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Armed Forces

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

1979

Armed Forces
Album Summary

Armed Forces is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, released on 5 January 1979 in the United Kingdom through Radar Records. It was his second album with the Attractions–bassist Bruce Thomas, drummer Pete Thomas (no relation) and keyboardist Steve Nieve–and the first to officially credit them on the cover. The album was recorded in six weeks from August to September 1978 at Eden Studios in London under the working title Emotional Fascism. Produced by Nick Lowe and engineered by Roger Béchirian, the sessions saw Costello exert more control over production compared to This Year's Model (1978), while Nieve contributed more to song arrangements. Most of the material for Armed Forces was written on the road throughout 1978. For the album, Costello sought a more commercial sound than the punk rock style employed on his two previous records, resulting in a more pop-oriented production reflecting the new wave era. Musical influences included David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk, the Beatles and ABBA. The overtly political lyrics concern the effect of politics on human relationships. The UK release featured an elaborate fold-out LP packaging, with a cover depicting a herd of elephants, which was simplified for the US release through Columbia Records, which featured an alternate drip-cover. Initial pressings of also included a promotional three-song EP titled Live at Hollywood High. Supported by the successful UK singles "Oliver's Army" and "Accidents Will Happen", Armed Forces reached number two in the UK, becoming Costello's biggest commercial success up to that point. The American version, released in February 1979, omitted "Sunday's Best" and replaced it with Costello's version of Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding". The album received positive reviews from music critics and appeared on several lists of the year's best albums. Costello and the Attractions supported the album on the Armed Funk tour in America, which was plagued with issues, including an incident with Stephen Stills that nearly destroyed Costello's reputation in the country. In later decades, Armed Forces has continued to receive positive reviews, with many highlighting the production. Others noted that it contained musical styles Costello would utilise for later records. It is considered one of Costello's best works and has appeared on various best-of lists. The album has been reissued multiple times, including in 2020 as a super deluxe edition, which was positively received.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.14

Votes

10116
Genres
Rock
New Wave
Pop

Reviews

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Thu Apr 15 2021
2

Elvis Costello is highly overrated. This album is no exception. Literally. There is not a single exceptional track on this album. The mixing and production isn't even very good on this album. It's all mids and compressed to hell so everthing sounds flat.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
2

I've given Elvis Costello's music so many chances with selections from across the decades, and no matter what I listen to I find his singing and songwriting to be absolutely insufferable.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

I love this album. So smart, so melodic, such great production. The songs are varied, each with its own identity, great playing, whip-smart lyrics, great melodies, inventive and tight playing. Beatle-esque in places, this album was great leap forward, and showed much more of the breadth of what E.C. could achieve. I could listen to this album over and over without getting bored. The singles are classics.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

Elvis Costello was huge for me and my friends in college. Got a taste for his music in high school from my stepdad. Especially the 77-80 albums. Some of the most brilliant lyrics. So intelligent yet they still have have real emotional punch.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

I don’t need to listen to this. I could sing it to you I’ve played it so many times. A favourite album by a favourite performer. The lyrics and the ever changing arrangements, his voice gets richer with age.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

This is a work of genius. Pastiche meets pop. I’ve forgotten how brilliant the lyrics are. How dense each song is. How distinctively Elvis Costello’s voice is in each song. Puns and deft rhymes. Rhythms pushing each track forward. One of the greats.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

The angry nerd returns, spitting lyrics as sharp as the twanging chords on his guitar. He originally wanted to call this album 'Emotional Fascism". If that doesn't let you know the theme of this album then nothing will. Best Tracks: Accident Will Happen; Oliver's Army; Green Shirt

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Tue Apr 13 2021
4

I really enjoyed this album. Funnily, I had never listened to an Elvis Costello album despite loving all of the singles. The sound is really lush and well produced. I enjoyed it, although the singles are definitely the most singalongable of all the tracks on the album. I do enjoy Elvis's lyrics too. He is very witty.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

Fortuitously enough for me, Elvis Costello’s third album appeared in sequential order, having already heard My Aim Is True and This Year’s Model. Fortuitous, because it gave me a chance to really hear his songwriting and musicality develop. The angry spiky first album, gave way to a more fleshed out sound with The Attractions on the second; and this, Armed Forces, builds on everything with a more soulful sound. I also love the depth of songwriting, clever word play and range of subjects (not just aggressive, brooding internal monologues on unobtainable women). This could be his best album yet. It’s terrific.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

Besides the weirdness of a time where progressive dudes thought they could throw around the n-word, this is a back to back classic.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

