Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real "long-player"!, 14 Mar 2011
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
If I had to host the perfect party, one thing I know for sure is that I'd kick off such a party with `Get Happy' by Elvis Costello. No question. I can't think of a finer album that would be guaranteed to get a party going. It's a huge body of work that has never failed to lighten my mood and it contains enough variety to keep all my guests entertained. Twenty songs and not a single filler among them.

As Elvis has declared many times, his songs don't always have any big, deep meaning. They are more often just a merger of his lyrical musings and musical meanderings with rhythmical interpretation provided by the truly fantastic Attractions. The songs on `Get Happy' could broadly be described as a collection devoted to all those who are unlucky in love. But, as with many of Elvis' songs there is usually a few twists to catch out the inattentive listener.

Take `Possession'. On the surface it is a light, jaunty song that breezes along. You can almost start whistling to it. But, on closer inspection you begin to realise that you are listening to a declaration of a man's desire to not just love and honour but also *own* a woman. In the liner notes for `Girls, Girls, Girls' (a compilation of Elvis songs) Elvis admits that the inspiration for this song was a waitress at a cafe who he instantly fell in love with even though he was married at the time. As his friends bundled him out of the cafe he started to write the song.

And of course, there is humour aplenty. I love the lines in `The Imposter' where after bringing home a drunk boyfriend the girl is sadly disappointed by his `performance' ... "He's got double-vision, when you want him to be double-jointed!" In 'Man Called Uncle' there is an older man promising lifelong devotion to his younger girlfriend ... "I could swear, I could promise that I'll always be true to you. But we may not live to be so old."

`Hi Fidelity' reminds me of `Radio Radio'. A pulsating beat and a chorus that you can't help but sing along to. "Can you hear me, can you hear me?". The song describes a man who longs for the attention of a woman he loves but who has failed to tune in to his particular frequency. Unrequited love caused by a transmission failure!

Despite the acerbic lyrics, the album works because it is simply crammed full of classic tunes and rhythms. It staggered me when I bought this album in vinyl and realised it contained 20 tracks. On the back of the album there is a note from the producers reassuring listeners that despite compressing the grooves in order to fit the songs on the record there is no degradation in musical quality. (Those heady analogue days!)

For posterity, here's the audio guarantee ... "Hi, you'll have noticed that there are ten(?) tracks on each side of this, Elvis' new LP making it a real "long player"! Elvis and I talked long and hard about the wisdom of taking this unusual step and are proud that we can now reassure hi-fi enthusiasts and/or people who never bought a record made before 1967 that with the inclusion of this extra music time they will find no loss of sound quality due to "groove cramming" as the record nears the end of each face (i.e. the hole in the middle). Now get happy!"

I couldn't have put it better myself!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Apr 2011 17:58:58 BDT
S. Wragg says:
Totally agree - this is a great great record. Over the past 20 years, and several hundred albums, this has always been The One.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2013 09:59:29 GMT
Mr. D. Bain says:
A cracker of a review. This is indeed a great album. I have all Costello's albums, and for me most of them have a track or two which I could happily live without. However Get Happy comes very close to being a perfect album. 20 tracks, all short and very sweet, no filler, no wasted lyrics or notes, just excellent songs perfectly delivered from start to finish. I think every album he has released has some tracks equal to or better than the tracks on this album, however none are as consistantly good throughout an entire album as this one.
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