New York Times, March 2, 1986

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The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions


Jon Pareles

CBS/Fox Video Music
65 minutes. $24.95

Elvis Costello likes his video clips casual and unslick, belying the intricate structures of the songs behind them.

He writes about the myriad ways people can misuse one another; the songs revolve around complex wordplays and a library of styles from punk to country.

In these 22 clips — 21 originals plus "Green Shirt," a collage of the others — Mr. Costello usually just sings to the camera while the band plays behind him; the locales change while Mr. Costello lip-synchs the words as if he can barely contain himself. For variety, there are a few, more elaborate clips — a jokey dream-date fantasy in "The Only Flame in Town," a claustrophobic, one-take close-up in "I Wanna Be Loved" and distracting animation in "Accidents Will Happen." Mostly, however, Mr. Costello's images simply focus attention on his pugnacious, anti-complacency lyrics.

Video cassettes are generally available in VHS and Beta. Some titles are also available in the 8-millimeter format and on LaserVision video disks. Unless otherwise specified, prices cited are the manufacturer's suggested retail price for a VHS cassette.

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New York Times, March 2, 1986


Jon Pareles reviews The Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions video.


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