I hate Elvis Costello. I pray to everything holy I never get another one of his albums.
Blood & Chocolate is the eleventh studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released in the United Kingdom as Demon Records XFIEND 80, and in the United States as Columbia 40518. It is his ninth album with his long-standing backing band known as 'The Attractions'. After his previous album King of America with producer T-Bone Burnett and different musicians, this album reunited him with producer Nick Lowe and his usual backing group the Attractions. It peaked at No. 16 on the UK Albums Chart, and No. 84 on the Billboard 200. In The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for the year's best albums, Blood & Chocolate finished at number 9. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2000 it was voted number 475 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.The recording of Blood & Chocolate was troubled, as the relationship between Costello and the Attractions had deteriorated during sessions for King of America. The album was recorded at concert-level volume in a way Costello felt suited the material.
I hate Elvis Costello. I pray to everything holy I never get another one of his albums.
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.
After 900 and 80 something albums I finally figured it out. This list was designed so we would have to listen to every Elvis Costello album. All of which were the same. You won this round Elvis!
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
I had no clue this album existed. So jangly and grungy. Love Elvis Costello.
This immediately grabbed me with unexpected cacophony and whallop: That’s how you begin an album, nerds! Drums sound great, making my head do a Wilko Johnson dance. The Boss brought to mind, another midlife discovery with a gift for narrative, anthem and soaring. Surprised by how much I like Costello’s voice. The garage band guitar sometimes verges on no wave chaos, which is magnificent, as if the songs are barely able to hold together. The record is well paced, rockers, laments, introspective bits all feel like they’re in the right place on this first lesson. Yeah, I’ll get this. I think this is a record I’ll find more to like on further goes.
I seem to prefer Elvis Costello in small chunks, the albums never hold my full attention. His voice is far more idiosyncratic than Dylan's ever was, and the songs can be a bit unimaginative. Nonetheless, there are a good few bangers on here; a stingy 3*
Does Elvis Costello get paid by the word? He crams a lot of words into these songs and I’m not sure most of them are needed. In that spirit, a quick and to-the-point track by track review: Uncomplicated - No. I Hope Your Happy Now - Solid power pop, this would’ve made a better opener than Uncomplicated. Tokyo Storm Warning- Six minutes is way too long for this. Home is Anywhere You Hang Your Head - That got awfully pretty towards the end. I Want You - This is basically a Summerteeth-era Wilco track, no? Never really made the connection between Jeff Tweedy/Wilco and Elvis Costello, but holy shit, this had to be an influence on his vocals. Honey Are You Straight or Are You Blind? - Thank god this was only two minutes. What an obnoxious riff. Blue Chair - I can not unhear the similarities in the vocal stylings of Costello and Jeff Tweedy now. Battered Old Bird - “he’s a battered old bird and he’s alivadupalellwerlllll.” This song sucks. Crimes of Paris - This is what I was expecting from an Elvis Costello record. Relatively straight forward power pop. Poor Napoleon- “She called you her magic fingers”. This is what happens when you get paid by the word. You come up with terrible metaphors…ones that should still haunt their author 36 years after being forced upon the world. Next Time Around - another pretty standard power pop number, REM’s “Stand” bears a striking resemblance to the chorus of this song.
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
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
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.
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
Well that worked out well, I was probably going to listen to this today anyway. Y’all one star wankers need to grow up.
7/10. The singing started out more annoying than usual, but seemed fine later on.
* Didn't listen to whole album* Bored
I’m so sick of Elvis fucking Costello
Please don’t recommend this band to me anymore
One of my fav albums of the mid-80s.
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.
classic Elvis, great melodic songwriting seems to mark the end of his pre-Spike era, with albums like Oliver’s Army, etc
Another incredible EC record.
Saved Prior: None Cutting Edge: 11. Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head Off Rip: 10. Poor Napoleon 9. Crimes of Paris 8. Battered Old Bird 7. Uncomplicated 6. Tokyo Storm Warning 5. Honey, Are You Straight or Are You Blind? 4. Next Time Round 3. Blue Chair 2. I Hope You're Happy Now 1. I Want You Off Rip: Uncomplicated, I Hope You're Happy Now, Tokyo Storm Warning, I Want You, Blue Chair, Battered Old Bird, Crimes of Paris, Cutting Edge: Overall Notes: I've been skeptical of Mr. Elvis Costello for a while. I've liked some of his songs (chiefly Alison, Veronica, and Pump It Up), but his status as one of the greatest songwriters ever seemed kind of silly. I get it now. I didn't adore all of these songs, but his voice shines through every single one of these tracks. They're all simultaneously catchy yet resentful. The album jumps between genres but not so forcefully that he loses his voice in the process. I like the somewhat simple production of the album as well. Low 5.
