Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
2 1/2 Years
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Elvis Costello issued his first three albums within a 16-month span; 2 1/2 Years compiles them, with bonus tracks, in one of the greatest bargains of all time. These are the Rykodisc remasters of My Aim Is True, This Year'... more »
Elvis Costello issued his first three albums within a 16-month span; 2 1/2 Years compiles them, with bonus tracks, in one of the greatest bargains of all time. These are the Rykodisc remasters of My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, and Armed Forces--as revelatory as ever--combined with Live at El Mocambo, a document of a show on Elvis and the Attractions' second U.S. tour (1978) that is available only here. --Rickey Wright
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EC in a box
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EC's first four albums are essential. Period. They, along with Prince's second, third and fourth album represent some of the best music written during the late 70's and early 80's. EC's first, second and third album is included in the boxset along with a live promo disc that's been out of print for years. The sound quality is stunning (although I wish they had mastered this using the SBM system or 24 bit system Capitol uses for a little more warmth). If you've a limited budget this, along with the Get Happy!, Imperial Bedroom, King of America, the compilation Extreme Honey and (if you can find it) the live 5 disc EP set of Costello/Nieve live would be all the EC a new fan would need. Highly recommended. One complain, though, the booklet has some great pictures, but no text. It would have been nice to have an authoritative discography. Also, it would be nice to hear what Nieve, Thomas and Thomas think of these recordings to give a well rounded picture."
Note to "Dudes who love to yell OWWWW at concerts"
kentobento | Portland, OR United States | 06/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brilliant as everyone says. The live album included is killer except for one thing....this dude keeps yelling OWWWWWWWWWW really loudly throughout EVERY song!!!!! In fact, half way through the live set you start listening for the OWWWWW if you haven't heard it in the last 15 to 20 seconds (the way you listen for a snore when a snorer stops breathing for a really long time). And so one of the best live albums ever is ruined by some drunken idiot. An OWWWWWW or two between songs is acceptable if annoying. OWWWWWW's every 10 seconds throughout a concert is worthy of the crowd going Who-concert-in-Cincinatti on you ___. It's like those idiots who blow horns throughout an entire 90 minute soccer game or the people with really bassy sound systems in their cars. We hear you, we acknowledge that you exist, now please shut up!"
78 tracks of pure, unadulterated bliss.
Andrew English (firstname.lastname@example.org) a | Austin, TX, USA | 03/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"2 1/2 years is quite simply a compilation of 78 of the greatest songs ever written or performed. Elvis Costello ranks among one of the most insightful and inventive artists of the last half century. From the raw energy of "My Aim Is True" to the dark, gritty realism of "Live at El Mocambo" Elvis' musical passions are explored in detail. His brutality as well as his tender honesty combine in a melting pot of musical styles to provide a window into his soul. "My Aim Is True" is certainly the brightest of the four albums, borrowing his sound from a plethora of mid-sixties British invasion bands as well as mainstream blues artists ("Blame It On Cain"), Van Morrison ("Sneaky Feelings", "Pay It Back"), a slight reggae sound ("Watching The Detectives") and various others he mentions in the liner notes: Randy Newman, Hagy Carmichael, Lowell George, John Prine and The Band. The lyrics are nothing but beautifully written and styled in the bitter, emotional style we all know him for.. The Rykodisk reissue includes 9 extended play tracks; some standouts including the country tunes "Radio Sweetheart", "Stranger In The House", as well as several acoustic versions of songs of the album. Costello ventured into more of a punk and new wave palate in "This Year's Model". His first album with the Attractions, his then new permanent band, it shows a definite increase of skill and originality than Clover, the American backup band that Elvis used on "MAIT". Steve Nieve (pronounced naive), a master keyboardist introduces the mainstream music world to the sound of the Farfisa organ, making a fantastically quirky sound in such numbers as "The Beat", which relies on Nieve greatly. The organ wasn't the only plus of the Attractions; Pete Thomas's exceptional drumming kept a steady beat throughout the late seventies and most of the eighties; Bruce Thomas (with no relation to Pete) uses a very active, complex, and fitting bass playing style. All the songs on the album, in my opinion, are extremely well-composed, and there is no need for special attention on any song. The most famous include "Pump It Up", which ventures into a rhythmic style of dance music, and Costello's anti-media "Radio, Radio" which is included under the extended play tracks. His subject matter is of a more deeper and grittier nature in songs like "Night Rally" (fascism) and "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea" (a sharp jab at the film industry). Marking Costello's departure from his early pub-rock and rock and roll styles to his new realm of pop."Armed Forces" is the culmination of Elvis' transition from a mainstream tone to an uncouth, haunting, and lyrically focused sound. Beautiful pop anthems are scattered throughout, with such standouts as "Accidents Will Happen", "Oliver's Army", "Goon Squad", "Two Little Hitlers", and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding". The title of the album suggests a war theme that continues through the most of the songs, which is true with about half of the tracks. The Ryko extended play tracks include the well-known favorites "My Funny Valentine", the fantastic "Tiny Steps" and "Talking In The Dark"; the pumped up "Clean Money" and "Wednesday Week"; as well as songs from the coveted "Live at Hollywood High" EP also grace the album. Among these masterpieces are piano-laden versions of "Accidents Will Happen" (which is slowed considerably), "Alison", and "Watching the Detectives". Credit is due to Elvis' ever- improving songwriting abilities as well as his knack for revitalizing older material."Live At El Mocambo" is the perfect companion piece to his first three albums. Here, in a drunken half-stupor, Elvis is in his element. He is forced to create lyrics extemporaneously as his memory fails him, and he must fall back on the keyboardist to play the leads, yet the album succeeds in spite of it's self. It feels strangely warm and comforting as you realize that so skillful is this artist that he can provide a satisfying performance without a clear idea of what he's doing. This bootleg album was recorded at the El Mocambo club in Toronto, Canada, on March 6th, 1978, one year before "This Years Model" was released, so the tracks from that album ("The Beat", "Lip Service", "Chelsea", "Little Triggers", "Lipstick Vogue, Pump It Up, and the This Years Model-era "Radio, Radio") deftly foreshadowed his new sound, giving the audience a clear picture of things to come. While Elvis' performance was perhaps below par, the Attractions seem energized and stable, providing the perfect foil to his rowdy, unabashed performance. Steve Nieve undertook the task of playing Elvis' extensive lead parts, and while most of the songs were distorted and rough, the result was an incredibly satisfying mix of the rich music and artistic talent we've come to expect from Elvis and the somber, melodramatic tone which his state provided. "El Mocambo" is currently available only as in the 2 1/2 Years box set, providing a bit of incentive to purchase this fantastic collection."