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King of America [Import]

Elvis Costello Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £17.95
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“My friend and brother, T Bone Burnett, produced Secret, Profane and Sugarcane. He and I also wrote two of the songs together.

“Sulphur To Sugarcane” takes its title from two Louisiana towns and is written in the voice of a charming but disreputable political campaigner. He is the kind of reprehensible fellow who glad-hands the women and gooses all the men.

While ... Read more in Amazon's Elvis Costello Store

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Frequently Bought Together

King of America + Blood And Chocolate + Armed Forces
Price For All Three: £36.42

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Aug 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009V0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Brilliant Mistake
2. Loveable
3. Our Little Angel
4. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
5. Glitter Gulch
6. Indoor Fireworks
7. Little Palaces
8. I'll Wear It Proudly
9. American Without Tears
10. Eisenhower Blues
11. Poisoned Rose
12. The Big Light
13. Jack Of All Parades
14. Suit Of Lights
15. Sleep Of The Just
16. The People's Limousine
17. They'll Never Take Her Love From Me
18. Suffering Face
19. Shoes Without Heels
20. King Of Confidence

Product Description


This plunge into blues and roots Americana stands with This Year's Model and Imperial Bedroom as Costello's greatest work. Ryko's repackaging is immaculate, natch, and this time Elvis contributes a fascinating 3,000-word essay about the recording and its dismal fate at Columbia's hands. --Jeff Bateman

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Extra tracks a surprise 25 Sep 2013
By Jaqui F
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Had album, missed hearing it as no longer have a record player. This is great with bonus tracks. Great to hear again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Best Albums of the 80s 23 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album is essential listening -- and it's one of Elvis Costello's finest albums. The lyrics are full of the bite and snarl you'd expect from an Elvis album. But what sets this CD apart is the music. It's complex and diverse, and they stay with you long after the record is finished. It's very comparable to Imperial Bedroom, and in many ways it is superior.
Elvis used musicians from Elvis Presley's band for some of the tracks, as well as legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown on some others. If you are an Elvis fan, you will be an even bigger fan once you are done with this CD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Picturesque Poetry and Softhearted Ballads 3 July 2000
By dev1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's difficult not to recognize the similarities between Elvis Costello's King Of America and Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks. King Of America is stark and moving folk, and like Blood On The Tracks, the tone is barren. Elvis is at his poetic peak: he can pen captivating images with one or two lines, and has enough smarts to toss lyrical barbs. "She said that she was working for the ABC News. It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use" from `Brilliant Mistake'. I'm not certain what the line "I was a fine idea at the time. Now I'm a brilliant mistake" (Brilliant Mistake) means, but it certainly sounds melancholy. He paints woeful pictures of love: "You think that you'll be sweet to her, but everybody knows that you're the marshmallow valentine that got stuck on her clothes" (Our Little Angel). `American Without Tears' has a slight country feel. Elvis writes a romantic ballad with a catchy male-female reversal (Sleep Of The Just).
Expect bittersweet organ chords from Mitchell Froom (Producer - Richard Thompson), touches of blue guitar from James Burton (Could this be the same James Burton that was a member of Elvis Presley's TCB?) and a solid back beat from session extraordinaire Jim Keltner. With 15 tracks, Elvis gives the listener his money's worth, but I'd prefer that a few of the selections had been dropped. `Lovable' and `Eisenhower Blues' are uninspired lightning fast rock-a-billy songs, and the speedy country tunes (Glitter Gulch & The Big Light) are out of place. Picturesque poetry, softhearted ballads and first-class musicianship. Maybe Elvis is the King of America.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine and brilliant idea 23 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This record isn't a brilliant mistake; instead, it is probably Elvis Costello's best album. Including several masterpieces such as "Indoor Fireworks", "Brilliant mistake" (also known as King of America) and "Suit of lights", Elvis sang blues, country and folk songs. I know the songs by heart and in my opinion this is the best album of the eighties.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Costello Show 8 July 2005
By Tim Brough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When Elvis Costello decided to finally to roots rock HIS way (as opposed to the mis-fit of "Almost Blue'), he switched his name back to Declan MacManus and forged ahead into brilliance. With the exception of the slippery jam session of "Eisenhower Blues," the 15 songs on "King Of America" are as flawless a whole album as anything from his early years and his most successful collaboration with a producer, in this case, T-Bone Burnett, save Burt Bacharach.

By recruiting some of the best musicians old and new, songs like "Brilliant Mistake" and "American Without Tears" effortlessly blossom with atmosphere and honesty. Even though Elvis describes his state of mind in less than flattering terms in the CD's extra liner notes, it's incredible just how seamlessly the songs here flow through the course of the album. Almost every song here glimmers with the kind of purity that Burnett would eventually trademark with the likes of "Oh Brother Where Art Thou." Even the Attractions, who at this venture, had become estranged and embittered, contribute one of their best performances ever with the single song "Suit Of Lights." Given the song's topic of entertainment as entrapment and the image of a southern mob's tar and feather party as "the closest to a work of art that they will ever be," it's not surprising that they could relate.

In fact, Elvis seemed to be at a more relaxed state of lyricism than since the underrated "Trust." Compare the fire analogies of "The Only Flame In Town" (on "Goodbye Cruel World") to the far superior "Indoor Fireworks" here. Or such leap from the speakers couplets like "She said that she was working for the ABC news, it was as much of the alphabet as she new how to use" from "Brilliant Mistake." There is also one of my all-time favorite Costello-isms, as he describes a relationship with a contrary girlfriend to be akin to "a chainsaw running through a dictionary." Perhaps my favorite moment on "King Of America" would be the two person viewpoint of the disc's closer, "Sleep Of The Just." A tale of an army pin-up girl and her soldier brother, it's a masterful tale of conflicting family and emotions, with a slow sad organ fade.

Now that Elvis has renegotiated his pathway to roots music and blues via "The Delivery Man," "King Of America" shows the vitality of his early exploration of the genre. It remains one of the many five star albums in his Columbia years worthy of rediscovery.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best things ever put together 15 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
all is great on this, the tune, the voice the eighth track is so amazingly written.. i love that
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