Posts Tagged ‘The Attractions’

Elvis Costello / Brutal Youth 2LP red vinyl

Perhaps realizing that The Juliet Letters was one step too far, especially after the willfully eclectic pair of “Spike” and “Mighty Like a Rose”, Elvis Costello set out to make a straight-ahead rock & roll record with “Brutal Youth”, reuniting with the Attractions (though Bruce Thomas appears on only five tracks) and Nick Lowe (who plays bass on most of the rest). Unfortunately, all this nostalgia and good intentions are cancelled by the retention of producer Mitchell Froom, whose junkyard, hazily cerebral productions stand in direct contrast to the Attractions’ best work. Likely, Froom’s self-conscious production appealed to Costello, since it makes “Brutal Youth” look less like a retreat, but it severely undercuts the effectiveness of the music, since it lacks guts, no matter how smugly secure it is in its tempered “experimentation.” Costello certainly had the raw elements for a dynamic little record here the band, when they can be heard, sound good, and many songs (highlighted by “Pony St.,” “Kinder Murder,” “13 Steps Lead Down,” “You Tripped at Every Step,” and “20% Amnesia”) are fresh, effective evocations of his classic work — but it needed to be punchier to succeed. He needed to be produced by Lowe, instead of just having him sit in on bass. Elvis Costello’s wonderful “Brutal Youth” album from 1994, which featured the full Attractions line up on a number of songs, limited edition 2LP . The album was produced by Mitchell Froom and was well received, reaching number two in the UK album charts, thanks in part to excellent word-of-mouth and a top thirty hit in “Sulky Girl”.

Although a relatively long album at 15 songs, it’s a real cracker with some wonderful material, including moving ballads like ‘All The Rage’, ‘Favourite Hour’ and ‘Still Too Soon To Know’ and fiercer, spiky numbers like ‘Just About Glad’, ‘20% Amnesia’ and ‘My Science Fiction Twin’.

Anyway, Brutal Youth is issued as this double coloured vinyl pressing via Music On Vinyl on 31st July 2020. It’s limited to just 1000 units with only 300 earmarked for the UK.

The record mostly features Costello with The Attractions Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Nick Lowe (on bass), but original Attractions member Bruce Thomas does play the bass on five tracks.

Elvis Costello and his band The Attractions Peel Session recorded 25th July 1977 on BBC 1 Radio, The songs are “Red Shoes”, “Less Than Zero”, “Mystery Dance” and finally “Blame It On Cain” My Aim Is True is such a great record the Attraction really bring the songs to life with Steve Nieve amazing organ playing.

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Released this day in 1986 this was Elvis Costello’s 11th album release featuring the singles “Tokoyo Storm Warning” and ” I Want You” and “Blue Chair” which was a recorded version from the T Bone Burnett recordings for “King Of America” released on Demon Records and the last for this company with his contract ending with Costello signing to Warners for the next album “Spike”. This was the album that followed “King Of America” It also reunited him with the Attractions and producer Nick Lowe. recorded in March to May in 1986 at Olympic Studios in North London the band recording live in the studio in a stage setting at high volume. Some of the songs were outtakes from the L.A sessions for “King Of America” “Blue Chair”, “I Hope Youre Happy” now and “American Without Tears No2” had been recorded with the Confederates with T-Bone Burnett producing, strangely Costello also uses different names his actual own name Declan McManus and his alto ego Napolean Dynamite for the credits.