Friday, March 6, 2009

and here I thought he was the king of America all this time

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Punch the Clock (lala) On the Twitter, the masses were asked for 5 favorite Elvis Costello songs and in trying to not repeat the other answers, I replied:
@jonloubie Everydaay I Write the Book, Beyond Belief, Baby are You Straight, Pills, King of America
though I would have said "Shipbuilding" instead of "Honey, are you Straight" but I couldn't remember if Elvis wrote that or Robert Wyatt, and so with a 3/5 ratio, Punch the Clock is evidently my favorite Elvis Costello record. I would have guessed Imperial Bedroom or King of America, but the numbers don't lie. The real truth: I don't really like this album all that much outside of the aforementioned songs, and can kinda take or leave Elvis Costello anymore. There was a time when he revealed all that was exceptional in the realm of song's capabilities to me, but so did Talking Heads to me at one point too, and Peter Gabriel and Sonic Youth and plenty of people. The good songs of all are still good songs but just haven't kept up my fanclub dues on any of it.

All said, Robert Wyatt's version of "Shipbuilding" kills me

as does Wyatt's version of "I'm a Believer", a poignant statement to make right after his debilitating accident.

1 comment:

  1. Costello's a great example for my shorthand for how we measure great artists - how long was the period when they're working at top form? For some bands, it's a song or an album; for Costello, he's working at peak creativity from the first album through Imperial Bedroom. After that, he makes good music, but it's all variations on his themes and the listening is less essential. I quit after Goodbye Cruel World and have only dabbled or bought stuff used since. For Talking Heads, it's the period from the first album through Remain in Light, maybe through The Name of This Band is Talking Heads for the reinvention of some of the older songs for the bigger band.