Youngstown State University Jambar, October 17, 1978

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Elvis Costello releases new album;
unusual lyrics add flair to subject


Guz Scullin

 I don't wanna kiss you, I don't wanna touch,
 I don't wanna see you cause I don't miss you that much

Those lyrics aren't from a new Frank Sinatra album. They're Elvis,' not The Elvis, but Elvis Costello. On the rock scene today, Costello ranks as one of the leaders of "Punk/New Wave." His, first album My Aim is True, was the only new wave album released last year to sell a million copies. But don't buy the album for that reason, it is a great record. Linda Ronstadt has done her rendition of Elvis' "Allison" on her new album. But don't assume Elvis is becoming domesticated.

Earlier this year, Elvis Costello's second album was released. Titled This Year's Model, the record is a must for people who refuse to see rock go to the likes of the Bee Gees and other commercial rock (?) bands. Costello's music has the heart, and the drive, of early Stones and Who songs. It is rock reborn.

Two years ago, Elvis Costello was part of the English working class. He had been writing songs for some time, he claims to have hundreds of hours of original songs on tape. He had a dream of getting a record contract. He found out one day that a executive from CBS records was staying at a hotel in London. Elvis picked up his guitar, strapped an amp to his back, and performed on the street outside the hotel. He refused to leave until the exec heard him. After a while, a good-sized crowd formed, and the exec finally heard him. Elvis was signed to Columbia, and the rest is history. His first album was received well by the critics and the public. Elvis was fast becoming the new direction of rock and roll.

This Year's Model contains the same quality Of music as Elvis' first record. The songs on this disc are basically about the same subject that the songs on the first album — girls. Ahh, but Elvis' Songs are not love songs. His lyrics are direct opposites of the Beatle's love songs. The songs are about the girl who did Elvis wrong. They have the same emotion as the Stone's "I can't Get No Satisfaction." Some examples of Costello's lyrics:

From "You Belong to Me":

 The things you see are getting hard to swallow,
 you're easily led, but you're much too scared to follow
 Don't wanna be a goody-goody,
 I don't want just anybody,
 no I don't want anybody,
 saying you belong to me, you belong to me.

From "No Action":

 Every time I phone you
 I just wanna put you down.

From "Hand-in-Hand":

 Don't ask me to apologize,
 I won't ask you to forgive me,
 if going to go down,
 you're going to come with me.

From "Living in Paradise":

 I don't like those other guys looking at your curves,
 I don't like you walking around with physical jerks,
 Everything they're saying to you is getting on my nerves,
 soon they'll be lucky to be picking up the perks.

One of the most outstanding songs on the album is "Radio, Radio." It sums up best Costello's view of the music industry today:

 Radio is the sound salvation
 radio is cleaning up the nation,
 They say you better listen to voice of reason,
 but they don't give you any choice
 cause they think that its .treason,
 so you had better do as yow are told,
 you'd better listen to the radio,
 You either shut up or get cut out
 they don't wanna hear about it,
 its only inches on the reel-to-reel,
 and the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools,
 tryin' to release that that's the way you feel

Give Elvis a listen, don't assume you have to have a safety pin through your head to enjoy it. Too many people run to the security of a disco without ever giving New Wave a fair hearing. Elvis Costello is the tidal wave of New Wave.

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The Jambar, October 17, 1978


Guz Scullin reviews This Year's Model.


Reader Christopher Stigliano comments in the next issue.

Images

1978-10-17 Youngstown State University Jambar page 07 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.



To the editor of The Jambar


Christopher Stigliano

1978-10-20 Youngstown State University Jambar page 04 clipping 01.jpg

I was pleased that Guz Scullin reviewed Elvis Costello's latest effort. For a while, I thought he was a wimp, but even men like me make mistakes. In spite of what I call a good review, there were a few mistakes on Guz's part.

Guz Scullin states that Costello was signed to Columbia at the beginning of his career. Elvis was refused by all the major record companies in England before he was signed to Stiff Records, a small label which, soley dealt in new Wave. Elvis' records are distributed by Columbia in the U.S. because Stiff Records hadn't a distribution deal here yet. However, Elvis appears on a Stiff album domestically released, called Stiffs Live. Guz also misquoted a line from the song "Radio, Radio," which in fact goes "...the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools tryin' to anesthetize the way that we feel."

In the future, Guz, review more New Wave, especially the arty groups like Devo and Pere Ubu.



1978-10-17 Youngstown State University Jambar page 07.jpg
Page scan.

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