New Musical Express, January 19, 1980

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Elvis: Stax of appeal

Elvis Costello & the Attractions / I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Max Bell

Litigations, backroom threats and financial power struggles notwithstanding, the eagerly awaited new Costello & Attractions single finally arrives in plastic form on 2 Tone — though it seems unlikely that it will become commercially available quite yet (and certainly not on 2 Tone). If you've been paying attention you're probably just as confused as we are by the legal shenanigans that place artist and audience in an equally invidious position.

"I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," a cover of a Sam and Dave B side of greater vintage than many of the man's fans, is guaranteed to spin some heads and may yet cause consternation among the ranks since it isn't either an obviously commercial proposition or much like anything the man's recorded before. I'd listened to it standing up, falling down — even on the radio — before the message sank in and then it didn't dance straight into my heart. Nope, "I Can't Stand Up" (made in Holland, November '79, no credited producer), eschews the usual quota of instant hooks and crystal frequency sentiments that you associate with airwave E.C. in favour of a dense, propelling steady soulfulness. The singer is mixed bank alongside clicking guitars, a jumping pulse of a rhythm and a counterpoint in smooth organ playing that reminds me of early J Geils. It takes a chance and will have to take its chances.

The flip, Elvis' own rendition of the mighty "Girls Talk" is similarly outre, replacing Edmunds' fast and likeable shuffle with spurts of lean piano and bass to push the melody home and a fractured layer of kinky ska beat that accentuates the lyric. It's over too quickly, one sign of a good sound, and Nick Lowe plus Roger Bechirian brought in the half-time lemons.




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No jokes, no lies, not even the merest whiff of a teensy fibette must sully this week's wholemeal T-Zers. For was it not written that Elvis Costello and his Attractions would deliver unto us their fourth born son and heir? And yea, it was upon the land and the teasers did worship it. Get Happy!! is the name of the album in question, though when you can buy it is anyone's guess, such is the state of legal conflict between Costello and the brothers Warner.

In any case, 1980's model boasts ten tracks a side, and taking it from the top you get: "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," "Black And White World," "Five Gears In Reverse," "B Movie," "Motel Matches," "Human Torch," "Beaten To The Punch," "Temptation," "I Stand Accused," "Riot Act" — and that's just side one. Twist our arm, ply us with sweetmeats,. OK here's side two: "Love For Tender," "Opportunity," "The Imposter," "Secondary Modern," "King Horse" (any relation to James Brown's 'King Heroin'?), "Possession," "Man Called Uncle," "Clowntime Is Over," "New Amsterdam" and "High Fidelity."

That's a lot of grooves for one small record and producer Nicholas Lowe verifies it thus on the cover: "Hi! You'll have noticed that there are ten tracks on each side of this, Elvis' new LP making it a real 'long player'! Elvis and I talked long and hard about the wisdom of taking this unusual step and are proud that we can now reassure hi-fi enthusiasts and/or people who never bought a record made before 1967 that with the inclusion of this extra music time they will find no loss of sound quality due to "groove cramming" as the record nears the end of each face (i.e. the hole in the middle). Now get happy."

The artefact in question will be released (High Courts and God willing) some time in February, apparently on the F-Beat label...

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New Musical Express, January 19, 1980

Max Bell reviews "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," which is named Single Of The Week. A full page ad for the single runs on page 13.

T-Zers previews Get Happy!! and Gig Guide previews the 1980 UK Tour.


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Clipping and advertisement.

Elvis Costello tour

Derek Johnson

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Elvis Costello & The Attractions will be back on the road throughout the whole of March, with 25 dates already set and the likelihood of one or two more to follow. The tour goes ahead despite Costello's current legal dispute with WEA and consists exclusively of towns he's never previously visited, taking in many venues never before used by rock bands.

All the halls are non-seated, and promoters Straight Music hope to be able to use many of them for future concerts. Object of the exercise is to "save fans having to travel great distances to see bands playing on the same old tired circuit." All tickets are £3, and outlets are only being advertised in local papers, in order to give local people the first option.

Dates are Cromer West Runton Pavilion (March 1), Margate Winter Gardens (2), Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall (3), Hastings Pier Pavilion (4), Lincoln Drill Hall (6), Peterborough Wirrana Stadium (7), Halifax Civic Hall (9), Matlock Pavilion (10), Shrewsbury Tiffany's (11), Merthyr Tydfil Tiffany's (13), Llanelli Glen Ballroom (14), Aberystwyth Great Hall (16), Colwyn Bay Pier (17), Southport Floral Hall (18), Wakefield Tiffany's (19), Sunderland Mayfair (20), Lasswade Sports Centre (22), Dunfermline Kinema (23), Ayr Pavilion (24), Carlisle Market Hall (25), Stafford Stychfield Hall (27), Leamington Spa Pavilion (28), Swindon Oasis Centre (29), Yeovil Johnson Hall (30) and St Austell New Cornish Riviera (31).

Photo by Chalkie Davies.
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Photo by unknown.
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Cover and page scans.


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