Album Review: A Camp “Colonia”

Recently, I was sent the newest album by Nina Persson-fronted band A Camp, mostly because I am a big fan of their initial album, and the single “I Can Buy You”, which I talked about in another post.  Thanks to Stunt Company, the band’s American promotion company for sending the disc.  And good news; this is a fantastic album.

A Camp lead singer Persson recently moved from her native Sweden to New York City, having married Shudder to Think’s Nathan Larson who also fills out the line up.  Perhaps it’s this that inspired the title of A Camp’s newest album Colonia, having shifted from what might be considered the Old World, to the New World, sometimes called ‘The Colonies” by some even today.  And where this is not a concept record about the contrasts between one world and another, there is certainly undercurrents to be found in a song like “My America”, which captures the idea that a new place can seem both fascinating and disorienting at the same time.

The overall sound here is more focused than the band’s eponymous debut, which is not to say it’s a better record, necessarily.  But, you get the sense that the group has finally landed on a musical neighbourhood patch, rather than the sonic road trip they’d been on while cutting their debut.  There are fewer country-rock textures here than there were on that debut. The textures here on this new disc are a bit more orchestral, with real strings and brass accentuating the guitars-bass-piano-drums, and electronics.

What they’ve created is a smart, grown-up strain of pop music, with singer Persson at the very centre of it all.  Her voice is some of the best singing I’ve heard from her, including her work with the Cardigans.  Her voice is perfectly positioned on every track, fitting in comfortably into each of the songs, maybe most strikingly on the single “Stronger Than Jesus”, which you can hear here. Other stand-out tracks are the Beatle-esque “Chinatown”, the string-laden and melancholic “It’s Not Easy To Be Human”, and the album opener, “The Crowning”.

There is something classicist about this album, with a strong emphasis on songwriting and strong melodies more so than a simple study in stylistic excursion.  And it belongs firmly to the writers as a result, with nods to the band’s influences (The Beatles, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, The Sundays), yet easily avoiding pastiche.  It helps that musical guests are heavyweights in their own right, including Joan Wasser (AKA Joan As Policewoman), Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha, original A Camp-er Mark Linkous, and sought-after cellist Jane Scarpantoni, among others.

The only criticism that might be levelled at the band is that they gave fans quite a wait for this excellent disc. Yet, perhaps this gestation period is a part of why it is so focused, why the songs are so richly realized, and why they seem to belong together as an album.

For more information about A Camp, including tour dates (they’re coming my way in mid-June!), check out the band’s website,  ACamp.net.

And of course for more music, be sure to check out the A Camp MySpace page.

Enjoy!

Wilco Perform ‘Shake It Off’ from their album Sky Blue Sky

“Shake it off” by Wilco is filtering its way through my computer’s speakers. For all of the disappointment conveyed by critics who seemed to think that 2007’s Sky Blue Sky was a step backward, this record was one of my favourites of the year.

Check out this clip of the band playing ‘Shake It Off’.

To view the clip, hover over the image and click the ‘play’ icon. To enlarge the viewing screen, click the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner. Alternatively, click the image directly to view the clip in a new browser window. Enjoy!

Wilco Sky Blue Sky

I can see why the Pitchfork set might have felt a bit let down. It’s not a noisy, off-kilter, left of centre release like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or A Ghost is Born are. It’s a record which is a bit less haunted, with more emphasis on melody, and on band dynamics (with some new members being broken in to great effect…) rather than sonic textures. And leader Jeff Tweedy, with a voice that ranges from Paul Westerberg on one end of the scale and John Lennon on the other, strays more on the Lennon side with Westerberg’s grit still making it’s presence known.

As a result, it strays on the side of rock classicism, rather than indie cool. If that works for you, and you’ve not bought the album, the question is not whether you should, but is rather: what are you waiting for? Go buy.

