Financial Times, March 22, 1979

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Financial Times

UK & Ireland newspapers


Politics of rock

Antony Thorncroft


Between the pleasant conformity of Dire Straits and the committed outrage of Tom Robinson lies Armed Forces, the latest from Elvis Costello who manages to combine rude gesturing at the Establishment with a capacity for pouring out hits. There are at least four tracks on this album which could equal the success of "Oliver's Army," the chosen single. It is easy to dislike Costello's hypocrisy in biting the hand paying out the money, and his take it or leave it on-stage manner: it is much harder not to respond to his music. The subtle simplicity of the melodies, the lyrics which stop just this side of pretension make for a powerful musical experience, irritating but insidious. Costello knows how to soften the mood and "Green Shirt" coming quickly on the heels of up beat songs like "Accidents will happen" and "Oliver's Army" is a masterpiece. Perhaps Armed Forces is too blatantly clever to be in the running for the best album of the year, but it is a remarkable achievement, a cynical expression of the age.


Financial Times, March 22, 1979

Antony Thorncroft reviews Armed Forces.


1979-03-22 Financial Times page 31 clipping 01.jpg

1979-03-22 Financial Times page 31.jpg
Page scan.


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