Record Collector, May 2008

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Record Collector


This Year's Model

Expanded edition of The Attractions' first outing

Terry Staunton

The country-rock hues of 1977's My Aim Is True couldn't disguise the venom and rage of Costello the singer and wordsmith, but it was the following year's release that fully established the angry young man persona, courtesy of a backing band who, in slightly altered form, still appear on his records today. This Year's Model was the post-punk distillation of the times, especially in its portraits of London.

Elvis all but copyrighted a new strain of love song, full of shattered hearts soaked in bitterness and dripping with revenge: "Hand In Hand" ("…if I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come with me") and "Lipstick Vogue" ("…love is just a tumour, you've got to cut it out") were extraordinary in their no-punches-pulled honesty, amphetamine-fuelled diatribes that scared listeners as much anything Lydon or Strummer could come up with.

This new version adds a handful of demos, some for songs which wouldn't surface until 1979's Armed Forces, but the real draw is the live disc, where much of My Aim Is True is given a raucous overhaul, Steve Nieve's organ especially effective in drawing out the material's hitherto hidden aggression.

4 stars

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Record Collector, No. 349, May 2008

Terry Staunton reviews the 2008 Hip-O reissue of This Year's Model.


2008-05-00 Record Collector cover.jpg


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