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When I Was Cruel [Special Edition]


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Biography

“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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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Sep 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B00006LENF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. 45 (Album Version) 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Spooky Girlfriend (Album Version) 4:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tear Off Your Own Head ( It's A Doll Revolution) (Album Version) 3:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. When I Was Cruel No.2 (Album Version) 7:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Soul For Hire (Album Version) 3:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. 15 Petals (Album Version) 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Tart (Album Version) 4:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Dust 2 ... (Album Version) 3:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Dissolve (Album Version) 2:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Alibi (Album Version) 6:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. ...Dust (Album Version) 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Daddy Can I Turn This? (Album Version) 3:41£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. My Little Blue Window (Album Version) 3:10£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Oh Well (Album Version) 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Episode Of Blonde (Album Version) 5:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Radio Silence (Album Version) 5:00£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Smile 3:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. When I Was Cruel (Album Version) 4:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. 15 Petals ((Live In Sydney)) 5:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Spooky Girlfriend (Live At Kfog) 4:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Honeyhouse (Cruel no. 2) (Imposter Re-mix) 5:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Watching The Detectives / My Funny Valentine ((Live in Tokyo)) 7:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Dust ((Live In Melbourne)) 6:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Uncomplicated ((Live In Tokyo)) 4:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Smile ((Japanese B-Side)) 3:30£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

ELVIS COSTELLO When I Was Cruel (2002 UK Collectors Edition 2-CD album set comprising the 14-track enhanced CD album featuring the single 45 complete with a CD-Rom Section including a live performance of When I Was Cruel no. 2 filmed at the 2001 Q Awards; plus an exclusive Bonus 9-track CD containing studio and live recordings!)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
Why is Elvis Costello still making albums this good? By all rights, he should be an embarrassment by now, a faded punk rock icon whose time has long passed. Instead, he is outpacing most of the younger guys in terms of output, energy, quality and passion. This album is the work of a man who loves music, and loves discovery, someone who is hell bent on creating something new and exciting even if it costs him the affections of fickle-minded listeners and journalists.
I don't know how he does it. This album is a tour de force, like Dylan's Time Out Of Mind but more playful and full of dark fun. Run out and get it, put it on, and howl at the moon...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By david@vance171.fsnet.co.uk on 26 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
"When I was cruel" signals Costello doing that which he does best. It is in turns stroppy, sensitive, dense, simple, and mostly inspired.
After the beard years and the ballad years we now have a return to the noisy years. Much of the musical sound on this record is reminiscent of Attraction era music. Studio layering does little to enhance this, though Elvis obviously thinks otherwise. The best songs, as always,are the most simple.
45, Alibi, My Little Blue Window, to name a few are classis Costello. Lyrically taut, musically soaring, a perfect reason to buy this.
The title track, When I was Cruel, carries sonic echoes of "I want you". Brooding, repetitive, and vintage! Indeed this new release represents not so much a return to form as evidence that he has always been on form.
Episode of Blonde carries Elvis into new territory and works superby well. The latin shuffle of the verse and the pop lushness of the chorus combine into a veritable tour de force. Live it must be a wonder to behold.
Of course there are a few songs which don't work. "Daddy can I turn this" and "Soul for Hire" are messy, and unsatisfactory. But Elvis has always had a few dud tracks on every release he's ever made. The man, fans must remember, is not perfect.
"Maintaining Radio Silence" brings the recording to a perfect end. Costello's enunciation is spine-chilling, and the lyric follows in a tradition of diva last-album songs.(I want to Vanish, Forever, Waiting for the end of the world, etc)
Repeated listening brings its rewards. "When I was Cruel" shows Costello to be in a league of one. He is funny at times, cruel at times (despite protests to the contrary) and achingly tender at times. Buy "When I was Cruel" and prepare to be entranced by the beloved entertainer!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
How many 47 year old rock stars have made a collection of songs as fresh, inventive & snarling as this? While most performers rest on their dubiuosly earned laurels Costello is still there experimenting & producing mighty fine tunes with literate (literary?) lyrics. The songs are melodic, tuneful, skewed, rocking etc... The title track is worth the price of the Cd alone - only someone as musically knowledgeable as Costello would know about Mina let alone have the courage to sample her, and to excellent effect I may add! This album is not 'a return to form' - the bloke's never been off form in the first place!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 May 2002
Format: Audio CD
Elvis Costello's problem is that he has produced so many great albums over the years that he finds himself judged by his own very high standards. We expect outstanding music from him, and sometimes feel a little disappointed, even when he produces albums which almost nobody else can rival.
When I Was Cruel is a case in point. It's a marvellous album, showcasing most of the styles which EC has mastered over the years. I can't think of another British artist who could hope to rival this. If you like EC, you'll like this.
Oh, and it is NOT a 'return to form'. This implies that EC was 'off form' with his last couple of albums. That was emphatically not the case. All This Useless Beauty and Painted From Memory were outstanding albums. If you haven't got them, put them in your shopping basket with this...
Four stars, then. I can't give it five because it's not his absolute best work. It's those high standards, you see...
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By jasoncarty@hotmail.com on 31 Mar 2002
Format: Audio CD
The lazy view is that this is one of Elvis' cyclical returns to rock, and sure 45, Tear off your own head, Daddy Can I Turn This, and particularly Dissolve are rowdy in extremis. But there's so much more. Soul for Hire is like a good song off Spike and My Little Blue Window acoustically rocks like Blood & Chocolate's "Crimes of Paris".
But most interestingly are Elvis sampling and beat looping and trickery on the two Dust tracks (which are great), Spooky Girlfriend and the title track.
Look I'm a huge EC fan and maybe I'm biased, but this is a great record and like all of EC's stuff (and unlike a lot of current releases) it benefits from repeated plays. Who else has a body of work like Costello? Who else is releasing albums this good after 25 years? Sting and co.? You must be joking.
Buy this record, thank me later...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By coaltrainrobberies@yahoo.com on 3 May 2002
Format: Vinyl
A great album-- not so much a "return to rock" as a bold new direction, this album is groovy and funky and dark and funny. It ranks up their with his best work (think Imperial Bedroom and Blood & Chocolate, but it doesn't sound anything like either one).
The "rock n' roll" songs are fun, but the real meat of the album is on strange ones like the title track and "Spooky Girlfriend." You are not likely to find a better album in the next 12 months!
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