Labels We Love – Demon/Fiend/F-Beat

Elvis Costello – Get Happy – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

More Elvis Costello

More Get Happy

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

AN AMAZING A+++ WHITE HOT SIDE TWO backed with a pretty darn good side one on this rip-roarin’, twenty song, five star rated Elvis Costello extravaganza! We shot out well over a dozen Brit Import copies and this was one of a very small group that really rocked our world. Most copies were veiled, smeary, and thick but this one presents the music with the kind of energy these songs demand.

Side two here is OFF THE CHARTS! It’s open, transparent and super full-bodied with excellent presence to the vocals and big punchy bass. It has all of the richness and sweetness that’s missing from the average dull copy. This side is truly As Good As It Gets folks! (more…)

Elvis Costello – Punch The Clock – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

More Elvis Costello

More Punch The Clock

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The bottom end is as punchy, well-defined and powerful as they come. There’s plenty of low-end on this record; regrettably most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can’t tell you how much you’re missing when the bass isn’t right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.) When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn’t swing the way it’s supposed to.

The bass, along with the horn sound, are the two key elements to getting a good copy of this record. The horns are often compressed, making them lose their bite and smearing them together. On some copies you can pick out the trombones and on some copies you can’t; you just hear Horns because the individual instruments are smashed into a congested mess. This is Elvis’ Motown Album; the horns are what bring the music to life. They’re what make this album fun.

On this copy, you get the full-on bottom end WHOMP you paid for, with no loss in control. You can clearly follow Bruce Thomas’s bass lines throughout the songs, a real treat for any music lover. (He and Elvis don’t get along, hence the end of the Attractions as his backing band. I guess we should be thankful for the nine albums on which they were together; many of them are Desert Island Discs for me.) (more…)

Elvis Costello – Imperial Bedroom

More Elvis Costello

More Imperial Bedroom

xxxxx

  • With Triple Plus (A+++) sound or something close to it on both sides this is as good a copy as we have ever offered
  • Geoff Emerick engineered, creating a unique sound – a sound which only works if you have the right pressing
  • This dense, darkly serious album contains some of the best songs EC ever wrote – the last of his True Classics
  • Allmusic 5 Stars: “Essentially, the songs on Imperial Bedroom are an extension of Costello’s jazz and pop infatuations on Trust. Costello’s music is complex and intricate, yet it flows so smoothly, it’s easy to miss the bitter, brutal lyrics.”

Six of Elvis’s first seven albums received a Five Star rating from Allmusic, the exception being Almost Blue, and we generally would agree with that assessment (although Get Happy should probably get Four Stars also, not Five). 

Which is to say that Elvis Costello is a brilliant artist whose albums work as albums, a fact that is in danger of being lost in a world of single song downloads and greatest hits packages. We record-playing audiophiles are inclined to start at the beginning of a side and let if flow through to the end, and that is clearly the best way to appreciate and enjoy the work of this very gifted man.

(more…)