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Brutal Youth

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By 1994, Elvis Costello had recorded in every genre he’d imagined, so he brought back The Attractions for the first time since 1986’s Blood and Chocolate. There’s no obscuring Costello of old in the anxious, shout-out pop-punch of “Just About Glad” and “13 Steps Lead Down”, or in the vivid, midtempo character sketch “Sulky Girl”. But where the early Attractions would’ve bashed out arrangements built on guts and momentum, they’re often exercising unshakable restraint here, like on the cheery-yet-dark “This Is Hell” and the spare, R&B-tinged “Rocking Horse Road”.


Born: 25 August 1954 in Paddington, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Elvis Costello's first record was released in 1977, his bristling cynicism and anger linked him with the punk and new wave explosion. A cursory listen to My Aim Is True proves that the main connection that Costello had with the punks was his unbridled passion; he tore through rock's back pages taking whatever he wanted, as well as borrowing from country, Tin Pan Alley pop, reggae, and many other musical genres. Over his career, that musical eclecticism distinguished his records as much as his...
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Brutal Youth, Elvis Costello
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