Harper College Harbinger, March 17, 1980

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Costello's 20 song lp, a bargain

Mike Simkus

My Beatles For Sale album has 14 cuts. my Who lp Meaty Big and Bouncy has 14 cuts, my Introducing Herman's Hermits has 12 cuts. But my new Elvis Costello lp Get Happy has 20 cuts, which is unheard of for a single disc that is not a greatest hits package.

Get Happy, the fourth album from the knock-kneed Buddy Holly lookalike, has so many songs that I needed to take a vacation last week just to critique Costello's latest effort.

Elvis Costello, the modern pop star will achieve that spotlight known as stardom with his new lp titled Get Happy. Costello, a master of cliches in his pop song writing style, has proved once again to the listened that he is not "stuck in a rut."

Costello, who had fun with such cliches and puns like; "accident's will happen" "a death worse that fate" "the final solution" looking for a light in the darkness," proved to all his critics that Costello was a performer to bit reckoned with. On Costello's album "Get Happy" he toys with other cliches and puns like; "second place in the human race", "black and white world", "beaten to the punch," "human touch", "clowntime is over," "read you like a book." which are small samples of incorporation of cliches and wit into a delightful masterpiece.

Costello writes basically a joke or two on society as Costello sees it. But, as the 25 year old grows older his themes about life become more pessimistic.

On "Opportunity", Costello sings "I'm in a foxhole, I'm in a trench, I'd be a hero, but I couldn't stand the stench ".

On "Secondary Modern," Costello sings. "Is it out of the question between you and me, is it pleasure or business, or just a bag of fleas "

Coming out of his recent marital problems and his old girlfriend problems, both have had an impact on Costello's "weltanschachuang."

Costello, a satirist if there ever was one, continues his brand of humor on "Get Happy". He makes the listener feel happy. most of the material is uptempo and danceable. The keyboards dominate the harmony lines, a driving bass line, an inspiring drum kit and, along with Costello vocals which are at times storytelling and pleading make "Get Happy" an album which should be commercially popular.

"Get Happy" makes you feel happy in more ways than can be written. Who knows, if this album does become popular now, it will be a greatest hits package. Why? There are 20 songs, 12 of which are definite AM radio hits.

On the back of the sleeve the liner notes say that in no way does the 20 song albino effect quality of the record. Many records following 1965 had less and less material on them. The reason the record companies gave was that groove cramming, (the records with 10 songs or more) were bad in sound quality. Nick Lowe the producer of the "Get Happy" continues that in no way does groove cramming effect sonic or sound quality

At the $5 it costs to buy "Get Happy" one can not go wrong. It is a bargain at twice the price. How does that Toyota commercial go? Well, it holds true for Costello's "Get Happy", you get more for your Yankee dollar.


The Harbinger, March 17, 1980

Mike Simkus reviews Get Happy!!.


1980-03-17 Harper College Harbinger page 06 clipping 01.jpg

1980-03-17 Harper College Harbinger page 06.jpg
Page scan.


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