Between Get Happy and Trust, Elvis took a holiday, leaving Steve, Bruce and Pete twiddling their thumbs long enough to knock out an album of their own.
But like The SAHB without Alex Harvey, The Bunnymen without Ian McCulloch or The Luvvers without Lulu, The Attractions sans Costello was hardly the greatest of crowd-pleasers. Elvis was in the middle of one of his most successful and prolific periods (40 original songs released in 12 months), and Mad About The Wrong Boy is quite laughable in comparison.
"Single Girl" has a quirky Squeezesque charm, but the misguided metaphors and alliteration of "Highrise Housewife" and "On The Third Stroke" demonstrate that very little of the gaffer's genius rubbed off on the workers.
All three Attractions have a stab at vocals, but appear to have been too embarrassed to credit themselves specifically on individual songs.
These days, Steve Nieve earns a crust as leader of the house band for the Jonathan Ross chat show (glorified supper club showband, if you ask me), while Bruce and Pete Thomas (no relation) can be seen treading the boards with the kindergarten Costello, aka John Wesley Harding. Whither the glory days?
At their peak The Attractions were a formidable band, but this album found them languid and limp without the puppetmaster pulling the strings. (5)