You can’t go wrong with early Elvis.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

The middle album of what I like to think of EC's Big 3. Great song after great song. The run from Senior Services through Goon Squad is absolute song writing gold. It bogs down slightly after that with the next three songs which aren't quite as strong, but we finish with a bang with Chemistry Class, Two Little Hitlers and the Nick Lowe penned; Peace Love and Understanding (though that last one is not included on my British pressing). A great album easily worthy of a 5 star rating.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, you’d know what a drag it is to see you. You’re an idiot, babe, it’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe. You say you’re lookin’ for someone… to close his eyes for you, someone to close his heart, someone who will die for you and more- but it ain’t me babe. ‘Mr Narrator, this is Bob Dylan to me. My story could be his songs. I’m his soldier child.’ So writes the late D. Boon- guitarist, singer/songwriter of The Minutemen- on ‘History Lesson-Part II. Surely, Elvis Costello is Dylan’s other soldier child. He possesses every characteristic that makes Dylan Dylan: brutal honesty (including self-assessment), civil/cultural/political/martial/ecclesiastical awareness/astuteness, humor; and, let’s not forget, a supportive backing band as good as any Dylan ever led (and he led some great ones.) Elvis and The Attractions are categorized as new wave, but that’s like labeling Dylan folk rock. Sure, sometimes. But artists like these (Neil Young, as another example) just don’t fit and remain in one place very long. Too melodic for punk, too deep for new wave, too modern for classic rock- look, I don’t care what you call it, 'Armed Forces' is just a great LP every which way you experience it. It might even sound good played backwards, or repeatedly beaten with a plunger. I bet your bangers and mash would even taste better if you ate ‘em off this LP! I sat on this CD once in my bare ass and then wrote three good songs. ‘For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise,’ the early Christian evangelist Paul sarcastically wrote to one of his congregations. Elvis, though, like Dylan before him, really IS wise, IS speaking wisdom. And most certainly IS NOT suffering gladly fools or fascists, fortunate fledglings or feckless forbears. Elvis may have been willing to give his ‘Party Girl’ ‘anything but time,’ but as a lifelong fan (upon hearing his debut LP in college) I’m ‘pledging my time, to you (Elvis), hoping you’ll come through too.’ And you always do.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Great Album. Genuine Classic

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Mon May 15 2023
5

His 3rd album & one of his best. Produced by one of Britain’s great pop producers, Nick Lowe, it jumps out at you from the opening bars of Accidents Will Happen, & like the rest of Costello’s early albums, it just moves at speed. He’s always been a wordy songwriter & these tracks are certainly choc-full of lyrics. And he can write a great lyric - I love some of his rhymes - this is a particular fave verse from Sunday’s Best : Don't look now under the bed An arm, a leg and a severed head Read about the private lives The songs of praise, the readers' wives Listen to the decent people Though you treat them just like sheep Put them all in boots and khaki Blame it all upon the darkies There’s theft all over the album - the one I like most is the repeated riff from The Beatles’ I Want You(She’s So Heavy) on Party Girl, but there’s the Abba-style piano Steve Nieve plays on Oliver’s Army, and the music- hall feel of Sunday’s Best, written for & in the style of Ian Dury. I think reviewer David Quantick summarised it best : Armed Forces has all the piss and vinegar and spleen of its predecessor, This Year’s Model, but disguised as fizzy pop and cartoons. I love the record.

