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Review of Rhino-Edsel re-releases of This Year's Model, Blood And Chocolate and Brutal Youth
Q, 2002-03-01
- Danny Eccleston

 

Elvis Costello &
The Attractions

This Year's Model*****
EDSEL MANUS 102|76,26 MINS

Blood & Chocolate****
EDSEL MANUS 112|96.52 MINS

Brutal Youth ***
RHINO R2 78390|107.17 MINS

If they'd been the Pistols there'd have been jizz in Bruce's sandwich.

To Demon's already estimable Costello reissue range, add three with a common theme: the Attractions. This Year's Model from 1978 was Costello's first with the band, a still-incredible combination of songwriterly spleen, Bruce Thomas's melodic bass doodles, Steve Nieve's ingénu keyboards ("like sirens" writes Costello) and Pete Thomas's preposterously musical drumming. Blood & Chocolate - the cranky, love-raddled 1986 reunion - spawned the bestial Uncomplicated and the unbearably exposed I Want You, though Costello is keen to note that their next meeting for 1994's nostalgia-laced Brutal Youth, was by default rather than design. Best here is the beat-poppy 13 Steps Lead Down, maddest is the electorate-chiding 20% Amnesia - like Neil Young's Fuckin' Up with upsetting Brecht/Weill interludes. In all three cases, the bonus CD is a surprising boon (there's a lovely version of the James Carr-associated Pouring Water On A Drowning Man attached to Blood & Chocolate), while Costello's sleeve notes are funny, enlightening and rarely resist a sideswipe at Thomas.

Danny Eccleston

 
         
 

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