Elvis Costello And The Attractions, Ten Bloody Marys & Ten How’s Your Fathers (1980)
The first Elvis Costello record I ever heard – still have it. Still play it a fair bit. Still marvel. Because, you see, I liked Costello from hearing some of his tracks in the mid/late 1980s – a time when it is thought that he went off the boil. And that’s true enough – but cherry-pick and there’s still plenty of riches. In fact I first became aware of Costello from seeing ads for Mighty Like A Rose – not exactly one of his classics. I picked up this compilation in a bargain bin, about the time I was starting to actually collect records (as such). And by then I knew some of the big Costello hits – that is to say had put a face/name to the tune, I’m talking about Oliver’s Army and Watching The Detectives; songs I knew from the radio – I just didn’t really know who performed them. Anyway, I was won over when Clean Money erupted. And just taking in the 20 tracks – the ten Bloody Marys and ten How’s Your Fathers; the side one and side two – made me appreciate Costello’s songwriting and song-interpreting genius. So this album is special to me/for me because from owning this I set off on a journey to check out everything the man has done. And yes, that first decade of action is remarkable and he’ll not beat it. But there’s always something – on just about every record he’s released – that will keep me coming back. What a great thrill – and in fact something of a fright really, in terms of nerves – to interview the man. He turned out to be great to chat to; would have liked more time of course. I don’t think he’s above criticism or deserves a free-pass or anything like that. There has been some mawkish pap – but when he’s good he’s just about unbeatable. And he’s done enough – and then some – to deserve plenty of respect.
Sample Track: Radio Radio
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown