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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Blood And Chocolate

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

1986

Wikipedia

Blood

Reviews

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1

I hate Elvis Costello. I pray to everything holy I never get another one of his albums.

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2

My favorite part of this album was when Spotify played a Replacements song in the queue after it was over and I didn't notice it was a different artist for 30 seconds. || Nothing was awful about this album, but nothing felt special. I spent more time digging into lyrics and story behind it, and still didn't spark excitement. Meh.

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5

Always on … Raw … live feeling … dark and darkly funny … desperate in places … I want you … (which is amazing -when I’ve seen it played live) Blue Chair … the pop songs are great with more dark bits …Crimes of Paris … Massive fan of his writing … and WHAT A BAND … Steve and Pete and Bruce are tremendous

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5

I always forget how great this album is. Probably his best sounding album after Imperial Bedroom. Certainly the loudest. Also the last great album of The Attractions era. “I Want You” is such a great song, definitely one of his best.

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4

I had no clue this album existed. So jangly and grungy. Love Elvis Costello.

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2

There were a couple of songs that I thought were fine but this one failed to hold my attention. I see lots of folks complaining about his monotonous voice and I can’t disagree

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2

* Didn't listen to whole album* Bored

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5

One of my fav albums of the mid-80s.

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5

A 5.

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5

I want you gave me goosebumps. This album has a Beatleslike feel but there’s some tracks in there that are just amazing. I’m gonna listen to this again

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5

Can't really go wrong with Elvis Costello, can you? This is pretty great. A little bit grittier than some of his other stuff. I really like this album.

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5

LOVE it

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5

false

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5

classic Elvis, great melodic songwriting seems to mark the end of his pre-Spike era, with albums like Oliver’s Army, etc

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5

Another incredible EC record.

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5

Totally awesome

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5

I want you I want to hear he pleases you more than I do

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5

I have been simultaneously waiting for and dreading my first Elvis Costello album. He is absolutely one of my favorite artists, but I feel like it’s impossible to talk about him without sounding like a bit of an idiot. I haven’t really given this album as much time over the years as I have for other EC albums, which was an incredible mistake on my part. This album is fantastic. I want to go off and spend a week with it and then listen to it all the time for the rest of my life. This the last of that first (best) series of albums Costello made with the Attractions in the 80s. Elvis Costello has done so much interesting work over the years, but musically, it never got better than when he was with the Attractions. It’s the end of an era, and a pretty damn good send-off. This is Costello & the Attractions at their best - smart, punchy, witty, seething. There are some really melodic, gorgeously arranged songs, offset by pointed, frequently dark songwriting. Lyrically Costello is clever as ever, with a flair for vivid imagery. It’s a very specific, bitter pill brand of pop that not everyone likes, and no one in the world can do like Elvis Costello. I also don’t know if the Attractions ever sounded better than this. What a pleasure to listen to. And Nick Lowe producing again? *Chef’s Kiss* This album was way too smart for the likes of 1986 (or 2022, for that matter). Maybe it could be a song or two shorter, but who cares? More Elvis Costello is not a bad thing. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): I Want You, Tokyo Storm Warning, Battered Old Bird, Crimes of Paris, Next Time Round, Home is Anywhere You Hang Your Head, Uncomplicated, I Hope You're Happy, Poor Napoleon, Blue Chair, Honey Are You Straight or Are You Blind

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4

love it

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4

Oh you mean Bob Dylan if he carried a tune? Oh you mean sounds like church hall dance music from before the Beatles became popular? Yeah of course I loved it. He’s king of the easy listening genre.

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4

Creo que no reconocía la voz de Elvis Costello, pero está buena. Disfruté este disco, creo que tiene de repente momentos tristones o muy llegadores que son efectivos, además no llegan a la miseria absoluta. Quizá sí, puse poca atención a las letras por privilegiar escuchar la música que me gustó mucho. Mis favs: "Tokyo Storm Warning", "I Want You" y "Battered Old Bird". 9/10

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4

it was okay

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4

Vibritas divertidas y relax. Nada supermemorable, pero tiene por ahí algunas partes contagiosas. He de confesar que sí hice algunos skips de cancioncillas que me parecieron muy genéricas, por decirlo de algún modo. La que más me gustó fue Tokyo Storm Warning por el ritmo y la onda atmosférica de Poor Napoleon. Mood: de cuál parroquia robaron su órgano?