Records I have known: ‘Humans’ by Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn HumansBruce Cockburn had built a body of work which centred around mystical spiritual imagery, and intricate, dexterous, acoustic guitar-driven folk-jazz which was definitely pastoral in nature. One of the elements of his songwriting approach was the tendency for him to write as an uninvolved observer. With a few exceptions, even Cockburn’s most spiritual tunes from the Mississippi John Hurt meets C.S Lewis ‘Dialogue With The Devil’, to the sublime and metaphor-rich ‘All the Diamonds In the World’ and onto ‘Lord of the Starfields’ the lyrics of which read more like one of the psalms than a modern-day song, Cockburn’s own presence was largely missing in his own songs. His song ‘Laughter’ from his album Further Adventures Of… is particularly telling in this regard, in which the songwriter laughs at the absurdities of the modern world from the comfort of his own insular one.

All of that changed with 1980’s Humans, when the world at large crashed violently in on the safety of Cockburn’s own personal songwriting duck blind.

Faced with the end of his marriage, and the helplessness, rage, sadness, despair, and a whole range of emotions that went along with it, Cockburn turned to an approach to songwriting that put him right in the picture, that presented himself warts and all. As a result, it became his most engaging release to date, and continues to hold few rivals for those who know it.

The title of the album, Humans, is very apt as we the listener hear each song, many of which detail Cockburn’s many emotional states. ‘More not More’ is a cry of anguish. “You Get Bigger As You Go’ is resignation and sadness. ‘What About the Bond’ is sanctimony. And ‘Fascist Architecture’ is admission and resolution, although it can be gathered that although Cockburn resolves not “to lock up his love again”, you get the feeling that such a resolution will serve him in the future, but not in his present situation. In the end, these songs track the reality of loss, not a hope for reconciliation. As such, this is a bittersweet album, one dealing with processes, not with neatly tied up conclusions. And it is this new chapter in his life which would drive Cockburn to switch gears musically as well as personally, even starting with tracks on this very album.

Bruce CockburnOne such shift is the distinctly rock approach, with urban jazz stylings and reggae flavours thrown in. This is made fairly easy by Cockburn’s own significant skill and versatility as a guitarist, as well as a change of scenery from the rural outskirts of Eastern Ontario to the heart of Toronto. Here Cockburn works with musicians with some grittier, more city-centric textures at their disposal- Hugh Marsh‘s insistant jazz violin, and Pat LaBarbera‘s exploratory tenor saxophone being two of the most obvious examples. “Rumours of Glory” is a standout track illustrating the embrace of reggae. The Canadian radio hit “Tokyo” is the picture of urban decay and alienation, its pulsing electric rhythm guitar inspired more by the Cars than by anyone in the folk traditions of the past.

Another major shift Cockburn makes on this album is a fully formed political conscience. This had been present in the past on songs like 1975’s “Burn”, and 1976’s “Gavin’s Woodpile”. But, here Cockburn is reaching for an even more empathetic stance, a stronger connection with the themes he evokes. Both “Grim Travelers” and “Guerilla Betrayed” paint pictures of the disenfranchised – “bitter little girls and boys from the Red Army underground” and “the politician’s tools” which are left to contend with a world which offers little hope for comfort, safety, or resolution. One gets the impression that Cockburn’s observational stance is over, and the seeds of connection and involvement with some of the issues about which he is writing is becoming intertwined with his own sense of spirituality.

The album’s closer “Rose Above the Sky” harkens back to early days of mystical imagery. Yet here, once again, he’s connected with his own emotions, his own state of being. While the universe unfolds in a great and wondrous mystery, Cockburn’s “gutless arrogance and rage/burn apart the best of tries”, sharing centre stage with “the light behind the sun” which “takes all”. The eternal is present as in the past, but this time so is Cockburn. And it will be this model of how he will go forward on subsequent albums, as well as a person. His political activism and the resulting songs coming out of travels to repressed and war torn areas such as Nicaragua, Tibet, and East Africa to name a few will later come to define his style, and his very identity.

Humans is Bruce Cockburn’s conversion album in a different way than his 1974 Salt Sun and Time album was. Where the latter was his conversion to Christianity, the former was his conversion to true engagement with his own emotions and with the world around him that required his attention.

Read More

There’s a great overview of Bruce’s career and outlook on the True North Records site. Check it out!

