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This Year's Model

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Editors’ Notes

For his second album, Elvis Costello assembled the Attractions, one of the finest backing groups in rock history, to deliver the knockout punch to what time has shown to be some of Costello’s best and most enduring material. The playing is stripped and primal, yet each reissue of the original album has featured jarring, widescreen-stereo sound that makes the overall impact far more sweeping than seems possible for this little quartet. But from the first nervous whispers of “No Action,” it’s apparent that Costello and crew are running an amphetamine-laced race against time. Each song is either played like a manic sprint (“Pump It Up,” “Lipstick Vogue”) or an epiphanic moment swelling with tension (“The Beat,” “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea”). Costello’s verbal daggers, his punkish contempt for the status quo, and his fear and suspicion of love color this collection in sharp contrasts. “Radio, Radio” literally “bites the hand that feeds,” as Costello harshly (and rightfully) critiques radio programmers’ conservative playlists and dares them to take a chance on him. One of Costello’s finest.

Customer Reviews

Stuck In The Middle With You

Sandwiched between My Aim Is True and Armed Forces, This Year's Model provides possibly the finest Elvis Costello musical experience of them all. It just rocks from top to bottom. Play all three albums together, in order, and treat yourself, but like an Oreo, the middle is something special. And it only takes about an hour and a half. But what a great hour and a half it is! If you don't roll down the windows and bang on your car door screaming "Hand In Hand, Hand In Hand" half way through, you're not really a fan of music from this era and just don't pick-up on the energy. Had Elvis retired quietly to the countryside after This Year's Model it would have been perfectly understandable because it just doesn't get any better than this. Buy This Year's Model. Love This Year's Model. Then come back for My Aim Is True and Armed Forces if you don't have them already.


This album is simply amazing. It shoves aside the guitar of My Aim Is True and focuses on keyboards, drum, and bass, defining the sound of New Wave in the process. The sound is consistent, generally upbeat despite the discontent lyrics, and Costello maintains the classic rock and roll sound while continually improving upon it. I'd strongly recommend this to anyone.

Best record......ever?

this cd is so good its not even fujnny there arre noo duds on the whole ting biatch


Born: August 25, 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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