Boston College Heights, October 11, 1994

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The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Elvis Costello

Brian J. DiMattea

★★★★

As the music industry continues to be enraptured with digging up as much old, worthless noise (e.g.. anything involving The Carpenters or The Rolling Stones), it is nice to know that there is still some older music worth owning. In fact, with 22 songs and more than 78 minutes of music. The Very Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions may be the best music value available today.

Considering that this album spans only the years between 1977 and 1986, it is astonishing to consider that some of Costello's work is still a major part of the American music scene. While Costello has been known more for his non-musical antics than for his recordings, his work has been kept alive by some current musicians. Tasmin Archer released an EP several months ago in which she covered Costello's masterpiece "New Amsterdam" ("New Amsterdam. It's become much too much / Til I have the possession of everything she touches / Till I step on the brake to get out of her clutches / Til I speak Double Dutch to a real Double Duchess"), and another Costello tune, "Shipbuilding." Jeremy Piven also seems to be a major Costello fan. Not only did his character in Singles advocate the mixing of Costello ("What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding") with Public Enemy, he starred in this past summer's most underrated film, P.C.U. The soundtrack of this movie featured a cover of Costello's "Pump It Up" by punk rock monsters Mudhoney.

Costello exhibits a wide range of styles throughout his work. He has sung in the style of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. This mix of styles has turned into Costello's own style, making him one of music's most interesting performers, with songs like the ultra-sarcastic "Watching The Detectives" and "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea."

Every music fan in America has either heard Costello's music or enjoyed music influenced by him. The Very Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions is a great overview to this music and should be part of any good music collection.

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The Heights, October 11, 1994


Brian J. DiMattea reviews The Very Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions.

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1994-10-11 Boston College Heights page 29.jpg
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