Already own these albums? Too bad. Toss them out and start over. These Rykodisc remasterings are every bit as essential as the Elvis Costello box set that kicked off the reissue series last year.
The sound on Trust and Get Happy is again a revelation. Both were released before the CD era and got shabby treatment from Columbia when they were finally issued on disc. Get Happy was so long that on vinyl it sounded terrible, and every pressing of Taking Liberties (a compilation album made from many of the bonus tracks on these two discs) seemed to have problems.
Kiss those problems goodbye. Remastered with the latest technology from the master tapes, the two albums finally sound the way Costello heard them on the studio playback speakers. The depth of the sound is staggering, with aural details that got lost in the mix long ago.
There's enough extra material to make up entire new albums. The original 20-song Get Happy has been stretched to 31 tracks, including rough demos of "Riot Act" and "Love for Tender." The combination of album and bonus tracks put some of Costello's finest songs of the era — "The Imposter," "Hoover Factory," "Riot Act," "Just a Memory" — in one place.
Trust almost reaches that level, but includes some material that borders on the trivial. The songs "Twenty-Five to Twelve" and "Seconds of Pleasure" are demos of the same song, featuring lines that would eventually appear in "The Invisible Man" on the album Punch the Clock. That's interesting to fanatics but is hardly compelling listening.
"Black Sails in the Sunset" and "Big Sister" are great B-sides, but they've also been available on import CDs for years.