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Mon May 15 2023
5

I bookend this with This Year's Model, these are his Rubber Soul and Revolver. Armed Forces is a brilliant ensemble piece with The Attractions as well as being a song writing tour de force on his part. As you can see cyber world I'm a huge fan. So let us deal with white nigger up front so that we can properly appraise this fabulous record. A lot happened while he was touring in 77/78, Pump it Up written on the backstairs of a venue etc. As a Liverpool lad with Catholic roots he knows the world of sectarianism, the patois etc. Touring NI in 78 and observing those young British army lads being told to live in no man's land, risk their lives and keep the order would have been quite shocking. And so, a brilliant meditation on the consequences of British imperialism and the metaphor of Cromwell's 1649 invasion is married to a delightful, hooky pop song. As McCartney said about criticism of Mull of Kintyre, you try and write a bagpipe song! Here in his late 70's song writing frenzy he pulls off what so many have tried to do and failed; a great pop song with meaning about something other than love. The sheer stupidity of the 21st century that makes his use of a Unionist slur offensive is just incomprehensible. Ditto Lennon's Woman is the Nigger of the World, sorry sports fans but all of this is just the artist at work and to couch the use of that term in its original context as a racial epithet in intent is not only absurd but dangerous, really, really dangerous. And if you struggle with that, if you want your books, songs, films, paintings to all reflect your current sensibilities, then draw the curtains and turn the power off. Damn fine song Oliver's Army, leave it alone. This is the second album with the Attractions and the hard touring has paid off in spades with a brilliant performance by all three sidemen, from memory in amongst all this they recorded their own album. What leaps out in this era is EC's astonishing lyric writing, the word play, the use of imagery and symbolism is sustained throughout, smart young women on light blue screens, not knowing where to begin as love doesn't wait forever., only so many fish in the sea that rise up in the sweat and smoke. Thinking about Hal David/Chris Difford, EC could have just made his name as a lyricist and found a musical partner, but no he's also a writer of great tunes, fabulous melodies and the hookiest of hooks. And he's covering a lot of themes, working in a smoke filled 70's offices, little Britain racism, the rise of fascism, even the ubiquitous Bebe Buell gets a guernsey in Party Girl. Here's the ultimate meditation on the sudden impact of fame, "they can't touch me now...starts like fascination, ends up like a trance. EC has discovered that the woman he once desired from afar are now in his orbit, give you anything, anything but time. He returns to the same theme with Two Little Hitlers, "dial me a valentine she’s a smooth operator it’s all so calculated, she’s got a calculator, she’s my soft touch typewriter, and I’m the great dictator.." A brilliant record, go and do yourself a favour.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

Enjoyed it a lot more overall than I thought I would when I first put it on. His voice isn’t the best, but he wrote some meat songs that lyrically were surprising densely packed. Favorite Track(s): “Senior Service,” “Party Girl,” and “Two Little Hitlers

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Musically, I was into this. I could even dig Costello's voice at times, which is an accomplishment! But lyrically? Eh...throwing around slurs has not been, is not, and will never be, cool.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
4

The genesis of my Elvis Costello experience: teenager hears Oliver's Army on the radio (they used to play this on the radio, without any bleeps!), hooked in by the piano flourishes goes and gets this album out from the local library (on cassette!), is really excited by the first track but then swiftly learns the universal lesson: (say it with me) - The Good Bits Are On Girls, Girls, Girls. Rounded up, as the good bits on this are pretty great

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Fri Aug 20 2021
3

On This Year's Model his paranoia was a dazzle of primarily romantic barbs and hexes, deliberately flirting with nastiness, which makes this Zevonian fixation on geopolitics a refreshing change. He's a phrase maker above all, so it's longer on rhetoric than ideas, but that's fine with me when his word slinging is this good - "a breath you took too late... a death that's worse than fate", "it's no laughing party / when you've been on the murder mile", "you tease and you flirt / and you shine all the buttons on your green shirt", "somewhere in the Quisling Clinic / there's a shorthand typist taking seconds over minutes", "two little Hitlers will fight out until one little Hitler does the other one's will" - and his rhythmic smarts this sharp. And then amidst all the political wordplay, "He wants as no one can / he wants to know the names of / all those he's better than" comes across like an accidental nugget of self-knowledge. Bet that describes Elvis to a T.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
3

Yet another Elvia Costello album. Find him incredibly beige!

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Wed Jul 19 2023
3

Third Costello album on our marathon, this has two songs I actually know! The obvious ones, obviously. Liked it, and noted I’ve picked up, perhaps by osmosis, my comrade’s inability to wholeheartedly embrace Costello’s records. Puzzled, as the songs are all at the very least fine. Maybe it’s his voice, which might be too much of a great thing: vocal similarity flattens the record. A couple of songs where he toned down the near-sarcastic delivery stood out.

