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iTunes Editors’ Notes

In yet another moment of artistic impulse, Elvis Costello decided to record an album of beloved country songs despite what damage it could potentially do to a man who just a few short years before had been one of the leaders of the punk/new wave assault. Costello had written his own country songs but carefully left them off his first few albums, sensing that country music was not what his audience expected. However, by 1981, he unleashed this twelve song collection, paying tribute to Hank Williams with a whiplash version of “Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)?,” George Jones with nuanced versions of “Good Year for the Roses,” “Brown to Blue” and “Colour of the Blues,” Gram Parsons with a careful read of “Hot Burrito #1” (labeled here as “I’m Your Toy”) and “How Much I Lied,” and Merle Haggard with a full gusto version of “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down.” What Costello lacks in necessary tonal color for country music, he makes up for with a deep understanding of the music’s emotional make-up.

Customer Reviews

Elvis Does Nashville

Elvis and the Attractions actually went to Nashville to record this album, so it is quite authentic in sound. What becomes evident is that Elvis understands that Country is just another style of Pop. The best Country songs tell a story in a clever way, and many of these songs fit that description. Standout tracks are "Why Don't You Love Me...," "Sweet Dreams," "Brown to Blue" and "Too Far Gone."

County rock before it was hip

Now it seems that country music and pop/rock music overlap quite a bit. Like John Hiatt and one or two others, however, Costello was one of the earliest proponents of mixing country and biting rock. Like his other examples of this practice, King of America, Kojak Variety and the excellent The Delivery Man, this sometimes maligned collection has some fantantic tunes. Like Kojak Variety, these are all covers. Unlike Kojak, which is full of obscure tunes, this is full of classic country songs. Sweet Dreams, Good Year for the Roses, How Much I Lied, and Brown to Blue are particularly strong. These are fun, sad, and great to listen to.


My dad loves elvis costello but i am not so sure about him liking the attractions... should I buy it for him?


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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