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4.5 out of 5 stars26
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Costello's country excursion works well because of the quality material he chose. His voice is suited to the genre and the Attractions give it all they've got, supported by some expert Nashville musicians like John McFee on lead and pedal steel guitars, and Tommy Miller on violin.

The fast paced Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used To Do) sounds more like early rock 'n roll than country to me, whilst Sweet Dreams is done with feeling and lots of soul. Success is a gently lilting ballad with lovely piano.

My favourites are the buoyant Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down, the moving Colour Of The Blues, this slow version of Too Far Gone, and especially the poignant Good Year For The Roses, a brilliant interpretation.

Costello's country excursion reminds me of another highly successful country album by a UK artist, Marianne Faithfull's very authentic Faithless (also available as Dreamin' My Dreams). Almost Blue obviously won't appeal to all Elvis Costello fans, but I find it a pleasure to listen to.
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on 7 April 2014
A thrash punk version of a Hank Williams song opens this intriguing collection, a real treat. As you'd expect, Costello's versions of country classics are more tortured than the original - compare him with Gram Parsons on How Much I've Lied. Slick production (Billy Sherril, who also wrote Too Far Gone) and packaging, and a focus both on well-known (Parsons, Haggard, Mathis) and less well-known writers, make a good personal introduction to the genre and to Costello's influences. Reminder if it were needed that he has broad musical tastes. No less than you'd expect from the son of a bandleader, singer and jazz trumpeter, who went from pub rock to punk rock to power ballads, and isn't done yet.
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Costello's country excursion works well because of the excellent songs he chose. His voice is suited to the genre and the Attractions give it all they've got, supported by some brilliant Nashville musicians like John McFee on lead and pedal steel guitars, and Tommy Miller on violin.
The fast paced Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used To Do) sounds more like early rock 'n roll than country to me, whilst Sweet Dreams is done with feeling and lots of soul. Success is a gently lilting ballad with lovely piano.
My favourites are the buoyant Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down, the moving Colour Of The Blues, this slow version of Too Far Gone, and especially the bittersweet Good Year For The Roses, a brilliant interpretation.
Costello's country excursion reminds me of another highly successful country album by a UK artist, Marianne Faithfull's very authentic Faithless (also available as Dreamin' My Dreams). Almost Blue obviously won't appeal to all Elvis Costello fans, but I find it a pleasure to listen to and a worthy contribution to the genre.
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on 11 February 2008
The fact is there's nothing to stop any non country artist recording an album with Nashville musicians.Or any country star recording music from another field.There's enough bluegrass interpretations of the Beatles.And if Ringo Starr and Vera Lynn can record country its not exactly a closed shop.
Elvis Costello for intance was a fan of the music and that's reason enough .
At the time he was seen as a punk because that's the time he was launched.
The arguments from the snobs go on forever and in the case of this particular album the fact is the producer Billy Sherill had nothing good to say about it.
Its like the way these same snobs argue against black people cutting country music-it just doesn't go anywhere as criticism.
But really Costello-the man most unlikely in 1976 when an LP of silence sold more copies than his debut album for Stiff-has worn many hats and is currently on tour with no less than New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint
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I can't believe I didn't have it. A long time Elvis fan, I went to play Almost Blue the other day and bah! Only on vinyl.And my record player isn't that good. So a few quid on Amazon and the collection is complete.

At the time of its initial release I was a real EC fa - I'd "discovered" him along with half the country when he released Olivers Army and the Armed Forces album. Followed by the truly astounding Get Happy & Trust albums I was not prepared for this at the time. Its a C&W covers album. Nicely played, but who listens to C&W?

Years later i learned to love it, and is right up there with his best work. You'll know Good year For The Roses, but nearly all of the others are as good.
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on 26 December 2013
I like Elvis Costello's songwriting, but this album features Elvis's interpretation of some Country classics. I have never heard some of the original versions of the songs on the record, but I'll be darned if they're as good as the soulful and heartfelt sounding covers on this album.
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on 14 December 2010
this is my fav e.costello,good year for the roses is such a great track and there are plenty more,if you are thinking of buying only one elvis album start with this you wont regret it.i would give it 6stars if i could enough said!
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on 17 October 2015
Country and Western twang from Mr. Costello. There were some nice collector's items when it was first released.
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on 3 February 2014
I purchased this for my husband who is a huge Elvis Costello fan - he loved it. A very good buy.
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on 24 July 2013
Great CD, so glad i found it, had it on a LP and was unable to play it. Thank you
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