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The Very Best Of

4.8 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

Price: £14.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Aug. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Music TV
  • ASIN: B00001ZTYY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding
  2. Oliver's Army
  3. Watching The Detectives
  4. Alison
  5. (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
  6. Accidents Will Happen
  7. Pump It Up
  8. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
  9. Radio Radio
  10. Clubland
  11. Good Year For The Roses
  12. Man Out Of Time
  13. I Wanna Be Loved
  14. Every Day I Write The Book
  15. Brilliant Mistake
  16. The Other Side Of Summer
  17. Tokyo Storm Warning
  18. Sulky Girl
  19. So Like Candy
  20. Veronica
  21. She

Disc: 2

  1. Big Tears
  2. Beyond Belief
  3. Lipstick Vogue
  4. Green Shirt
  5. Pills & Soap
  6. Tramp The Dirt Down
  7. Shipbuilding
  8. High Fidelity
  9. New Lace Sleeves
  10. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
  11. Talking In The Dark
  12. New Amsterdam
  13. I Hope You're Happy Now
  14. Riot Act
  15. My Funny Valentine
  16. Indoor Fireworks
  17. Almost Blue
  18. I Want You
  19. God Give Me Strength
  20. That Day Is Done
  21. I Want To Vanish

Product Description

Product Description

One of the UK's most profile songwriters returns with a compilation of his greatest hits. This comprehensive collection includes classics like "Ship Building", "Oliver's Army", "Watching the Detectives", "Alison", "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea" and "She", the hit from the film Notting Hill.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album serves as one of the best 'career-encompassing' compilations of them all. As such, it's the perfect album to buy if you don't want to commit yourself to buying his entire back catalogue. You will be treated to the highlights of Elvis Costello's wildly varied and brilliant musical career, even if many other lesser known highlights are omitted in favour of his most successful and popular tunes.
Ranging from the punk-spirited classics from the late 70's such as the seemingly omnipresent 'Oliver's Army', and 'Watching The Detectives', we then follow Elvis through the slightly less energetic early eighties, with laid-back ballads like 'Good Year For The Roses' and the absolutely outstanding 'New Amsterdam' and the anti-Falklands protest song 'Shipbuilding'.
Then comes the late-80's, early 90's era, (known as 'The Beard Years') where Elvis gets a bit arty on us, but yet still managed to produce music of the highest calibre, even if he was possibly taking himself a bit seriously at the time. A good example of a lesser known track from this era is present here, namely 'Tramp The Dirt Down' (from 'Spike'), with it's celtic instrumentation and scathingly brutal lyric (aimed at Margaret Thatcher), it's a brilliant song that proved that the angry young man inside him was still very much alive and able to express himself most eloquently. Another song from Spike to appear on this album is 'Veronica', a brilliantly lively song that deals with the issue of dementia in a way that no other artist could possibly have achieved. Co-written by fellow scouser Sir Paul McCartney, this is pop musicality of the highest order, and if you remember it as a single that you might have not paid much attention to at the time, now is your chance to have a second listen.
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Format: Audio CD
I've just bought this double CD from Amazon on the grounds that I haven't heard any better song writing on the radio, ever, than those in Mr Costello's collection - and I was not disappointed. He's got the knack of combining a good tune and exactly-the-right-word-in-exactly-the-right-place lyric-writing, if you see what I mean. Notwithstanding one or two of the best songs are older than I am (and let's face it plenty of good music is a lot older than my tender 24 years), this is a worthy, worthy purchase. Except I have not been able to stop singing Oliver's Army for the best part of 48 hours, that's the price you pay I guess!
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By A Customer on 9 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
What can you say about Elvis Costello that hasn't already been said? This man is pure class. His songwriting genius is all too evident on this well structured compilation. Elvis Costello is undoubtedly one of the finest (though sadly under-rated) songwriters to come out of Britain. In my humble opinion, his songwriting skills rank up there with Britain's finest - Beatles, Bowie, Sting et al. If you're new to the man and his music, this is an excellent starting point as you get all the classic hits plus a few other gems and lesser-known (but still superb) tracks too. If you like this CD, do yourself a favour and visit the US Amazon site (Amazon.com) and order yourself a copy of the 4 x CD box set, 2 1/2 Years. This box set is now (sadly) deleted in the UK - it features Elvis's first three albums plus a great live CD. Well worth every penny. If you're a Costello fan and you don't already own the box set, get on and order it! The not-available-elsewhere Live At El Mocambo CD is worth the price alone. Also, hats off to whoever handled the digital remastering of Elvis's back catalogue - the sound is really vibrant and warm, unlike a lot of cold, tiresome digital remasters.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not criticising the music. I rate Costello as one of the greatest songwriters and performers of the last fifty years and almost all of his records offer something special to the listener. My problem is with this new best of compilation. Such a thing is important when we're dealing with an artist as prolific and idiosyncratic as Costello, especially as it gives new fans the chance to par-take of lesser-known songs alongside the bigger hits, acting as both a great introduction to the artist and as a retrospective analysis of their career. However, despite the quality of this collection, one is unable to overlook the fact that the track listing is identical to the previous best of released by Polygram (Universal) in 1999... making this more a cynical re-packaged attempt to make money than a product designed to further Costello's profile and/or add to the works that were missing from that initial release.
The songs as they stand do offer us the best, and the compilers of the original collection (not sure if Costello was involved!) should be commended for culling together a great cross-reference from Elvis' greatly diverse and often stylistically jaw-dropping albums, from the early new-wave sound of This Year's Model tracks, to the Sgt Pepper style of Imperial Bedroom, onto the industrial rock of Blood & Chocolate, the country of King of America, the wild experiments of Spike and the ballads of All This Useless Beauty. Tracks like Alison, Oliver's Army, Radio-Radio, Everyday I Write the Book, Shipbuilding, Man Out of Time and I Want to Vanish really do show Costello at his absolute best... but there could have been so much more!
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