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Thu May 25 2023
1

Yet another from he who I consider to be the wrong Elvis. There's maybe the slightest bit of novelty to his music that makes one album interesting, but having to hear 3-4 (not sure how many it's been by now) is a chore. Super whiny vocals, pretty bland pop-rock music, it almost feels AI generated. I looked back through and this is our fifth from him, please God make it stop, when will it end? I've given 3 stars to a couple, 3.5 to one, so this is definitely on the lower end. Might just be fatigue but damn, we've been on a streak of duds lately. P.S. - read some reviews and realized he very plainly uses the N word on this album, and it's on one of the tracks I picked as my favorites! Huge oof, pretty telling that I didn't notice it because the music is so boring that I tuned out every word he says. But what the hell, man. I'm sure people whine about not judging by today's standards or whatever, but just like Lennon with his godawful track title, he's not stupid, he knows what the word means. Why else would he clarify that, in this context, it's a "white" one? Because he knows it's a slur directed at Black people. And he chose to include it. You mean to tell me that a seemingly intelligent man in 1979 didn't realize that the N word was offensive? Bruh-itish moment. My assessment before today was that Elvis Costello is a whiny nerd, but today, he becomes something much worse: cringe. Favorite tracks: Oliver's Army (melodically one of my favorites on here but YIKES), Green Shirt. Album art: It's truly a shame because I think this is an all-timer for album covers. Such a cool picture, both majestic and menacing. Elephants are rad, this album isn't. It should be some sort of crime to make your album cover really cool when your music is dorky and dumb. 1.5/5

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

One of my fav Costello albums and maybe my fav with the Attractions.

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Fri Apr 23 2021
5

I liked this pretty well actually.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

These guys rock, Oliver's Army is one the all time best.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
5

On some days this is my favorite Elvis Costello album.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Just need to say that this album sounds so clean.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

I liked it - upbeat but not over the top, some cool inatrumentals

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

The middle album of what I like to think of EC's Big 3. Great song after great song. The run from Senior Services through Goon Squad is absolute song writing gold. It bogs down slightly after that with the next three songs which aren't quite as strong, but we finish with a bang with Chemistry Class, Two Little Hitlers and the Nick Lowe penned; Peace Love and Understanding (though that last one is not included on my British pressing). A great album easily worthy of a 5 star rating.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

¡Qué agradable sujeto! Ya habíamos hablado de lo agradable que puede ser la música de Elvis Costello, y sin embargo, creo que este disco es todavía mejor y hasta lo agrego a mi biblioteca. Creo que mi único y muy pequeño pero, es que su voz no es mi favorita. No como que sea desafinado, sino que el siento que sus canciones podrían sonar aún mejor con otro timbre.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Creo que nunca le había puesto atención a algo de Elvis Costello y vaya que me gustó. Siempre me ha causado un poco de problema cuando cantan letras que no riman y se hacen cuadrar con la música un poco a fuerza y aunque esto sucede en varias de las canciones, las letras son muy buenas y puedo hacer caso omiso de esto. Las mayoría de las melodías son pegajosas con letras que dicen más que lo que está escrito. Sí me dejó un poco de arrepentimiento no haberle pegado antes a Elvis Costello. Songs: Senior Service, Sunday's Best, Two Little Hitlers, (What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Paul says: I just don't know where to begin. One of my favourite Elvis albums, with three of my favourite Elvis songs: Accidents Will Happen and What's so Funny (yeah, I know it's a Nick Lowe tune, but like Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah, it's become the definitive version) and Oliver's Army. Steve Nieve became his George Martin and made Elvis's songs into post-punk treasures.

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

Oh, I just don't know where to begin Love doesn't wait forever It's now or never But she keeps 'em hangin' on The silly champion She says she can't go home without a chaperone Accidents will happen They only hit and run You used to be a victim now you're not the only one

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Anything Elvis Costello did with the Attractions is magic, but Armed Forces is one of their very best. The band's chemistry is rock solid, Nick Lowe's production is rich and nuanced, and Costello's songwriting is witty and incisive in a way most lyricists could only dream of being. The man can turn a phrase like no one else. These songs are incredibly listenable with stellar pop hooks and some beautiful arrangements, but it's not always easy music. It's beyond clever to couch interpersonal and sexual politics in the language of sociopolitical conflict (and vice versa), but it's also the kind of songwriting that leaves some listeners cold. I happen to love it. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Oliver's Army; Two Little Hitlers; (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding; Big Boys; Accidents Will Happen; Goon Squad; Party Girl; Senior Service; Green Shirt; Busy Bodies; Chemistry Class; Sunday's Best; Moods for Moderns

