Rhino Records expanded reissue, completely remastered and packaged with a bonus disc of rarities. Bonus disc content - 'Life Shrinks', 'Favourite Hour' (Alt. Version), 'This Is Hell' (Alt. Version), 'Idiophone', 'Abandon Words', 'Poisoned Letter', 'A Drunken Man's Praise Of Sobriety', 'Pony St.' (Demo), 'Clown Strike' (Alt. Version), 'Rocking Horse Road' (Demo), '13 Steps Lead Down' (Demo), 'All The Rage' (Demo), 'Just About Glad' (Alt. Version), 'Sulky Girl' (Demo) & 'You Tripped At Every Step' (Alt. Version). 2002.
Just about glad they reissued this fine album
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brutal Youth was hailed with acclaim and most of it focused on EC returning to his roots. Nonsense. He had never left his "roots" behind. He just chose to dabble in a variety of other musical genres and with outside musicians. The result enabled EC to return with his strongest, freshest batch of songs in years. Brutal Youth does indeed recall his early work but the scope of the songwriting had expanded. As a songwriter EC continued to develop and hone his craft. Brutal Youth demonstrated that the detour made into contemporary classical music and work with notable session musicians allowed him to develop additional insight.The extra disc is a fun detour through EC's house of music. We get to hear a variety of demos, b sides and flawed (but fascintating ) tracks that didn't make the final cut. The bonus disc only manages to enhance the original package. The bonus disc alone makes this worthwhile purchasing.The sound quality of Brutal Youth is slightly richer with a warmth to many of the best tracks that were only hinted at in its previous incarnation. The best tracks still sparkle with wit (Clown Strike, 13 Steps Lead Down, This Is Hell) and enough musical invention for two or three albums. Brutal Youth stands as one of EC's best albums since Blood and Chocolate nearly a decade before. Of his contemporaries only Andy Partridge (of Xtc) and Joe Jackson have managed to stay relevent. EC used his musical fame to try on a number of suits and was trying to find which suit fit him best. I'm always reminded of John Lennon's comment about the blues when I think of artist's like EC(when discussing rock 'n' roll); the blues is a chair. There are many common features that link different styles of the blues to each other but they can all be quite different and still be called the blues. Why? Because they share the same basic function. EC's musical career is very much like Lennon's fabled blues chair; there are many different varities but they all still manage to have the same basic function."
The Greatest Album In Human History
Jason Cyphert | Cleveland, Ohio | 05/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Elvis in Concert about a month ago and it was amazing! One of the main highlights was when he played a song that I had never heard before called Kinder Murder. I think I orderd Brutal Youth the very next day. The album is Fantasmic it has so many great track's including: 13 Steps Lead Down, You Tripped At Every Step, All The Rage, and Sulky Girl just to name a few. There are only about two songs on the CD that I can't listen to, and for me that is very rare. The album end's with Favourite Hour which is just a beutiful song. After I found out this record was originaly released in 1994, I asked myself what in the world was I was doing listening to Stone Temple Pilots, When I could have been listening To Elvis Costello's Brutal Youth. I only thank god I'm listening to it now."
Great CDs, but mislabeled
Road Reptile | Alexandria, VA | 08/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EC+A hearken back to their "New Wave" roots! Nice to hear EC's raucous Fender Jazzmaster guitar on "13 Steps Lead Down" and Nick Lowe's bass work on "My Science Fiction Twin". However, I was at first confused by Rhino's labeling of the main and bonus CDs. The discs I received have the main CD labeled as 'Bonus Disc', while the disc with the bonus tracks is not labeled as such. Did anyone else discover this too? Who knows--maybe it'll be a collector's item someday!
Oh yeah, this mislabeling occurred with the Rhino CD release of 'Blood & Chocolate'. What's going on at Rhino?"
And he answered "Superbly".....
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 11/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That line is taken from "My Science Fiction Twin" and is the rejoinder to a question asked of how he manages to do so many tasks at once. Which pretty much sums up "Brutal Youth," which was a joyous return to rocking with Nick Lowe and the Attractions. After a testy eight year separation, they came together to make one more album to remind us just how much fun the sound of a slamming snare drum mixed with venom, power and passion could be. Let's face it, after reading Bruce Thomas' uncomplimentary "The Big Wheel" and hearing EC's diatribes on "Mighty Like A Rose" ("How To Be Dumb" in particular), I'd figured a reunion was about as likely as seeing E. Presley at the local Burger King.Yet here it was...with the band roaring right into "Pony Street," a generation gap conversation between a jaded daughter and a mother who still thinks she is on the cutting edge ("I am the genuine thing, but to you it's just history"). By the time your disc player reaches the end of "13 Steps Lead Down" with the cookpot slam of the drums, the precision power bass and fabulous keyboard flourishes, you'll remember (for all the right reasons) why you fell in love with "Armed Forces."Those aforementioned songs, as well as "Sulky Girl," "20% Amnesia" and the surprisingly sentimental "London's Brilliant Parade" are EC Classics. The bonus disc has some interesting pre-album arrangements of the songs and a few drop outs ("Poisoned Letters" eventually morphed into "All The Rage"), but it is still the power and immediacy of the original album that was the beefsteak, and was one of my faves of the year 1994."
A great album, underrated by many
Derel | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beyond the obligatory radio hearings of "Everyday I Write the Book" back in the day, this album and the unusual but wonderful Juliet Letters album were my first exposures to Elvis. I bought Brutal Youth (the original release) after being blown away by Elvis's performance of "13 Steps Lead Down" on Letterman back when the album had just been released. I continue to enjoy all the songs on this record many years later. The creativity and variety here are really remarkable; there are some burning rockers (e.g., "20% Amnesia," "13 Steps," "Just About Glad") as well as some incredibly clever and musical art songs (e.g., "Clown Strike," "This Is Hell," "Science Fiction Twin") and a few beautiful ballads (e.g., "Still Too Soon to Know," "Favourite Hour"). Just buy it; you won't be sorry you did. (I haven't heard disc 2 of the 2-disc version, so I have no comment on it; it would be fun to hear new versions of these songs though.)"