Elvis Costello / Get Happy – Getting the Top End Right

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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.


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 
I Stand Accused 
Riot Act

Side Two

Love for Tender 
The Imposter 
Secondary Modern 
King Horse 
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.


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