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4

7/10. The singing started out more annoying than usual, but seemed fine later on.

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4

this is definitely darker than the other ones but i think it works. 8/10

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4

Another solid release from Elvis Costello and his last proper release with The Attractions (in the 80's anyways).

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4

I want to explore more, as he is well respected artist. Seems unique sounding.

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4

great album, costello is good

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4

What a great record! Listened to it back to back 3 or 4 times.

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4

Liked this though the album was probably a bit on the long side which made it repetitive. Keeping it condensed would've probably added a star but it's really good nonetheless.

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4

stark!

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4

Love it

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4

I hummed and hawed over giving this 5 stars but after 3 listens it hasn't quite grabbed me hard enough. "Tokyo Storm Warning" has long been one of my fave tracks by any artist after I heard it on a Best Of album. Fave track - this time around, "I Want You" really, really sank its claws into me. That is one hell of a song! The version with Fiona Apple on vocals is well worth a listen too...

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4

I Want You and Battered Old Bird are amazing. The album from start to finish is lyrically engaging and exudes a passion and hard edge from Elvis Costello.

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4

Хороший рок и кантри и рок

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4

Big elvis fan....dunno b&c that well tho... After shaky start..(tracks 1 & 2)...like. I want you?of course ..a classic

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4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: I want you

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4

pleasant surprise after only knowing his cover of Charles Aznavour.

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4

231221 13:50 3.5

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4

I am a HUGE EC fan, but I never would have thought that this album would make the list. Don't get me wrong this is a great album, underrated and perhaps forgotten in is catalogue. I lost touch with Elvis after this album, for whatever reason I had no need for anymore EC...for me this album was the perfect farewell. I actually like almost every song and it might be his greatest vocal performance up to this point. 4.5 stars

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4

I loved it, great background music

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4

Quite an ahead-of-it's-time grungy album. Less poppy, fewer hits, quite pleasant.

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4

I love it when an album takes its title from lyrics of a song instead of a song title. And this one comes right out uses the first three words from the first song ("Uncomplicated") for its title. This is usually a pretty good indication that I'm going to dig the album (See also: Nirvana, "Nevermind"). It's quite possible this ends up being my favorite Elvis Costello album. That's not to say it's his best, but it might be the one I listen to the most. Coming into this little exercise, I was only familiar with the first part of Costello's career. I knew nothing about this album and assumed this would give me a reason to ramble on about how Elvis Costello has too many albums on this list. Oh, how great it feels to be wrong!

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4

Didn't listen to more than a few songs, but liked what I did listen to.

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4

I really loved “This Years Model” in part because it had such a consistent sound - I was a little hesitant on this album but overall I liked it for a lot of the same reasons. “I want you” and “Blue Chair” are highlights

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3

Didn’t super love or hate this. Not much of a fan of dude’s voice. I swear I saw somewhere this was an R&B album and that may have skewed my ears coming in. Standout Tracks: Tokyo Storm Warning, I Want You, Crimes of Paris

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3

1986. Key Songs: I Want You, Uncomplicated

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3

Not really my music type.

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3

It was ok.

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3

Quite good, very interesting lyrics, ahead of their time.

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3

So, I’ve never really listened to Elvis Costello before despite having heard a lot about him. This album was okay. I thought Tokyo Storm Warning was interesting and I didn’t mind the closing track either. Despite the lyrics I found it to be inoffensive generally, and I enjoy his voice. That said, if someone threw this album on, I wouldn’t mind it, and would probably pick it over some albums we’ve listened to (looking at you, Genesis). Where I struggle is what this album does that makes it so important to listen to. I wouldn’t call it bland or boring but it was very safe sounding to me. Now I’m rambling. I guess this is one of his lowest charting albums so I don’t want it to be a nail in the coffin for Elvis. I think I wanted to enjoy it more than I did.