Further Listening:

  • The 1977 live album Circles in the Stream, recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto (the same venue of the most recent Neil Young live album) is a great introduction to Cockburn’s early phase as a mystical folky. And it also showcases his skills as a guitar player, putting him in the same league as Bert Jansch and Richard Thompson.
  • 1988’s Big Circumstance is a logical next step after Humans, as it is the one which shows him hitting his stride as the writer of engaging, and politically infused travelogues, the seeds of which were planted with the earlier album. This said, 1984’s Stealing Fire does the same thing, with his most famous tracks ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’ and ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’, along with hidden gems ‘Nicaragua’ and ‘Dust and Diesel’.
  • Of his more recent releases, both 1997’s Charity of Night and 2003’s You’ve Never Seen Everything illustrate his songwriting maturity, his eloquence as a social commentator, as well as his continually stunning guitar chops which touch on rock, blues, jazz, Middle-Eastern, and a myriad of other styles.

To give you a taste of Cockburn’s guitar calibre , here’s a clip of his 1981 performance of his instrumental ‘Deer Dancing Around A Broken Mirror’ (first featured on the aforementioned Circles in the Stream album) with Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett.

Hover over the image and click the ‘play’ icon. To enlarge the window, click the magnifying glass icon. Enjoy!

Bruce Cockburn

Records I have known: Grace, by Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley GraceThe first thing I ever read about Jeff Buckley was in a local Toronto free newspaper – Now Magazine – that reviewed the then-new EP Live at Sine from a new and upcoming artist who happened to be the son of 60’s and 70’s singer-songwriter Tim Buckley. I remember being skeptical, my instant association with the sons of rock legends being mostly centered on Julian Lennon. But, that was before I heard Grace. In the review of the EP, it described Buckley as adventurous and musically ambidextrous, tackling Edith Piaf and Van Morrison with equal aplomb, while performing his own songs as well. Coming out of the fashion conscious eighties and into the early nineties, this was dangerous territory, and perhaps almost a decade later it still is. What were we to do with such an artist in terms of categorization? Was he his father’s second coming? Would he be the leading light that he seemed to be? What was he about?

Unfortunately, not many questions were answered before his accidental death in 1997. All that was left between Live at Siné and the legacy of demo tapes and first run recordings of an album that was eventually released as Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, was this sole statement completed to Buckley’s own satisfaction; “Grace”. I’m sure, based upon what his mother and inheritor of his musical legacy, Mary Guibert has said, that Buckley would want this album to be the reference point to who the man himself was and not any romanticized ideas which his premature death may inspire in writers or fans.

Quite rightly, the centerpiece of this remarkable album is Buckley’s voice, the best and most powerful instrument he had at his disposal. The voice itself could be sweet and savage, vulnerable and raucous, and the range is displayed admirably and is the binding force that holds the record together. The material is diverse, from the haunting opener “Mojo Pin”, which slowly builds to a threatening climax from Buckley’s delicate guitar figure and croon to the growling ferocity of the song’s conclusion. There is a sense of the kind of spiritual emptiness and the anguish that it causes in the title track that follows. The line “wade in the fire” which is repeated in the chorus of the title track “Grace” is reminiscent of Robert Johnson’s hellhound, tenaciously trailing the narrator, and reflected again in the song “Eternal Life” which is “on my trail”, a spiritual yearning bolstered by an angry wash of guitars, guttural bass and drums.

It is the dark side of human experience, its intrusive presence and subtle undermining nature that Buckley seems to be exploring here – what else should an album called Grace explore, this human neediness for salvation? “Lilac Wine”, a cover of a song made a standard by Nina Simone, fits the mold here as a portrait of someone trapped in the cage of hopeless love, of attachment to something which cannot be, coupled with the inability to face up to reality. Likewise, another cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” evokes the biblical figures of King David and of Samson, men of considerable power who are undone by their own weakness, delivered by Buckley in an almost childlike voice, giving the song an extra dimension of lost innocence.

The theme of loss is further explored in the soulful “Lover You Should Have Come Over”, a gospel flavoured look at love’s tragedy. The album’s closing track, “Dream Brother” is an exploration of the artists own troubled past. Having known little of his father and with only a name which “the one” has left behind, his pleading to all who would love him not be leave a remnant behind of themselves, but rather to keep their promises.

