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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For most of this period, Elvis Costello's music comprised himself on vocals and guitar, backed by keyboards, bass and drums, though there were variations especially towards the end. Driving rock songs dominated, mostly written by Elvis, although the music sometimes hides the nature of the lyrics. For those who care, the booklet contains full lyrics for all the featured 22 songs.

Elvis had three UK top ten hits during this period, these being Oliver's army at #2, I can't stand up for falling down at #4 and Good year for the roses at #6. He did not have an American top ten hit until 1989, when he made #10 with a song titled Veronica, but you'll have to look elsewhere for that.

In 1981, just when people thought they knew what to expect from Elvis, he demonstrated his love of country music by recording a whole album of country songs with Billy Sherrill as producer. From this album, Good year for the roses became a UK top ten hit as noted above. Originally recorded by George Jones and a country hit for hum, the Elvis Costello version was clearly popular with a lot of British people, most of whom had never heard the song before. Country fans familiar with the original didn't all like it, but I did and still do.

This collection contains the three UK top ten hits mentioned above along with a selection of lesser UK hits and album tracks. Among the lesser hits, Watching the detectives and ( don't wanna go to Chelsea both made the UK top 20 and established Elvis's credentials as a rock singer, and both are here. Alison (a song later covered by Linda Ronstadt) is also featured. Beyond those track, I don't think anything essential is missing from my perspective, but others may disagree. I say it's a great collection with everything that I expect of an Elvis Costello hits collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2012
Sweet memories of my youth came flooding back when I played this CD, rough times of the late 70's with rough people, very character building. Elvis Costello was quite different from the music at the time, the origins were fast, succinct, great music with a fresh voice. Great compilation.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2009
If your of a certain age (like me) you'll have forgotten what a tour de force Elvis Costello was in the pop world.
This album will have you singing and dancing around in no time .
There are so many timeless classics on this compilation you will not be dissappointed .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 September 2011
My brother had 2 or 3 Costello albums when they were first released. I have never bought anything by the man and this is an excellent compilation of early tracks. It brings it home to me what a superb songwriter he is - and what great musicians the Attractions are. Highly recommended
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Although I always liked Elvis Costello, I think I only ever bought one album. So this collection is ideal for those like me who want to catch up on an impressive recording career. It has all the hits I remember and a few songs that I did not know (but were worth discovering). The music here stands the test of time exceptionally well and I enjoyed this even more then I thought I would. And at under five quid you can hardly go wrong.
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on 21 August 2011
In 1986 Demon Records issued The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello) a pretty powerful summary of the first ten years of this occasionally verbose, sometimes scintillating, singer-songwriter's work. That somewhat immodestly-titled 18 track LP, which came packaged in gently surreal artwork, featured 3 Top 10 singles in 'Oliver's Army, 'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down', and 'Good Year For The Roses', and established that era as the best part of his industrious and diverse, nearly 40 year old career.

Compiled by the man himself, this more plainly-titled and rather ugly looking, Best Of focusses on that same period. Chronologically arranged, the 22 song running order features nearly everything that was on that release and adds a couple of extra goodies as well - like '(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes' and a cover version of Nick Lowe's '(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding' - making this popular, nearly CD-filling, budget-priced primer, the marginally better offering of the pair.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2007
Yes I know what you are going to say - another collection. Well, yes you're right, but its the primer for a series of themed releases being put together by the man himself. And after 30 yrs of brilliant, barbed, insightful songwriting, by a true literary genius of the era, isn't he entitled to have his say. Nicely packaged digipack, accompanying lyric/picture booklet, some of the best songs of the last 30 yrs and all for six quid. Come on you can't really complain. Get the themed 'Rock And Roll Music' collection that's also just out and you won't be disappointed. I'm waiting on the next in the series, long may his pen be filled with ink.
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on 29 December 2014
Always loved the music, also loving the gatefold packaging. I'm a simple soul that is easily pleased

That said, and to put it simply, this is REAL music from an era that will always outclass anything squeezed out of some orifice by the plastic poop brigade.

Effortlessly switching from punk to ballad, EC has written lyrics any love torn/love lost can associate with (Alison, Almost Blue, Good Year for The Roses) my only gripe is it was only the first ten years and therefore did not include Mr Costello's superb version of 'She'.

"Briliant Mistake"? That would be not buying this.
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on 12 August 2013
If you want a sampler of the first 10 years of Elvis Costellos career you'd find it very hard to beat this. Add on the high quality SHM-CD which reveals the reason why it's EC & the Attractions rather than just EC (hint - the quality of the music under ECs excellent lyrics).
*Warning* I listened to this on a high quality CD Player and was bowled over (I'd venture to say that this is as close to the master tapes as you can get digitally).
If your records are worn out - get this and revel in a musical genius unleashing a barrage of musical gems.
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on 3 December 2013
EC was so innovative when he released his first few albums. This hits cd covers from the first single, the brilliant Alison. By the time you get beyond Hi Fidelity the songs are average with only the great Shipbuilding - written for and brilliantly covered by Robert Wyatt - perking things up at towards the end. I am sure others will disagree but I won't be playing the last quarter of the cd much but the rest is classic stuff.
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