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3

I'm usually not an Elvis Costello guy but this okay because it reminds me of a fusion of Springsteen and Bowie. I still don't love his vocals but the album isn't bad

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3

Pretty ok album. Some good songs some ok songs. Nothing too bad or too great. Kind of right in the middle

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3

Easy enough to listen to (though for some tracks that comes with the caveat that you should ensure that you are in a healthy frame of mind) can't see me singing or dancing to this.

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3

classic!

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3

Tom Petty but not as good

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3

Our third album from the lesser Elvis. On a positive note, we're now halfway through all the Elvis Costello albums on the list, and I did enjoy a bit more of this one than the others. I still find his voice to range from tolerable to extremely annoying, to the point where I had to skip some songs. But I honestly can't call this bad. In fact, I'd call it pretty good. The songs I liked were really solid. Maybe with each Elvis Costello album I'll like him more? Probably not. Favorite tracks: Uncomplicated, Battered Old Bird, I Want You. Album art: "I call this one 'Bold and Brash.'" "More like 'belongs in the trash!'" Pretty gruesome abstract art. I like the appearance of Napoleon Dynamite, there's some lore here about whether Elvis inspired the title of the movie (which I'd say is better than anything I've heard from this guy). I like this cover though, it's neat. 3.5/5

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3

Not nearly as good as his other albums on the list. 6

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3

To me this sounded like if Bob Dylan’s electric stuff was good. All though I’d always heard about how Elvis Costello is a prolific and influential musician, the only song I’d ever heard of his was “The Comedians” due to the Watchmen comics. I never really disliked anything that was on here but like others said before me, nothing about this struck me as a must listen album. Pretty straightforward up and down rock with a few funky lyrics. “Tokyo Storm Warning” was the only track that stood out to me due to its fun Barenaked Ladies “One Week”ish nonsensical lyric rambling. Other than that, not really a notable album at all. I understand that Elvis never stayed inside the lines of one genre for too long so maybe I’d enjoy some of his music from another phase in his career more, but this album was at best so-so.

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3

3/5

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3

Elvis Costello might be growing on me. 6, but a relatively high 6

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3

I’ve always liked Elvis Costello, but never REALLY liked his music. It’s pretty good, but don’t remember ever wanting to plop down a dollar for a used CD. Most of it sound the same to me, just different tempos. I did kind of like “Honey Are You Straight or Are You Blind”, but other than that. Meh. Feeling generous with 3*s

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3

I like the sound, but every song sounds the same. I have knocked some other albums a bit for weird songs towards the end of the album that didnt quite work, but at least Frankie Teardrop was SOMETHING different. Plus what I know from Elvis Costellos other work it also sounds much the same. Would give this a 3.5 because it is least good the same.

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3

I liked this one. As with the last Elvis C album sent to us,  it's recorded later than the time frame I associate with his sweet spot but it was an enjoyable listen.  

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3

Great album to listen to but didn’t buy his music

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3

Despite only having one notable single, this album is a great look into what makes Elvis Costello and the Attractions such an important group. The lyrics, melancholy, and musicianship all come to a head on this art rock album.

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3

This is perfectly passable. 'Tokyo storm warning' and 'blue chair' both have a good bounce to them. For some inexplicable reason I can imagine listening to this on the megabus from Liverpool to London.

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3

Have nothing really good or bad to say about it

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3

A decent Elvis Costello album, but definitely not his best. 7.9/10

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3

It was pretty good. Nothing noticeably bad. Highlights were Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head and Blue Chair. Prrrreeeeettttyyyy boring (for me) otherwise. I understand why people would like it. 6/10.

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3

classic rock, interesting but not necessarily my cup of tea

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3

Only had time for a partial listen

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3

I've never delved deep into Elvis Costello's catalog beyond his greatist hits and radio hits, so this was a different side of EC that I'm used to seeing. And I dig it. His voice never bothered me as it seems to bother others, but I've grown up with that voice and am a well-enough-versed veteran to listen beyond that. The writing, production, and musicality of the Attractions put together a great late-era New Wave album. Overall, 7/10, rounded up to a 4/5. I don't know why added to the list, but can appreciate it presence.

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3

Better than pump it up

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3

Not the vibe today

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3

Typical Elvis Costello for me, bluesy and groovy, wry lyrics.

