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Girls! Girls! Girls!: THE SONGS OF ELVIS COSTELLO/THE SOUNDS OF ELVIS COSTELLO & T [Original recording reissued]

The Attractions, Elvis Costello Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 11.89
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Demon Music Group
  • ASIN: B00000117J
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,012 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Watching the Detectives
2. I Hope You're Happy Now
3. This Year's Girl
4. Lover's Walk
5. Pump It Up
6. Strict Time
7. Temptation
8. Chelsea (I DON'T WANT TO GO TO)
9. High Fidelity
10. Lovable
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Alison
2. Man Called Uncle
3. Party Girl
4. Shabby Doll
5. Motel Matches
6. Tiny Steps
7. Almost Blue
8. Riot Act
9. Love Field
10. Possession
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Costello picks and chooses among his 1977-1986 work for a selection of cuts that, rather than tell a story, make implications and set moods. It's hardly vague, though, not with the likes of "Lipstick Vogue," "Watching the Detectives," and "Clubland" on board. The artist's liner notes are a must-read for die-hard fans. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing early work 11 Dec 2003
Format:Audio CD
This grand collection of Elvis Costello's early work includes some real dynamite. Reportedly selected by the man himself, it includes most of his early gems drawn from albums like My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Trust, his country excursion Almost Blue, and others.
There are plenty of classics like Watching The Detectives, Pump It Up, I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea, Accidents Will Happen, Black And White World and Green Shirt. Listening to this album, it is obvious that Armed Forces is my favorite Costello album for its wealth of catchy, melodic songs.
On Disc Two my favorites include the tortured ballad Alison, the pop classic Tiny Steps, the lilting ballad Oliver's Army and other masterpieces like Sunday's Best, Less Than Zero and Shipbuilding. I would have preferred the song Good Year For The Roses instead of the title track from Almost Blue, but that is a minor gripe.
There are at least two other Elvis Costello/Attractions compilations but Girls Girls Girls is my personal favorite by far, since I prefer his early period. It demonstrates just what a genius he is, a master of the intelligent lyric and the memorable tune. On these tracks he creates the perfect synthesis of clever pop, mature rock and memorable country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Best Ofs 23 April 2002
By A Customer
This is a must-have compilation of the best of Elvis Costello, beating any of the many other compilations that have the same or similar choices on. The more recent 2CD set is more completist perhaps but this album benefits from being more selective, sticking to the unquestionable highlights of Elvis' career. That's not to say they're all songs you've heard before - there's plenty to discover for someone just getting acquainted with this singer's work. This was the first EC album I heard and, being a vinyl version, it's definitely one you need to get.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, but excellent 29 July 2014
Format:Audio Cassette
This came out in 1986 and has highlights of his first ten years, almost all tracks recorded with the Attractions. When I bought it at the time of release I had to buy the two cassettes separately. Why annoying? EC chose to have significantly different track selections across the three formats so each format had tracks not available to the others. The three formats were full to capacity, so 2 x 50 min lps, 2 x 70 min cds on 2 x90 min cassettes. Hence I chose the cassette.

