Get Happy!! Elvis Costello & The Attractions
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- 1Love For Tender01:57
- 3The Imposter01:58
- 4Secondary Modern01:58
- 5King Horse03:01
- 7Men Called Uncle02:18
- 8Clowntime Is Over03:00
- 9New Amsterdam02:12
- 10High Fidelity02:27
- 11I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down02:06
- 12Black And White World01:56
- 13Five Gears In Reverse02:38
- 15Motel Matches02:31
- 16Human Touch02:30
- 17Beaten To The Punch01:48
- 19I Stand Accused02:22
- 20Riot Act03:36
Info for Get Happy!!
With tempers and adrenalin running high from 1978's oddly-named 'Armed Funk' tour, Costello and the Attractions started work on a new album, only to find they were well and truly sick of the 'new wave' sound they found themselves playing (supposedly, hearing the Jags' Elvis-imitation single 'Back of My Hand' was the straw that broke the camel's back). A quick trip to a London record store brought them back with a stack of Booker T. and the MG's singles, and they had the direction for the new album. Taking a hint from those Stax and Motown grooves, they went back to the studio and rearranged everything on the spot, even choosing a Sam & Dave tune to cover (though they changed 'I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down' quite a bit from the original ballad version).
While the resulting album definitely has a soulful feel, the change in styles wasn't that clear-cut: Costello's melodic instincts were still running high, and many of these tunes are slammed out with a punkish fury that Booker T. and company never imagined. And the pace gets downright exhausting, with many songs clocking in at two minutes or less. 'Love for Tender', 'High Fidelity' and 'Secondary Modern' are concise little gems; 'Riot Act' is a big, dramatic ballad, and the waltz-time 'New Amsterdam,' with Costello playing every instrument, points toward the stylistic experiments on albums to come.
„Get Happy!! was born as much from sincere love for soul as it was for Elvis Costello's desire to distance himself from an unfortunate verbal faux pas where he insulted Ray Charles in an attempt to get Stephen Stills' goat. Either way, it resulted in a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour de force, where Costello doesn't just want to prove his love, he wants to prove his knowledge. So, he tries everything, starting with Motown and Northern soul, then touching on smooth uptown ballads and gritty Southern soul, even finding common ground between the two by recasting Sam & Dave's 'I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)' as a careening stomper. What's remarkable is that this approach dovetails with the pop carnival essayed by Armed Forces, standing as a full-fledged Costello record instead of a genre exercise. As it furiously flits through 20 songs, Costello's cynicisms, rage, humor, and misanthropic sensibility gel remarkably well. Some songs may not quite hit their targets, but that's part of the album's charm -- it moves so fast that its lesser songs rush by on the way to such full-fledged masterpieces as 'New Amsterdam,' 'High Fidelity,' and 'Riot Act.' Get Happy!! bursts with energy and invention, standing as a testament to how Costello, the pop encyclopedia, can reinvent the past in his own image.“ (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)
Elvis Costello, vocals, guitar, organ
Steve Nieve, piano, organ
Bruce Thomas, bass, harmonica
Pete Thomas, drums
Recorded October 1979
Engineered by Roger Bechirian
Produced by Nick Lowe
began working as a professional musician 35 years ago, shortly after the release of his first album, “My Aim Is True”. He has made more than 27 studio records, three live albums and numerous guest appearances on stage, studio and screen as well as working as a record producer, bit-part actor and composing music for television drama and dance performance.
He has toured the world with The Attractions, The Imposters and the pianist, Steve Nieve, performing with symphony and jazz orchestras as well as in solo performance. His catalogue of songs includes collaborations with Paul McCartney, Allen Toussaint and Burt Bacharach with whom he won a Grammy for “I Still Have That Other Girl” from their 1998 collaboration, Painted From Memory. Costello’s songs have been recorded by George Jones, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield and Robert Wyatt.
Elvis Costello and The Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. In the same year he was awarded ASCAP’s prestigious Founder’s Award. His last record was 2010s National Ransom, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Between 2008 and 2010, Costello was the host of twenty episodes of the interview and music show, “Spectacle” on the Sundance Channel.
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