Elvis makes the leap to great singer
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Elvis Costello had begun the transformational phase of his career. After three perfect albums in a row ("My Aim Is True," "This Year's Model" and "Armed Forces"), he was tiring of what he perceived as a rut. When he convened The Attractions to begin work on "Get Happy," he'd made the decision to make a break from the "punk rock" tag. And so, a whole new era began.
"Singles Volume 2" covers the ground from "Get Happy" to just before "Punch The Clock." Elvis was on a creative tear that saw him dabbling in everything from soul ("High Fidelity") to Nashville Country ("A Good Year For The Roses") to the studio experimentation of "Imperial Bedroom." He was also adjusting his skills as a vocalist. He was toning down his attack to the point where the crooning of the country singles and the nuance of "Man Out Of Time" didn't exceed his delivery.
For the collector, there are a couple of goodies here. "Party Party" makes its first appearance on an Elvis CD, as do some of the DJ edits and extended versions. The collection closes with "Pills And Soap," a blistering diatribe against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher released under the penname The Imposter. It ceded Costello's love of the single medium as a way to issue statements, and ends this box-set with one of his most brilliant singles. Collectors may not get much from this set, but it still found a place in my library."