Elvis Costello Get Happy – What to Listen For

More Elvis Costello

More Get Happy

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  • A superb sounding vintage UK copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish 
  • Big, lively and dynamic, with plenty of bass (Elvis’s trademark sound) and New Wave energy
  • This release, coming right before the brilliant Trust, contains Elvis classics like I Can’t Stand Up (for Falling Down) & Motel Matches
  • The AMG Five Star rating “…a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force…” and killer recording quality make this a Must Own for Elvis fans

Two excellent sides for this rip-roarin’, twenty song, five star rated Elvis Costello extravaganza!

This is the record that came right after Armed Forces, which is a huge favorite around these parts, and the venerable All Music Guide gives both albums five big stars. I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but it’s certainly full of good material. Out of the twenty songs on here, exactly one clocks in at over three minutes.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

There’s not a lot of top end on this recording. The mistake the American mastering engineers made when Columbia released their version was to brighten up the sound, which does nothing but make it aggressive and transistory. This is the way Get Happy is supposed to sound and trying to change it only makes it worse.

Most of the copies we played were veiled, smeary, and thick, but this one presents the music with the kind of clarity and energy these songs need to work their under-three-minute magic.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

I Can’t Stand Up (for Falling Down) 
Black & White World 
5ive Gears in Reverse 
B Movie 
Motel Matches 
Human Touch 
Beaten to the Punch 
Temptation 
I Stand Accused 
Riot Act

Side Two

Love for Tender 
Opportunity 
The Imposter 
Secondary Modern 
King Horse 
Possession 
Men Called Uncle 
Clowntime Is Over 
New Amsterdam 
High Fidelity

AMG Review

Get Happy!! was born as much from sincere love for soul as it was for Elvis Costello’s desire to distance himself from an unfortunate verbal faux pas where he insulted Ray Charles in an attempt to get Stephen Stills’ goat. Either way, it resulted in a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force…

As it furiously flits through 20 songs, Costello’s cynicisms, rage, humor, and misanthropic sensibility gel remarkably well.

Discography

1977 My Aim Is True
1978 This Year’s Model
1979 Armed Forces
1980 Get Happy!!
1981 Trust 
1981 Almost Blue 
1982 Imperial Bedroom
1983 Punch the Clock
1984 Goodbye Cruel World
1986 King of America
1986 Blood & Chocolate
1989 Spike
1991 Mighty Like a Rose