Darkness and loss cause us to ask the oldest questions – where is love? What is happiness? What is Life? Where is Peace? It is here where “Grace” finds its greatest success. It connects with human struggles without sounding forced because it is carried by a voice and a performance that can fulfill the promise of the message. We believe Buckley. We believe every note. This is a real statement of artistic merit, an acknowledgement that beauty and tragedy are facets of one another and cannot be reduced to formula, or reduced at all.

Further Listening

  • The legacy version of the original Live at Siné disc. This is a two-disc set, with more than double the music of the original release. In many ways, this is the purest form of Buckley there is; just him, a telecaster and amp, a small audience in a very small bar, and a photographic memory holding songs which extend from Led Zeppelin, to Billie Holiday, to The Band, to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
  • Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. This is the first tapes of the album Buckley was working on just before he died. It contains new tracks, along with some cover versions (including a fascinating solo rendition of Genesis’ ‘Back in NYC’) and rough demos on the second disc. At very least, get this for his take on the traditional ‘Satisfied Mind’, which was played at his funeral.

Listen to Jeff Buckley sing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’

To view the clip, hover over the image below and click the ‘play’ icon. Enlarge the viewing window by clicking the magnifying glass icon. Enjoy!

Jeff Buckley

Records I have known: ‘Abbey Road’ by the Beatles

Abbey Road The Beatles“Let’s make an album like we used to”, said Paul McCartney to a beleaguered George Martin. The indispensable producer had had enough, much like the members of the four- piece band who had made their way to fame from the beat combo of the Cavern Club, to the fictional Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, to the revivalist intentions of the disastrous Get Back sessions. The fabric of the band that had been held together only tentatively after the death of their manager and friend Brian Epstein, was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. They needed to truly “get back” and make an album worthy of their success, their artistic struggles, and their friendship. Martin agreed, on condition that all members would be involved and that the album be polished. “Abbey Road” was that album.

The record is exceptional stylistically, with a cohesiveness that defies its variety. The Beatles were still masters of the various musical genres that inspired them to be the band they were – from the Chuck Berry-inspired shuffle of “Come Together”, the rock n roll screech of “Oh! Darling”, and the macabre British music-hall humour of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” to the tenderness of George Harrison’s first A side single “Something”, and the innocence of Ringo Starr’s “Octopus’ Garden”, this is in many ways a summation of the band’s career in terms of what they were capable of. Despite their wandering attentions at this stage in their careers, when called upon they could still pull together work that went beyond their individual efforts. This is, unlike the “white album” of the previous year, the result of a band and not of four artists sharing studio time.

Even in the face of John Lennon’s apathy and cynicism about the now famous medley side, his contributions of Sun King-Mean Mr. Mustard-Polythene Pam were seamless to McCartney’s more enthusiastic efforts culminating in the concluding “The End”. George Harrison’s voice came to the fore in his excellent “Here Comes The Sun” (my favourite Beatles song), where acoustic guitars live side by side to the wash of early synthesizers. Ringo has his first and only (to date) recorded drum solo, which is perfectly placed along side the three-part guitar duel at the record’s conclusion.

In short, part of what makes this record so exceptional is the knowledge that this is the sound of a band that is dying, making music for its very life, with a sort of desperation lying behind each note pushing the songs along like the euphoria experienced before a last word or breath is uttered. It is an observation that is perhaps visible only because of hindsight. Yet historical context aside, this is a sound of music being made meant to transcend what was happening in the lives of those people who were making it, a tribute to that which had brought the four principle players together in the first place; the Beatles, as a band, an entity which always had this function of transcendence of everyday life in mind. As such, The Beatles make good on their belief that, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Such love poured into this, their last statement, allows us to understand that the Beatles had always made music for this purpose. They did it for love.