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3

Don't love it. Don't hate it. I actually thought I would like Declan Macmanus' voice even less, but sometimes it was ok. Also, I think he should have stuck with the name Declan. He'd be the only famous rock'n'roller named Declan. But I think there's another Elvis.

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3

Not my favorite Costello album, but I still enjoyed it.

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3

I like Elvis Costello but I don't think this is one of his best works.

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3

Wel goed maar ik vind het niet speciaal klinken

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3

Ah. A little disappointed with this one, unfortunately. Maybe I came in with high hopes, but this didn't live up to expectations. A few standouts (I Want You, Blue Chair) but overall a little forgettable and sounded uninspired/clunky/meh.

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3

Elvis Costello is one of those hit or miss singers for me and this album is mostly a miss. I've listened to a few of his albums and they all tend to have one great song and the rest are mediocre. I couldn't find the great song on this album.

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3

3.8 - Elvis Costello pushes his vocal performance here. I've always respected him as a rock singer but "I Want You" is completely next level. The rawness and vulnerability of the emotions comes through in his vocal performance. Incredible. Similarly with "Battered Old Bird." The rest is tightly crafted pop-rock that showcases Elvis Costello's flare for dynamics in chord structure, tempo and volume. There are enough surprises to keep the ear engaged, though I'd struggle to remember most of the tracks besides the couple.

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3

Elvis Costello neutral

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3

This is palatable…. Elvis Costello has never really been my thing though.

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3

Usual good and distinctive vocals, but not such a super duper sound. Ok I suppose.

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3

I enjoyed half of the songs very much and appreciate the music throughout. The only thing is I'm not a big fan of Elvis' singing style and it gets weary by the end of a whole album. This is my second album so far and my opinion hasn't changed, but I can pick and choose songs like Tokyo Storm Warning and I Want You.

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3

not a standout album, solid listening but nothing I feel compelled to return to

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3

The stories Elvis tells are very vivid. I just wish the music followed.

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3

Not a great album but I tolerated it.

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3

i'll always love his voice, but this album kinda just left me feeling like i'd heard it a hundred times, when i'm pretty sure i'd never heard it before. it wasn't boring, it was just...there.

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3

alright album, not innovative compared to other elvis costello albums

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3

Tämä Costellon levy tuntui aika tasaiselta peruskamalta, jännästi on tähdet vaihdelleet tällä listalla kakkosesta neloseen ja nyt tarjoan välimallin kolmosta. Ei tämä huono ollut, mutta jotenkin tämä ei lähtenyt lentoon ja tykittänyt täysillä.

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3

This is a good album, but I'm not convinced it's great.

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2

Nä inte så kul för mig

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2

Okay. I'm not sure Elvis Costello is my thing.

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2

Alright, never been a big fan of Elvis Costello

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2

Meh

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2

Now I know that I am not a fan of Elvis Costello

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2

“Blood and Chocolate” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1986) Breakup songs that get the anger out, but will endear you only to women who have no self respect. You may be into that. Go for it. Thoughtful, if sneering, these are lyrics that treat the listener with some good enough poetic ideas, but lacking poetic sounds. Too bad. It’s half great. And the music fails to do justice to the work that went in to the lyrics. It’s too plain. Compositions lack flavor and aroma, like a case of Covid. The exception is “I Want You”, which could have been so much more powerful with better production. Costello’s voice is not great, and the studio guys do him no favors. He too frequently attempts to exceed his limited range. I suspect he had too much control over the vocal track processing and overall mixing. I can picture an engineer pleading with the producer to add just a little reverb. Somebody might be able to sing these songs, but not Elvis Costello. This album could have been so much better. It’s a shame. It’s like a collaboration between Bob Dylan and The Monkees (sorry if that made Dylan fans cringe—or Monkees fans for that matter). Overall, this album is exquisitely unsatisfying. 2/5

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2

Is it possible the only Elvis Costello albums I like are the ones that I owned? I don't think so. If I heard this in the mid-eighties, I wouldn't have bought it. I like "I Want You" and "Tokyo Storm Warning" but get tired of his voice quickly after that. I gave a 3 to "Brutal Youth" and I like this album a bit more, but I read the 1001 review and even they were lukewarm on it!?!?

