable appetite for music, a hunger evidenced by such adventurous albums as the jazz-inflected Hey Clockface and Spanish Model, where he reworked This Year’s Model with contemporary Latino singers. Alongside his left-turns, stripped-down albums like 2022’s The Boy Named If showed that the fire that inspired him to pick up a guitar in the first place hasn’t dimmed even a little. *via Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Why it’s worth your time: I guess the charm and draw of any Elvis Costello album isn’t exactly quantifiable, but we all try to put some words to it here and there; and initially, Get Happy!! did not recieve the nicest words. Eventually though, it was deemed one of the greatest albums of the ‘80s, and it’s no wonder why. Few artists can pull of a mammoth, 20-song effort and keep a listener engaged and left still wanting more. Put simply, Get Happy is a near-hour-long light, yet punchy listen that pairs perfectly with dancing in your bedroom with a warm and feathery, curtain-rustling breeze wafting in through an open window as your only necessary companion. And with a recipe like that, it’s guaranteed that you will get happy.
A favorite track: Opportunity