If you're new to Elvis Costello you may prefer to start with The Best Of The First 10 Yearswhich is a single cd covering the same period, then move on to the albums as the mood takes you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an amazonite 27 Nov 2008
By kcccja
Format:Audio CD
This is by far my favourite of all the many elvis costello compilations. There is a wide variety of styles here and they are put together in themes by the man himself rather than chronologically. You will see some rare gems on here aswell as some of the big chart numbers you are used to. If you are only going to buy one EC compliation, then buy this....then you'll probably start collecting the back catalogue anyway!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve! Bruce! Pete! 16 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
In middle age, Elvis Costello has dropped off the charts, owing (I think) to the ironclad banality of contemporary radio; but far from dropping out of sight he has ascended to the professoriate of modern songwriting. He's an elder statesman now, someone who has never once stopped writing brilliant songs at any time in the last thirty years. _Girls! Girls! Girls!_, consisting as it does of songs recorded between 1976 and 1986, now represents a small chunk of his output (though most agree, and not without reason, that he was at his best during that period, when he played in front of the transcendent Attractions).
So what is this curious _Girls! Girls! Girls!_ entity? As my fellow reviewers have noted, it's not a straight-up "best of"; it is rather a peculiar sort of collage. Elvis says the songs are bound together by the "obscure arithmetic of the title" but not all the songs are, in fact, about girls, girls, and girls. Late in the CD running order we wander into realms of acerbic political fantasy ("Pills and Soap," "Tokyo Storm Warning"). But most of our time is spent loitering on Elvis's two favourite avenues: meet you at the corner of Revenge and Guilt.
I can't help feeling the songs are chosen to highlight the playing of Elvis's sidemen. One great thing about Elvis's liner notes is that they point you to bits of Attraction brilliance; then, if you're paying even slight attention, you find your own. "Check out Bruce Thomas's playing on the outro to 'Shabby Doll'," sez Elvis; you do, and your jaw drops; and you're attuned, for the remainder of the CD, to Bruce's fantastic playing. I figure there's a reason the "methiest" of Elvis's songs aren't on here. He was trying to present the Attractions at their very tightest, as on the galloping but not unbridled "Lipstick Vogue." There are also self-deprecating arguments for some overlooked songs from the Costello canon; I think we can hardly agree that "High Fidelity" is redeemed only by the "comical drunkenness" of the singer. Even Elvis probably doesn't think that.
These are the Elvis Costello songs that would have been hits if the public had shared Elvis's own judgment, is how I'd explain it. He is on record as thinking that if record buyers and DJs had any sense, "Tokyo Storm Warning" would have been a hit--and "Every Day I Write the Book" wouldn't have been. As a songwriter's (and singer's) journey through his own work, this set is bloody overpowering. It is literally too good to listen to in one sitting. You'd be wrung out and other music would be ruined for you for a good two weeks. There are entire months when I listen to little else but _Girls! Girls! Girls!_. For God's sake, buy it. If you already own it, buy another.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing talent 12 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Elvis Costello's voice rarely has cut through the cacaphony of pop music during the last twenty years. When he does, it is briefly and a novelty such as singing "Radio Radio" on Saturday Night Live or poking up in the 80's with "Veronica". He is someone you have to go in search of and "Girls Girls Girls" is quite rewarding. Here are assembled two CD's of songs dealing strictly with ... Girls! I started listening to CD #1 and thought, "There's a good song..." And then ditto with song two... and three...suddenly I was up to over twenty songs in a row that were intriguing, well-crafted and all slightly different. It is at this point that you realize the sheer talent of Mr. Costello. How many people can fill up 72 minutes with (some) of their best music?? I am presently discovering CD#2. Anyone partial to Mr. Costello's unique songwriting style and voice would be satisfied with this CD set.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a Deal! 15 Feb 2000
By John Stodder - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you are an Elvis Costello fan, and you haven't gone about replacing your LPs from his raging first decade yet, you might want to consider what is being offered here: 47 songs on two discs, for about 20 bucks when shipping is figured in. The songs are from 1976 to 1986. They cover the records from "My Aim is True" thru "Blood and Chocolate." Some of the albums are better represented than others, but the choices overall are sound, mixing obvious hits with high-quality obscurities, tuneful rockers with experimental tracks. It is generous and well-programmed, so you are not forced to listen to everything in chronological order. If you're one of those fans who essentially fell off the bandwagon after "Armed Forces" this is a good way to catch up with the best of what you missed; probably better than buying the full albums (although everyone should own "Get Happy!"). As most reviews indicate, the liner notes are amusing, if not terribly enlightening. The point is: Before buying this, you were probably missing a lot of Elvis's songs. Afterwards, you'll have them, so that when you're in one of those rare Elvis Costello moods, you're covered! For just 20 big ones!

UPDATE 6/8/06. Well, in the years since I wrote this review, the CD's price has gone up. Oh well. I still like it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Costello Anthologies 11 Dec 2003
By Tim Brough - Published on
Format:Audio CD
These are the pearls of the Columbia era for Elvis, and it's a bargain. 47 songs on two discs and a collection of comments from the artist himself, this covers the albums from "My Aim Is True" to "Blood and Chocolate" with only a couple major omissions. (Where's "Radio Radio?") But they are more than made up for by Elvis' notes, which attempt to make a point of spotlighting particular moments and passages, as well as inspirations and mind-states. It may be getting a little harder to find, but it's worth it. Given the brevity the liner notes in the Rhino "Best Of" set from 2001, this set gets the edge.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For The Fan Or Even The Uninitiated 12 Dec 2000
By G.C. - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Normally I would give this CD for stars, but seeing that Elvis compiled it himself with liner notes to justify his reasoning, I've got to go with five. My biggest complaint about this CD is the exclusion of two songs, "Radio Radio" and "Everyday I Write The Book", which should be included. But as Elvis explains, this is not a "Greatest Hits" or "Best Of" collection, and he makes his choices accordingly. By the way, the tighter Rykodisc collection covers the same period (1976-86) on one CD with these two songs, and is historically sequenced ("Girls,Girls,Girls" is not). However, the appealing thing about "Girls,Girls,Girls" is the inclusion of many lesser-known songs. The collection also emphasizes his early recordings (pre-1980) which most people should agree was Elvis' prime. Except for the "Everyday I Write The Book" omission, there is a good selection of 1980's material such as "I Hope Your Happy Now"; "Lovable"; "Brilliant Mistake"; and "I Want You", one of his best ever. Good for someone wanting to get more familiar with some great music.
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