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2

Never realised what a weird/distinctive singing style he and. Not really into this but didn’t find it as offensive as some of my AOTD colleagues

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2

Just too much

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2

Eh

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2

I just could not get into this. Vocals are not a good fit for me.

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2

Not a fan of his voice

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2

Seen Elvis Costello live (acoustic) years ago, was pretty boring and it put me off him but he is no doubt a talented and clever songwriter who knows his way around a tune. More of a pop album than expected and some decent tracks but won’t listen again.

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2

Whiny Rock

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2

I've never listened to Elvis Costello, interested to see what this sounds like... UPDATE 1: Is it weird to say this reminds me of Bruce Springsteen?? Listening to "Tokyo Storm Warning" and if there were a little more keyboard and sax this would be a Boss song. UPDATE 2: Wtf is "honey are you straight or blind"???

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2

This sounds like one of those albums that was played on the radio a million times as a child and it's the sheer memory that keeps this album alive. Like it is cohesive...but it the weirdest way. Like if the Beatles were stuck in their "I am the Walrus" phase. These songs are extremely long.

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2

This was really a chore to listen to. I feel like I survived an onslaught of Dylanesque whining.

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2

Elvis Costello has made many great songs during his career that I enjoy, but Blood and Chocolate has too many annoyances for me to find them on here. Elvis' vocals sound more nasally or breathy than usual and the bad mixing makes it drown almost everything else out. I find that this is the case on every track, except "I Want You", where there are not enough instrumentals present to be overshadowed. It's no coincidence that its the only song here I find to be worth another listen. 2/5.

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2

Not for me

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2

Elvis Costello sounds like he has noise cancelling headphones or earplugs in when he sings as is off key

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2

not really my thing, influenced/inspired by/aspiring to Bon Dylan? with subpar lyrics

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2

Climate change is real. This album does nothing for me, but I did find it interesting that Elvis Costello used a time machine to go 18 years in the future to watch Jon Heder’s breakout movie and include Napoleon Dynamite on this 1986 album cover. I did however deduct a star for failing to warn the world about global warming.

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2

I really do not like the singers voice. everything else is fine albeit a little generic if i'm honest

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2

Elvis Costello is rock for 80s hipsters. Self important, arrogant and never more than just ok. Dragged on a lot and all sounded exactly the same. The album had run its course by the third song but it still had an eternity to go. I was expecting to come across one of his albums sooner than this tbh. 2/5 for boring the hell outta me and being a critical darling for no reason I can think of.

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2

The guy who compiled this list is clearly a huge EC&TA fan. I don't think I'll ever become one.

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2

Interesting guitar work here and there but not enough to overcome the repetitive song structures and annoying vocals

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2

I can sort of understand having ONE Elvis Costello album on here. But 6!? So far they all sound the same, and they're starting to sound not very good.

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2

Like the other Elvis Costello album we've had, it's pretty disappointing. He's a great singer and some of the songs have the potential to be hits such as Battered Old Birds and Crimes Of Paris. But why does the production have to suck so much? It just completely ruins the album for me. And this one doesn't have a real standout hit like Alison to lift it up either.

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2

On the occasion of decent music Elvis’ voice cuts in as either whiny or droning. Not convinced by the lyrics.

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2

Nada especial

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2

By now I'm resigned to each and every piece of music having anything to do with Elvis Costello receiving nomination here. However, just like its Elvis Costello predecessors that I've encountered here thus far, Blood and Chocolate offers one good song (though I'd argue The Beatles' I Want You is vastly superior) that sinking in what is otherwise the mediocrity of every other song sounding the same that is the rest of the album. In other words, I'm not sure the person who put so much Elvis Costello in this list would have done so were they to redo this list today.

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2

Jopas nyt näitä Costellon levyjä riittää listalla. Tämän levyn paikkaa en kyllä ihan ymmärrä. Paljon kädenlämpöisempää rallattelua ilman aiempien levyjen punk-asennetta. Tuskin olisin tätä edes Elvis Costelloksi tunnistanut. Kappaleista ei jäänyt oikeastaan mikään mieleen positiivisesti. Tylsä ja turha levy.

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2

This is a 2. Not as impressive songwriting as Imperial Bedroom.