Further Listening

  • John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon. To contrast the sumptuousness of AR, Lennon’s first proper solo record is just the ticket. This is a stark statement, and in some ways almost too intense. Even with Ringo on drums and former Hamburg-era pal Klaus Voorman on bass, Lennon still lashes out at his past in what appears to be a desparate attempt to save himself from his own image. It’s delivered in a basic style with bare acoustic guitars, gospel-tinged piano, and muddy bass. This is a taking stock album, a search for identity album. Luckily, John remembered to write great songs; “Mother”, “God“, “I Found Out”, “Look At Me”, and all of the others, frankly.
  • Ram, Paul & Linda McCartney. McCartney’s first solo record was a self-titled, DIY home recording of songs which included many he was going (and some that he did) bring to the Beatles. But this one was about his new marriage – this time to Linda McCartney, not to the other Beatles. Or at least it was about making music under more hospitable conditions. The result is flawed, but is ultimately satisfying and quintessentially McCartney ; an album of silliness, sweetness, and effortless hook-laden genius.”Too Many People“, “Dear Boy”, “Back Seat of My Car”, “Heart of the Country” and the unlikely pop hit “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” are all album, and solo-career, highlights.
  • All Things Must Pass, George Harrison. His first solo album, (not counting his Wonderwall soundtrack) and generally accepted to be his best too, this was a behemoth as a three-disc set; a triple album, which included a jam with friends who included Eric Clapton. But this was the album which showcases Harrison’s most fertile period as a writer, freed of the constraints of his traditional portion of two or three tracks per album. “What is Life“, “Beware of Darkness”, “If Not For You” (written with Bob Dylan, no less), and the song which would be a blessing and a curse for George – “My Sweet Lord” – show once again that Harrison was every bit the songwriter his partners were.
  • Ringo, Ringo Starr. If Ringo lacked the songwriting prowess of his compatriots in the Beatles, he arguably surpassed them in the charm stakes. With a little help from, well you know, he made a solid and plain fun record with radio hits in “It Don’t Come Easy” (written with George Harrison), more Beatle-derived tracks like “I Am the Greatest” (written by John Lennon), and an old rock n’ roll standard in Johnny Burnette’s “You’re Sixteen”. And “Early 1970” is his coming to terms song, imbued with fondness and not bitterness. As his friend had said, the dream was indeed over. At least it was for a while. But it would be Ringo who would keep the faith, and he would be the one the others would never fall out with.

Records I have known: ‘Get Happy’ by Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello & The Attractions Get HappyThe story is a part of music geek lore by now: the trip to bustling Camden Town in smoky London, past street merchants and clothing stalls and into “Rock On”, a humble record store which held the elements which would become a part of the new record by Elvis Costello & the Attractions. A bespectacled young man exits, lighter by fifty British pounds sterling, and carrying an armful of vinyl treasures – Motown, Stax, Northern Soul – his black and shiny tickets away from the provincial stylistic suburb of what was then called “New Wave”. The young man had heard a song, “Back of My Hand” by the Jags, and heard himself in the simple lines of the voice and in the instruments. It was a wake-up call, and the beginning of a journey he has yet to finish.

It was the journey away from his own image.The band was strained in every way. They had come off of a less than stellar American tour by the end of 1979. Elvis had said some things he shouldn’t have in an Ohio hotel bar and paid for them in the presence of the baying hounds of the American press. Within the band itself there was tension even upon their return to England, the tentative bonds that held it together tested by the rigors of the road. In many ways, Costello’s trip to Camden was a trip back to his youth, to the records that first moved him, which would ironically move him forward as a songwriter. The result was an album not made by the next Dylan or Springsteen, or any other rock demi-god with America in the palm of his hand as touted in the music papers of the day. This was a record made by a music fan returning home, rejected temporarily by the American airwaves, yet resolved to move his craft forward into the looming and unknown 1980’s. In many ways, the record has no right to be as joyous as it is, and yet the defiance of 1977 had not died there in reference to musical expectations. It has just changed its form with the times. .

Get Happy!! is known as Elvis’ soul record, and yet in many ways, the influence of American soul music had always been a part of his work. “Welcome To The Working Week” from his first album could have been written for the Crystals, or any of Phil Spectre’s charges, although the cynicism and bite reflected in the lyrics may not have been carried as well in those more innocent times. In this tension, the match is perfect, as Costello’s strength has always been the sugared pill. “Oliver’s Army” on his previous record Armed Forces is surely a 60’s girl group melody (complete with additional ABBA flourishes) with the most menacing lyrics ever to grace the form. Yet on Get Happy!!, the ties to soul music are more overtly and enthusiastically displayed.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions“Love For Tender” and “High Fidelity” are lost Motown pieces, and the single “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” is a re-imagined cover version of a Sam & Dave b-side. Otis Redding, The Temptations and Booker T & The MGs can all be heard in songs like “Secondary Modern”, from the familiar guitar line of the opening riff to Steve Nieve’s echoey keyboards. Although not pastiches by any stretch, this is an album that pays its debts.

