Review of Get Happy!! and Trust re-issues
Vox, 1994-06-01
- Patrick Humphries


vox.940601_1.jpg (68030 bytes)
Bliss years' model
Fruitful youth


Get Happy
(Demon DPAM5)

(Demon DPAM6)

Costello snarled out of the traps at the beginning of the '80s with the 20-track Get Happy and the pop ecstasy of Trust. Get Happy came crammed full of Philly, Stax and soul references spread over its ten-tracks-a-side package. While 'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down' and 'I Stand Accused' still blister, Get Happy is best when it's least frenetic—the pensive, reflective elements of 'Clowntime Is Over', 'Motel Matches' and the folky 'New Amsterdam' standing alongside the best of Costello's work, anytime. However, diehard fans will be disappointed by the tracks that swell Get Happy to an unfeasible 30 tracks—they've all appeared on the Ten Bloody Marys... and Taking Liberties compilations.  8


Conversely, the eight extra tracks on Trust emphasise and enhance the album, confirming it as Costello's best ever. Absolutely no quibbling. 'Big Sister' is a more raw, but equally compelling, early version of the album's sublime lament on Thatcherism, 'Big Sister's Clothes'. Elvis sings Cole Porter on 'Love For Sale' while 'Gloomy Sunday' makes its studio premiere. But the punch comes with 'Twenty-Five To Twelve' and 'Seconds Of Pleasure', songs that weave in and out of each other, amply demonstrating the quality of material Costello discarded back then.

Whether clean-shaven or a bearded wonder, Elvis has never sung as passionately, written as well or sounded as wholly convincing and convicted as he did on Trust. The album contains some of his best melodies ('New Lace Sleeves') and some of his most twisted material. With the bonus tracks, the composer's pithy recollections and a bunch of songs that stand the test of time, it just doesn't get any better than this.  10

Patrick Humphries