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Mon Jul 18 2022
5

The randomizer did not give me a lot of time between Elvis Costello albums. That's fine with me. "Armed Forces" is the third album from Elvis Costello and his second with The Attractions. It found Elvis moving in a more pop direction relative to his first two which were more punk focused. Produced by Nick Lowe. I would say the music is fairly more complex for pop with great layers of keyboards and an outstanding rhthym section. Influences were and appear to be David Bowie, the Beatles, Beach Boys and 60's pop in general. There's also a dance and funk element. The song themes are politics and relationships. And just some wonderful lyrical interplay between the two in some of the relationship songs. The political theme focuses on the armed forces and bigger companies taking advantage of the underprivileged. The original title was called "Emotional Facism." The title change was probably a good move. The album starts with "Accidents Will Happen," the second single, and a more pop-oriented song with great keyboards and styled after The Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee." Based on a relationship Elvis had with a taxi driver in Tucson. The first single was the politically charged "Oliver's Army" with a piano intro and great drumming. It's about the army taking advantage of disadvantaged young people in Northern Ireland and Oliver is Oliver Cromwell. Some other great politically-themed songs are "Senior Service," "Green Short" and "Goon Squad." "Moods for Moderns" has always been a favorite of mine with again great keyboards and a dance groove. The narrator is defintely bitter towards his ex-girlfriend. A special mention goes to his Nick Lowe cover "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding). It was not included on the initial UK release but appeared on the US edition and reissues. A concert highlight in the couple of times I've seen him. This is a fantastic album and one of Elivs' best for sure.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

10/10 super fun no complaints

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Name a better lyricist than Elvis Costello. Pro-tip: you can't. The way he blends interpersonal strife with world politics is on great display here as evidenced by the title of the record. New wave music brought new sounds but this album does not depart from The Attractions sound: chirpy keyboard, muscular bass, and tight, anxious drums.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Amazing infusion of New Wave sounds with The Attraction's classic touches. Insightful lyrics about world politics, imperialism, life, love. Catchy melodies. What's not to love about this classic?

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

Elvis can't do anything wrong, it's perfection. the N-word should bother me but it doesn't. The mention of the term darkies should too as well as that one of the songs are called "Two Little Hitters", but it doesn't every song is just perfect that all those problematic terms feel like afterthoughts.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

Fantastic album. The first few albums from Costello are ALL classics!

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

LOVE Elvis Costello. Never listened to an entire album though, so this is a great opportunity.

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

Loved this. I think this is an easy 5 stars, along with Costello’s two albums before this. Only knew a few songs, but it’s amazing all the notable different influences that got pulled into this while still feeling utterly Elvis Costello.

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Sat Jan 28 2023
5

очень прикольненько, сразу слышно что англичане тк звучит как Боуи немногого, короче nice

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Tue May 02 2023
5

The best of Elvis Costello's albums, it is dripping with irony and social commentary. It's also just fun to listen to. By this point, Costello had figured out the formula and refined his songwriting and music. It's just a great listen. After this point, Costello starts to take himself too seriously. This is the high point of New Wave Costello before he becomes "I Don't Know What I'm Doing Anymore" Costello followed by "I'm a Serious Musician Who Like Torch Songs, Jazz, and Classical" Costello. If you can only own one Elvis Costello album, this is the one, if only for Accidents Will Happen, Oliver's Army, and (What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding.

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Tue May 09 2023
5

The angry young man softens up and even admits defeat, perhaps — not every relationship works, not everything is peachy. A masterpiece guided by the deft hand of the singular Nick Lowe, who knows enough to get out of the way. I like this better without “Peace, Love and Understanding” at the end (as Brits originally heard it), but maybe that’s just my dour mood. We all need a little faint optimism now and then.

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Fri May 12 2023
5

Slap bang in the middle of his golden run of pretty flawless albums, and not just two monster singles though this is true, every track is brilliantly composed and the Attractions really find their feet as one of the best ever backing bands.

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Mon May 15 2023
5

I love this album. So smart, so melodic, such great production. The songs are varied, each with its own identity, great playing, whip-smart lyrics, great melodies, inventive and tight playing. Beatle-esque in places, this album was great leap forward, and showed much more of the breadth of what E.C. could achieve. I could listen to this album over and over without getting bored. The singles are classics (although I have increasing discomfort with the use of the n-word in Oliver's Army. I gather E.C. feels similarly.)

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Mon May 15 2023
5

Whitney minstrel noise for old men. I was there already when I was 21. Love this shit. Inexplicable - he just has a groove and way with words and non stories...