I want you I want to hear he pleases you more than I do
Great EC album from his classic period. Check out his list of "500 Must-Have Albums" on Vanity Fair.
PREFS : TOUT MOINS PREF : RIEN
not as good as Imperial Bedroom imo but still pretty fuckin great 9/10
a perfect alloy of lyrical inventiveness and pop skills
I'm pro-Elvis but didn't know this record or any of its songs. Happy and slightly surprises that it's an absolute treat. Someone used the word infectious, whicj is a great description. Best song, I Hope You're happy now.
Blood and chocolate is my favourite meal. I eat it every Thursday afternoon after I just fucked your mum in the ass.
5/5 I know EC's albums through King of America but missed this one the first time around. I was surprised by how gritty and aggressive it was - a lot like This Years Model but with even better vocals. Great songwriting as always.
Costello's best album.
BL: Elvis Costello's solo work I am familiar with but not with his work with the Attractions. Will see how it turns out AL: Liked this a lot. Very well orchestrated and composed. a mixture of simple and more complex tracks all playing into one of the best heartbreak albums of all time in my eyes FT: "I Hope You're Happy Now" "Home is Anywhere you Hang you're Head" "Battered Old Bird" "Crimes of Paris" 5/5
The last great Elvis Costello album. It's his only 80s album that I think holds up with the energy of his late 70s output. "I Want You" is stunning.
The last album in the 11 albums in 10 years run Elvis put together during the late 70s/80s with the Attractions. This one sounds a little less dated than some of the albums in that span. I also followed his catalogue chronologically, so one of the last I dove into from that period (alright I never dove in Goodbye Cruel World). There are some outstanding tracks on this one - the first 5 songs or so are some of his best and the back half is also very strong. This one is almost a culmination as well of all the genre hopping Elvis did during the period. A classic among many classics in his catalogue.
Never listened to Costello before, but this was damn fine
Great record by one of my favourite songwriters! Such a cohesive album that shows many of his strengths. It’s an album I’ve listened countless times yet still discover new tidbits, that’s what I love about music. These songs got you humming along in no time! 9 out of 10
New one to me, really enjoyed it
I love Elvis Costello because he sings crooner songs, but is not a crooner. I'll never not love Elvis!
Glorious. 5 stars.
Currently the average rating for this album is 2.97. So I enjoy this WAAAAY more than the average. I think this is the perfect rock record. It has great songs and doesn’t overstay its welcome. There are different kinds of tunes so there’s a good flow to the whole thing. I’m a fan of Elvis Costello generally. I’d never listened to this before but so glad I did as I’ve just found a new favourite. 5/5
Brilliant - Elvis is a genius
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.
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
it was okay
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?
this is definitely darker than the other ones but i think it works. 8/10
Another solid release from Elvis Costello and his last proper release with The Attractions (in the 80's anyways).
I want to explore more, as he is well respected artist. Seems unique sounding.
great album, costello is good
What a great record! Listened to it back to back 3 or 4 times.
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.
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...
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.
Хороший рок и кантри и рок
Big elvis fan....dunno b&c that well tho... After shaky start..(tracks 1 & 2)...like. I want you?of course ..a classic
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: I want you
pleasant surprise after only knowing his cover of Charles Aznavour.
231221 13:50 3.5
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
I loved it, great background music
Quite an ahead-of-it's-time grungy album. Less poppy, fewer hits, quite pleasant.
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!
Didn't listen to more than a few songs, but liked what I did listen to.
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
Schmissig, nerdy und selbstoffenbarend. I like Elvis. 3.6
Never listened to this one before, I should listen to more of his stuff, it's always good.
Costello in fine form, comfortable with himself and in total synch with his band. Tokyo Storm Warning and Crimes of Paris are entertaining, searing ditties and the imperious I Want You are highlights. Surely no more sinister, twisted song than I Want You was ever committed to wax?
