- Audio CD (23 April 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Island
- ASIN: B000063526
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,667 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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When I Was Cruel Import
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When I Was Cruel (UK comm CD)
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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!
But like every album he's done since-- and including-- Spike, this album is too long. Costello's record companies should've enforced a 'dozen of the best' rule.
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...
His band are clearly happy and having a gas playing on an album that despite its (at times) complex studio layering, is infact a collection of songs to rock and roll on stage - did anyone catch the Astoria gig? Well if not, i can assure you the songs stand up maybe even better live - Episode of Blonde just soared and 15 Petals had everyone grooving. When I was Cruel saw Costello drop in crazy distorted samples as his band followed the twists and turns of sound...fabulous stuff.
Back to the album: Spook Girlfriend is witty and razor sharp, and Daddy is just plain scary...listen to the screaming backing vocals provided by the new Liveprool wunder-kid Steven Kennedy on that one!
If you love Costello you have to buy this. If you are not sure, you will be won over - never mind light-weights likethe Strokes and Stripes and the playing-it-safe-but -nice U2, Costello beats the pants off them all and how. Tremdouse stuff Declan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album is a MONSTER. An Attractions LP in all but name (original bassist Bruce Young is sadly absent but them's the breaks), this filler-free sequence of snarling, splenetic... Read morePublished 7 months ago by R. Rooksby
not one of Elvis,s best , no single track jumps out and makes you want to buy the album , but having said that it,s not that badPublished on 22 Oct. 2013 by a guy
With the release of Costello's 5th album I was really disheartened by the direction he'd chosen and whilst 'Mighty Like A Rose' did score a fair few points in my book it wasn't... Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2009 by P Treneary
Elvis Costello is quite literally the most unique and interesting man in rock-n-roll today. He hit the music scene in the mid-1970s, and no one quite knew what to make out of this... Read morePublished on 27 Jun. 2006 by Kurt A. Johnson
If I may be so humble to suggest that this is the best thing that Elvis Costello has done since This Years Model. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2003
If there were any doubts that Elvis Costello couldn't rock anymore, they were dispelled with When I Was Cruel. Read morePublished on 13 July 2002