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Fri May 26 2023
5

Great EC album from his classic period. Check out his list of "500 Must-Have Albums" on Vanity Fair.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
5

When I think of Elvis Costello music I love and why I love it, this is it. Hits mixed with totally listenable lesser know songs. Musicality that is never dull, yet never imposing. Pop rock, that never forgets to rock. Unmistakable vocals. Smart lyrics. Great album from great artist.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

I'm a big fan of Costello's work whether the old stuff or the new. His third album is a typical example of the brazen, smart new wave style. While the line of style is clear, the themes are wide and so this album has much for everyone. Definitely a listen that gets you going in the morning. 'Moods for Moderns' is my favourite track.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

Fantastic album. Accidents Will Happen, Green Shirt, and the US bonus track of Peace, Love and Understanding are all classics. I've listened to this album 100s of times, and it's the first time I noticed the "Rebel Rebel" riff in Two Little Hitlers.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

I love this album - have it on vinyl. Basically what the 1 star and 2 star reviews said about it, I think the opposite

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Wed Aug 23 2023
5

One of my favorites! Have it on vinyl. Love the music, lyrics, vocals — crooning, biting. Some of my favorite bass playing of all time. Love the drums too, very dynamic. The overall mix is so great, The Attractions really shine. Good hooks all around, too!

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Sat Sep 16 2023
5

I loved this. So fun and funky

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

Wow. Never knew that was the album cover for this album. It's a great album lots to sing along to

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

Nem 5'er inden jeg overhovedet har genhørt den. Jeg elsker Elvis Costello og Armed Forces er en af hvis ikke hans bedste

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

This album is just brilliant man. I really love the punk feel throughout, and Costello's voice is so cool. Plus, an album from an Irishman taking Anglos to task is always a W. Favorite track: Moods for Moderns

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Mon Nov 27 2023
5

This is an absolutely solid listen from end to end. Great lyrics (including, I'd argue, the head turner in Oliver's Army, which is actually a reference to the racism experienced by the Irish in the British army); just kick-arse bass playing; ol' Declan's voice in full flight; and the vibes of Accidents Will Happen and Party Girl among others. This was released the day after I was born, so maybe a bit of birth year bias, but I'm giving the full 5.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

The best thing he ever recorded. Classic.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

songs from this album featured heavily in mixtapes from my early dating life. I cannot fairly evaluate it on its own merits. 5 stars.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Clever (& audible!) lyrics. catchy, well-written songs all round. Some of them (Goonsquad, Peace Love & Understanding) still get indie radio play.

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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

That's how Buzzcocks should have sounded. I will probably listen to it again.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

This was really fun. I can't believe I'd never listened before!

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Klingt find ich nach ruhigen The Cure

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Very, very solid Elvis Costello album. A few more experimental tracks on here, which was fun to hear in his style!

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

There is a certain energy in his performances, and his recognizable voice make it easy for me to say that I like Elvis Costello. I’ve heard a lot of songs from Costello before, but up until now, I think that the only album I’ve listened to is a greatest hits compilation. Hearing this studio album was a pleasant surprise. About 1/4 of the tracks are, “I WILL listen to this song again” (5 stars), 1/4 are “I WOULD listen to this song again” (4 stars) and rest of the album was at least likeable (3 stars). There were familiar tracks that I still like ("Oliver's Army", "Accidents Will Happen", and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" <-- the album I listened to contained this additional track from the US / Canadian release). Interestingly enough, my favorite track was "Green Shirt", which I don't think I've ever heard before. "Busy Bodies" was also a pleasant surprise. My least favorite track was "Sunday's Best". I would listen to this album again as a whole (4 stars).

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Not groundbreaking, but upbeat and solidly enjoyable the whole way through.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Never listened to the whole album before. Liked it.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Very different than what I’m used to listening to, but surprisingly enjoyed most of the tracts. Added Oliver’s Army to my 1001 playlist

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

Insisto: Elvis Costello tiene una gran voz y fluye bien con todo lo que sucede alrededor. Me quedo sobre todo con "Accidents Will Happen", "Senior Service", "Sunday's Best" (canción juguetona) y "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding". 8/10

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

A gusto, supongo que súper popular en la época. Siento que es el ancestro del britpop (hasta lo culero y a la vez satisfactorio de escuchar a los vocalistas, entre voz de embrios y con un atisbo de que en realidad sí podrían cantar mejor, pero deciden no hacerlo) y predecesor de lo único interesante que pudo ofrecer el britpop: un rock pegajoso, semibailable y exitoso con las juventudes jajajaja :V Favs: Goons Squat.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

14 canciones. 3 muy malas, incluyendo la que le da nombre al album. Aún así, es muy bueno. Tiene Big Boys, que es de mis favoritas de este wey.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

I cannot get enough of Mr Costello’s voice. It has an elasticity and a fragility, a tenderness and a boisterousness. Here it’s put to good effect rolling with the punkish punches of the attractions. It’s consistently good and consistently danceable. High quality stuff.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

I had a joke for this I think but I forgot

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

enjoyed this album, don't recall having previously heard any of the songs

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