From the Vault...

11/09/1997
#550

info
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
"Imperial Bedroom"


© Rykdodisc Records

Rating:

track listing
  • Beyond Belief
  • Tears Before Bedtime
  • Shabby Doll
  • The Long Honeymoon
  • Man Out Of Time
  • Almost Blue
  • ...And In Every Home
  • The Loved Ones
  • Human Hands
  • Kid About It
  • Little Savage
  • Boy With A Problem
  • Pidgin English
  • You Little Fool
  • Town Cryer
  • From Head To Toe
  • The World Of
    Broken Hearts
  • Night Time
  • Really Mystified
  • I Turn Around
  • Seconds Of Pleasure
  • The Scamping Ground
  • Shabby Doll
  • Imperial Bedroom

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    Elvis Costello Website
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    Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    "Imperial Bedroom"



    Let's just say that I am a TRUE Elvis Costello fan! When I first learned of Elvis, I was reading one of the local newspaper articles on rock music. Of the articles, one was about favorite rock albums. Costello's first album My Aim Is True was listed as a must. Out of curiosity, I bought the album; little did I know about him, and that this was his debut album. After listening to it, I was hooked! I therefore picked up one of his greatest hits compilations, and saying to myself, "I know that one!" too many times, recognizing the many songs the minute I heard them. Anyway, it was obvious that Costello had quite a few albums under his belt, and more would follow.



    One thing I realized is that when you start listening to a greatest hits compilation, and you really enjoy it, you often wonder about the other songs that didn't make the greatest hits package. Especially when a performer has a large collection of previous recorded material, and you have purchased every album. One thing about Greatest Hits compilations, they will throw an unreleased tune or two, or even a brand new one, and you say in disbelief, "Hey, I've got 99.9% of all these songs, and now I have to waste my hard-earned cash for just a couple of new tunes?" (The Van Halen Greatest Hits compilation comes to mind. Elton John's is another. Do you think we'll ever see Candle In The Wind 1997 on a future E.J. G.H. package?)



    In Elvis Costello's case, he had so much material, but so many songs had to be chosen for each album. So, when Rykodisc reissued his albums in the 1990s, not only did they release the original albums, they included many unreleased tunes as bonus tracks! (They called them Extended Plays). Imperial Bedroom contains 15 original songs, plus 9 extended play tunes (unreleased).



    Costello's early albums were in the styles of new wave punk and rock. Imperial Bedroom features Costello in a new light, as he performs tunes in the areas of pop (most often heard throughout) and (a little of) jazz.



    Pop tunes like Beyond Belief, Man Out Of Time, The Loved Ones and Little Savage captures Elvis in a style that would later become his general pop music style. Two songs, The Long Honeymoon and Almost Blue have that definite lounge-jazz sound; where you can imagine listening to these tunes in the corner of a smoky bar, seeing Humphrey Bogart or Mickey Spillane/Stacey Keach's Mike Hammer character socializing. ...And In Every Home is a tune that really caught me by surprise -- it features a classical orchestra backdrop -- I thought I was listening to one of those famous classical composers, like Mozart, or something; very impressive.)



    From the Extended Play section, From Head To Toe is a great, great tune! It has that early Beatles-que sound. Another song in the Costello-pop style is Night Time. And Really Mystified is a reminder of a tune that could have easily matched the tunes heard on his debut album. It really mystifies me how these three songs were overlooked, and not included in the original Bedroom lineup, or any previous release..



    Imperial Bedroom is worth checking out. This album defines Elvis Costello as one of the many performers in the ranks of of pop music. This year (1997), Elvis Costello has just released another greatest hits compilation, featuring his work with the Warner Brothers label. In my opinion, you're better off just buying each original album by him, because there will be songs you'll hear from an original album that should of easily been included as part of a greatest hits album. But you know how difficult that can be, especially when you have such great material as Elvis Costello does.



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    Previous Review: #549
    Dazz Band--Greatest Hits
    Next Review: #551
    Ray Parker Jr.--The Best Of Ray Parker Jr. And Raydio