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Album Review

Elvis Costello's "country record" is usually written off as a vanity project, but Almost Blue is quite a bit more than that. It's one of the most entertaining cover records in rock & roll, simply because of its enthusiasm. The album begins with a roaring version of Hank Williams' "Why Don't You Love Me" and doesn't stop. Costello sings with conviction on the tear-jerking ballads, as well as on barn burners like "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down." It's clear that Costello knows this music, and it's also clear who he learned it from: Gram Parsons. Costello covers Parsons' "Hot Burrito No. 1" and "How Much I Lied," and all of the music on Almost Blue recalls Parsons' taste for hardcore honky tonk and weepy ballads. It's to Costello's credit that he made a record relying on emotion to pay tribute.

Customer Reviews

Stunning

I'm not a fan of country music and when I heard that Costello had recorded a country album my heart fell. But it needn't have done. This is a stunning record with 12 fantastic songs, all covers and all as miserable as country is supposed to be. And then some. If you want a taster, download How Much I Lied, a Gram Parsons song which should be in everyone's collection. Costello is really in his element here. "A thief can only steal from you, he cannot break your heart" as the song goes. As near perfect as this sort of thing gets.

I love this album

Like the reviewer before I too had deep reservations when I heard Elvis's next project was to be Country. I was no fan of the genre at the time although now I have mellowed into liking it. When I got to hear it for the first time I loved it from the start. Costello was condemned by the Nashville music community when they heard it. He had even rubbed salt into the wound by recording it in a Nashville studio. To me this album represents the beginning of the 'New Country' genre which artistes like Steve Earle represents so well. Like Punk before had given the British music scene a good kick up the **** so this album did for Country.

Amazing

I have been listening to this album since I was a child, I never really started liking it until I was a teenager then all the depressing lyrics suited.
As the first post said "how much I lied" is a really good track, I also like "good year for the roses".
I have owned this album myself for about 10 years and wouldn't be without it!

Biography

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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