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  • Very Best of-1977-86 [CASSETTE]
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Very Best of-1977-86 [CASSETTE]


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All the music, full streaming songs, photos, videos, biographies, discussions, and more.
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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (4 Oct. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ryko
  • ASIN: B0000009VP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 993,101 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
What can you say about Elvis Costello that hasn't already been said? This man is pure class. His songwriting genius is all too evident on this well structured compilation. Elvis Costello is undoubtedly one of the finest (though sadly under-rated) songwriters to come out of Britain. In my humble opinion, his songwriting skills rank up there with Britain's finest - Beatles, Bowie, Sting et al. If you're new to the man and his music, this is an excellent starting point as you get all the classic hits plus a few other gems and lesser-known (but still superb) tracks too. If you like this CD, do yourself a favour and visit the US Amazon site (Amazon.com) and order yourself a copy of the 4 x CD box set, 2 1/2 Years. This box set is now (sadly) deleted in the UK - it features Elvis's first three albums plus a great live CD. Well worth every penny. If you're a Costello fan and you don't already own the box set, get on and order it! The not-available-elsewhere Live At El Mocambo CD is worth the price alone. Also, hats off to whoever handled the digital remastering of Elvis's back catalogue - the sound is really vibrant and warm, unlike a lot of cold, tiresome digital remasters.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album serves as one of the best 'career-encompassing' compilations of them all. As such, it's the perfect album to buy if you don't want to commit yourself to buying his entire back catalogue. You will be treated to the highlights of Elvis Costello's wildly varied and brilliant musical career, even if many other lesser known highlights are omitted in favour of his most successful and popular tunes.
Ranging from the punk-spirited classics from the late 70's such as the seemingly omnipresent 'Oliver's Army', and 'Watching The Detectives', we then follow Elvis through the slightly less energetic early eighties, with laid-back ballads like 'Good Year For The Roses' and the absolutely outstanding 'New Amsterdam' and the anti-Falklands protest song 'Shipbuilding'.
Then comes the late-80's, early 90's era, (known as 'The Beard Years') where Elvis gets a bit arty on us, but yet still managed to produce music of the highest calibre, even if he was possibly taking himself a bit seriously at the time. A good example of a lesser known track from this era is present here, namely 'Tramp The Dirt Down' (from 'Spike'), with it's celtic instrumentation and scathingly brutal lyric (aimed at Margaret Thatcher), it's a brilliant song that proved that the angry young man inside him was still very much alive and able to express himself most eloquently. Another song from Spike to appear on this album is 'Veronica', a brilliantly lively song that deals with the issue of dementia in a way that no other artist could possibly have achieved. Co-written by fellow scouser Sir Paul McCartney, this is pop musicality of the highest order, and if you remember it as a single that you might have not paid much attention to at the time, now is your chance to have a second listen.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Alley Cat on 21 Feb. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've just bought this double CD from Amazon on the grounds that I haven't heard any better song writing on the radio, ever, than those in Mr Costello's collection - and I was not disappointed. He's got the knack of combining a good tune and exactly-the-right-word-in-exactly-the-right-place lyric-writing, if you see what I mean. Notwithstanding one or two of the best songs are older than I am (and let's face it plenty of good music is a lot older than my tender 24 years), this is a worthy, worthy purchase. Except I have not been able to stop singing Oliver's Army for the best part of 48 hours, that's the price you pay I guess!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Bush on 7 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Almost definitive and should therefore grace and enhance every Britpop devotee's collection. Elvis always excelled at politics (emotional and party)and his incisive and literate ideology is well represented here with "Pills and Soap," "Shipbuilding," "Oliver's Army" and "Tramp The Dirt Down" savaging Seventies and Eighties Conservativism/Fascism and tracks such as "Sulky Girl," "Watching The Detectives," "Man Out Of Time," "Indoor Fireworks" and "I Want You" (always the creepiest of psychosexual love songs) addressing the emotional aspects in a completely individual and unique way. Elsewhere, the sublime jab in the eye to BBC Radio Controllers and their often childlike censorship policies executed by "Radio Radio" never ceases to delight and amuse. The transcendent "Alison," the jangly power pop blueprint of "Accidents Will Happen" and the racous philosophical rabbit punching of "Tokyo Storm Warning" illustrate just how subversive, meaningful and downright joyous pop music can be. Personally, I miss the inclusion of a few tracks, favourites from the back catalogue, but these type of compilations will never please everyone completely. This one comes very close, though. There is still a whole world of Costello stuff to explore out there and hopefully this collection will act as an introduction for many and worthy addition to the archives of the faithful. Some say he's an acquired taste as an artist - I would say he's an essential one.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By michael_m on 20 Feb. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How often are you disappointed with an album that professes to be the 'very best' of an artist because it is too short, or misses great tracks, or for a plethora of other reasons. Record companies really don't seem to have consumers best interests at heart most of the time, but in this case, they have got it spot on!
I can't fault this collection of great songs from one of Britains best singer/songwriters. There is a little of everything here, spanning a career of decades and numerous musical styles. Early classics such as 'Oliver's Army' and 'Watching the Detectives' appear at the beginning of this album, and it then runs through all of his reinventions, such as the country music of 'Good Year for the Roses', all the way to 'She', recorded for the Notting Hill soundtrack.
Liverpool is rightly proud of it's four famous sons who changed the world, but they should be equally as proud of Declan Aloysius McManus for his oustanding musical career.
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