Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Happened upon the following quote in an ´82 interview in the New York Times with Elvis Costello. "I always thought it was a big mistake to toss around that expression ´new wave´ in connection with my records. Why does everything have to be pigeonholed? Why can´t you hear Hank Williams and then Billie Holiday on the radio?"

Couldn´t agree more, El. So here goes. Not on the radio, which long ago ceased to be a ´sound salvation´, but in a blog post.

Hank Williams - Can´t Get You Off Of My Mind MP3
Billie Holiday - I Cried For You MP3
Elvis Costello - Radio Sweetheart MP3
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Radio Radio MP3


Paul said...

This is why I love the internet.

ib said...

Thanks for putting these songs into the context of that interview. Elvis was quite a canterkerous f@cker, wasn't he ? And very fond of peppering every conversation with 'why' ?

And quite right, very often.

While not a huge fan of his later stuff, his releases between 1977 and the mid 80's were the work of a man on a roll, if not "out of time".

It's quite unsettling to realize that every word of "Radio Radio" is still ingrained in my brain. Just a great 45.

Ramone666 said...

I absolutely loved his stuff from My Aim ´til Blood & Chocolate. Strange how he lost his bite after that. Getting all chummy with Sir Paul probably didn´t help.

ib said...

There was a brief period when he, Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds (separately) patrolled the airwaves with had some of the finest pop 45's conceivable.

I'm almost in full agreement; "King of America" was the last LP I remember listening to with anything approaching appreciation. Same year as "Blood and Chocolate".

In truth, I am inclined to suggest he ran out of a full head of steam by 1980's "Get Happy!". Although there were definitely highlights thereafter, the tone was all too often a bit too claustrophobic and self-congatulatory.

Patent leather and greasepaint.

Ramone666 said...

You´re right od course, I didn´t realise King Of America came after Blood & Chocolate. And I like the first 4 albums the best as well. Pop with a punch, and the latter went missing more and more. Maybe that´s just part of getting older?

ib said...

No. You're right the first time. "Blood and Chocolate" came right after "King of America"; I never paid it much attention, which is a pity, since he went on record pretty much with the intention of rekindling the spirit of "Armed Forces" and "Get Happy!"

I need to revisit "B&C" properly.

You're probably on the money, viz getting older. I vividly remember the huge buzz of hearing "My Aim Is True" for the first time. And "This Year's Model". The sleeve for that first LP alone stood out like a sore thumb on the record racks. Or in the shop window next to The Damned and the Ramones.

Kind of difficult to sustain that level of youthful excitement. The sense of belonging to something challenging and dangerous.

Going back to what you said earlier. Any mutual canoodling with Sir Pale is the kiss of death.

LD said...

Spike has held up surprisingly well, despite a slightly weak drum sound. Of course, it was the '80s. Maybe 2-3 songs too long, but at least half that record is pretty damn timeless. I recommend a review with fresh ears.

Ramone666 said...

I´ll dig up my vinyl copy asap Lance.