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2

Producció 80s de Costello. Es deixa escoltar fàcilment però tampoc trobo cap raó per situar-lo per sobre de la seva discografia de la década (molt per sota dels seus primers anys)

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1

Disappointed

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1

Maybe I was in a bad mood going into this album, but this is one of the few albums on this list that I actively disliked. Costello's voice is grating, the music is discordant, and the title of the song "Honey, Are You Straight or Are You Blind?" in particular rubbed me the wrong way.

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1

Never again

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1

Survived. Probably not as bad as had been made out by others in the group, but still a major struggle to get through. Onwards and upwards!

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1

As I dragged myself through the album, I learned to ignore his voice and actually the music is alright. It sounds dated even taking into account the 1986 release date. Probably deserves a higher score than Lloyd Cole because at least I've heard of him, but it would be disrespectful to The Boss. 2/10

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1

He notado que esta lista tiene unas inclusiones que claramente sacaron del embrujo de señor moderno de la Rolling Stone gringa. Este disco es malo y no tiene redención a pesar de que tiene dos buenas canciones: Uncomplicated y I Want You. Dos canciones que serían formidables situadas en alguna serie, onda no sé, The Americans o Handmaid's Tale.

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1

This is gonna be very hard for me to listen to, there's some weird audio mixing issues going on on the first song and the sound is biased towards my left headphone except an annoying guitar part just in the right. The songs drag on and on oh my god, his voice is just not good enough to carry how bland these songs are either. And it doesn't feel like it fits at all? Theres no variance at all, its the same bits repeated over and over. The lyrics are kinda creepy too? Idk why he'd just repeat I want you over and over. This album sounds like a worse version of father john misty. Look I know father john misty started making music a lot later on than elvy costello and may have been inspired by him but also its hard to enjoy something that sounds similar but is objectively much worse. Props to the attractions, theyve definitely got something going for them, but just ditch elvis next time okay hun?

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1

The first song is the lyrical version of that guy who challenged Dr Seuss to make a book tht only used 50 words. This album feels.....easy. A money grab. Someone wanted to buy an expensive Rothko (because Rothkos are terrible) and needed to milk daddy Public for all his cashola. Its not bad I just can't get past the thought that it's the soundtrack of an Azerbaijianian Shrek parody. I had to stop listening as it was activating my fight or flight response and my therapist says thats counterproductive to my fatigue.

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1

his voice is just too annoying for me, it's almost monotonous?? in some weird way.

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1

Not my bag

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The opening tracks, Uncomplicated, left me wondering what, exactly, is in whose eyes, Mr. Costello? I’m guessing it was a strobe light in the audience’s eyes to distract from the dearth of enjoyable aspects of this album. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. The album isn’t offensive to my ears, but I literally can’t name one aspect I like. The music leaves a lot to be desired. It’s fairly bland and unremarkable. Elvis’s voice isn’t great and it sounds like he adds extra artificial effects that don’t feel genuine (like extra vibrato on I Hope You Are Happy Now for instance and breaking his voice in Battered Old Bird). There are too many occasions where the music is in the background (because it’s generic), featuring his voice…and it’s just not good enough. Prime examples are I Want You and Blue Chair. There are plenty of others. The most interesting part of this album is that Mr. Costello used an alter ego, Napoleon Dynamite, for some of the credits and somehow, it was not the inspiration for the 2000s cult classic movie. That’s the best I can do.

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I can’t even do it. His voice makes me want to gouge out my eardrums.

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Before I started listening to these "1001 albums", I would have called myself an Elvis Costello fan. Thanks to the nonstop onslaught of Elvis albums on this list, I have gone from fan, to indifferent, to actively despising this man's terrible terrible music. It's like a parody of generic, shitty rock and roll. His voice is more goofy than Randy Newman. His smug self-satisfied lyrics are completely insufferable. This was the longest hour of my entire life. If more EC comes up on this list, I may just have to skip them.

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An der Grenze zur Nervigkeit, nicht ganz so schlimm wie die Imperial Bedroom (äh, doch. Das ist scheiße). Beide Alben haben in dieser Liste nichts verloren. Nach dem 5. Song wollte ich nur noch, dass es vorbei ist.

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1

80s bullshit.

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Boring generic 80s garage rock

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Elvis gives me the creeps.

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i quit

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