Listened to on 4/21/22 3.5/5 Favorite song: I hope you’re happy now, blue chair, crimes of paris The rock vibes were lovely and the band did a great job of capturing emotional grunge but the vibes were conflicting in some songs. I liked the loud studio volume recording and how it made you feel like you were front row at their concert. This album was pretty much only about sex and sad relationships but all in all pretty good
I love Elvis when he is just rockin' out. The band were barely talking to each other, but were a well honed live unit. They got into the studio and recorded quickly, loudly, and with verve. The album is concerned with sexual obsession and betrayal, which reflects the band's vibe. The reality comes across. Muscular, immediate, honest and loud. Love it.
This has held up extremely well. I remembered it seeming a bit forced and over involved back in the day, but it sounds great today, raw and driving and engaging. Opens strong – first 4-5 cuts are all very good. And ends strong, too – “Next Time Round,” which I don’t recall hearing before is a new BFF track for me.
Solid as always.
Cool to hear something I had no idea existed. There's also no way the movie wasn't inspired by his pseudonym on this album.
I like this more than the last Costello album I got from this site (“My Aim is True”), but seeing this is his 11th album (!!) of course his songwriting would strengthen over time
Really good album. Enjoyed this a lot
Elvis Costello is always good for a enjoyable album. One of the biggest surprises in this experiment, I have yet to listen to a bad album of his. While his albums are not revolutionary or groundbreaking but they are consistently filed with good songs
I’m not sure that all his albums included on the list are worthy on an individual basis to be included, from the basis of being influential or musically innovative. But every single album of his, including this one, are great music. Great rock music with cool guitar parts, melodies, chorus harmonies and a raw live sound.
Rock & roll y new wave. Me ha gustado. Un 4.
Really enjoyed it. Good music and lyrics. Best Costello album I have heard so far in this list
Wasn't bad but it was kind of boring
It’s good, but a little bit longer. Often feel a bit to earn and. Cover art 2/5. What on earth is going on here. Trying too hard. Too pretentious
You'll never have to twist my arm to sit down and listen to an Elvis Costello album. This one is solid. I don't think I've ever sat down and listened to this album from start to finish, as most of the songs were new to me. I've found a few new favourites here.
Good album. Not many that stood out over the rest but still.
Never not a good time for Elvis Costello
Enjoyed this immensely, especially "Uncomplicated," "Tokyo Storm Warning," and "Blue Chair" (but I wish I knew WTF the blue chair is).
Good but not anything mindblowing.
I've always heard a lot about Elvis Costello. So far, first couple of tracks are solid. Catchy songwriting and interesting voice. Voice reminds me of Bob Dylan's kid from The Wallflowers. Jacob? I Want You is a solid track for sure. I also really enjoyed Battered Old Bird. One thing I'm getting from this album is Elvis Costello was way ahead of his time.
A direct, gritty and highly mature record, B&C has held up extremely well, perhaps because it seems less overtly angry (more resigned) and the sarcasm more understated than the previous records. Still there's plenty of vinegar, this being EC. The no-produciont-is-the-best-production vibe is great, especially for this era and gives a very warm sound. On the downside it's also slightly less fun and tuneful. Best cuts are "Home is Where ...," the vintage "Hope You're Happy Now," "Blue Chair" and the rousing closer "Next Time Round." And one's always had a soft spot for the powerfully unenjoyable "I Want You." The depth and substance are powerful throughout and sustain interest across a full listen. A strong outing from top to bottom, with remarkable consistency across every cut, and quite underrated in the end, it must be said.
I'm a huge Costello fan but this is far from my favourite of his albums. Still pretty good though.
Enjoyed this very much. Battered Old Bird is an excellent tune.
That classic, raucous Elvis Costello sound coupled with more mature songwriting. What's not to like? 4 stars.
I never really followed Elvis Costello when I was younger. I have no idea why. This album featured a lot of different types of songs from very high energy upbeat tempos to soft slow songs. But they were all well written and performed. Scale: 5 - My absolute favorites. 4 - Albums I like. 3 - It was ok to listen to it but wouldn't seek it out. 2 - Didn't like. 1 - Absolute shit.