22 Songs, 1 Hour 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the title implies, this collects the highlights from Elvis Costello’s first ten years and twelve albums — from 1977’s My Aim True through 1986’s Blood and Chocolate. During that time, Costello went through several artistic transformations, from angry new wave rocker (“Radio Radio”), to country stylist (a cover of George Jones’ “A Good Year for the Roses” with legendary country music producer Billy Sherrill), to acoustic balladeer (“Indoor Fireworks”), always serving up caustic lyrics (“Man Out of Time”) and frayed emotions (“I Want You”) with a dose of bitterness and regret. Costello’s encyclopedic knowledge of popular music informs his work. An excellent cover of Sam & Dave’s “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” is given an amphetamine-fueled run-through, while his version of producer Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding” is definitive. Throw in the sly valentine of “Alison,” the nervous tension underscoring “Watching the Detectives,” the relentless organ drive of “Pump It Up” and the shimmering piano arpeggios of “Oliver’s Army” and you’ve got a solid collection from one of music’s premier songwriters during his prime.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the title implies, this collects the highlights from Elvis Costello’s first ten years and twelve albums — from 1977’s My Aim True through 1986’s Blood and Chocolate. During that time, Costello went through several artistic transformations, from angry new wave rocker (“Radio Radio”), to country stylist (a cover of George Jones’ “A Good Year for the Roses” with legendary country music producer Billy Sherrill), to acoustic balladeer (“Indoor Fireworks”), always serving up caustic lyrics (“Man Out of Time”) and frayed emotions (“I Want You”) with a dose of bitterness and regret. Costello’s encyclopedic knowledge of popular music informs his work. An excellent cover of Sam & Dave’s “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” is given an amphetamine-fueled run-through, while his version of producer Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding” is definitive. Throw in the sly valentine of “Alison,” the nervous tension underscoring “Watching the Detectives,” the relentless organ drive of “Pump It Up” and the shimmering piano arpeggios of “Oliver’s Army” and you’ve got a solid collection from one of music’s premier songwriters during his prime.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
198 Ratings
198 Ratings
phow4rd ,

All the best...

Excellent selection of tracks from his early career. If you're already into Elvis, you've probably already got these songs in your collection, but this is a great resource for someone just getting started.

BTW, for the reviewer who wondered why "Veronica" was left out: this album is subtitled "The First Ten Years". You'll either have to wait for "The Second Ten Years" or just buy the track a la carte. ;-)

NadineNVFun ,

Elvis Delivers

I saw Elvis and the Imposters on their 2007 Tour at the Warfield Theater in SF on 5-3-07. Elvis rocked so big. He pulled out the stratocaster; the Gibson and played hard song after song. He played at least 10 new songs. For you people who think he's just playing old stuff - so not true!

Buy this CD for your collection and be sure to see him live. He delivers.
What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

KKdj ,

How many best ofs can one man have???

I love elvis, but I have heard each of these songs a billion times. He has so many greatest hit packages and this doesn't offer anything new. Is this what it means to get old?????

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