The balance found between a musical past and the creation of something that is characteristic of the artist is achieved, which is quite remarkable considering the state of the band at the time. The whip-smart wordplay in the lines (“Don’t wear your heart upon your sleeve/When your remarks are off the cuff”, “There’s newsprint all over your face/ Well maybe that’s why I can read you like a book”, et al) is still present, as is the familiar bile that Costello had become associated with. “Opportunity” boils over with murderous intent (“ the chairman of the board’ll use a compliment collector/I’d like to be his funereal director) above caramel-smooth organ and guitar, with a sturdy latticework of bass guitar to bolster it. The stylistic shifts on this record do not soften the blow of Costello’s insistent disdain.

In addition to the world of soul, Costello has not abandoned his obvious love for pop music of all traditions and genres. “New Amsterdam” is a Ray Davies flavoured affair, as is the album’s closing track “Riot Act”, which suggests the Kinks hit “Days”, a song which Costello would later cover on his 1995 album Kojak Variety.

“Beaten to the Punch” betrays Costello’s love for With The Beatles, the Attractions sounding like how the Fabs might have sounded like if they had borrowed an organist for one of their Cavern Club lunchtime sets. The Merseybeats’ popularized version of’ “I Stand Accused” gets an amphetamine-fueled workout by Elvis and the Attractions, with the unique energy that only a band reared out of the fertile post-punk boom could deliver.

Ska, imported by decades old immigration from the Caribbean and more widely popularized in Britain by the Two-Tone label finds its way on here too, represented by the tortured and revealing “Human Touch”.

The country music strain in Costello’s music that flavoured earlier releases is also present in the country-torch song “Motel Matches”, which Patsy Cline could well have covered had the song been written twenty years earlier.

Incredibly, despite this homage to his roots, this is still Costello’s record and is not overshadowed by his influences as he might be were he a writer of lesser talent. In the tradition of the best of English songwriters, elements of other cultures, particularly those of the American variety, are taken and made into something vital, individual and whole. .

Costello would go on to make more stylistically brave albums, more daring and image rattling than this one. But this album has a vitality to it that would never be reproduced. The enthusiasm shown on this album is palpable, not simply an evasive maneuver from the new wave tag, or as some sort of amendment for unchecked comments made in a bar across the ocean. It is a record that exemplifies a trait that is rare in the outputs of singer-songwriters: it is a harkening back to an era where two and a half minutes were all that were needed to change someone’s world.

Further Listening

  • Imperial Bedroom This is the record that took things to the next level for Costello and his band; more intricate arrangements, a more involved use of the studio (with the help of former Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick in the producer’s chair), and a bolder step into new styles too. There was a lot of hype surrounding this release, with a rather dubiously considered marketing tagline (‘Masterpiece?’ read the copy). Luckily, Costello delivers a solid record which is accepted as a career high point with some great tracks including ‘Man Out of Time’, “The Long Honeymoon’, and the gorgeous “Town Cryer”.
  • Blood & Chocolate. When the record company put pressure on Costello to return to his roots (read: to remake This Year’s Model), he called in stalwart producer Nick Lowe and set the Attractions to work. The resulting album was a failure in terms of remaking his past, but it became something entirely of its own; darker, angrier, and yet very connected to the writer’s state of mind at the time. Unfortunately, it would be the last time the band would record under the Elvis Costello & The Attractions name until 1996’s All This Useless Beauty (which is also worth exploring for it’s stylistic variety and depth), which would be the last time to date.
  • Brutal Youth. In 1994, Elvis Costello was ready to make a rock n’ roll album after what many considered to be a wilderness period for him. It worked. Once again, Nick Lowe was called in – only this time as a bassist – along with the Attractions, who aren’t credited on the sleeve. The record is a straight-ahead rock n’ roll record, with tradmark Costello wordplay, and some of the best songs he’d written in seven years.

Watch Elvis Costello & The Attractions Perform ‘I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down’

Hover over the image and click the ‘play’ icon. To enlarge the viewing window, click the magnifying glass icon. Enjoy!

Elvis Costello