Elvis Costello - THISYEARSMODEL (Classic Album UK 1978)

Minggu, 21 Oktober 2012

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This Year's Model is Elvis Costello's second album and his first with The Attractions, released in 1978. It was recorded mainly at Eden Studios in West London.

It was voted the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. In 2000, Q magazine placed This Year's Model at number 82 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 1987, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 11 on its list of the best albums of the period 1967-1987. In 2003, the album was ranked number 98 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Early issues of the album have an apparently misprinted sleeve, which cuts off the left side of the front cover (including the letters 'E' from 'Elvis' and 'T' from 'This') and shows a printers' color bar along the right side (see cover right). This was a deliberate mistake (a favourite technique of cover designer Barney Bubbles), as was pressing "Special pressing No. 003. Ring 434 32 32. Ask for Moira for your prize" between the holding spirals on Side A. Indeed people calling the aforementioned number ("Moira" being a press agent at FBeat) would get rewarded with a badge.

Early issues of the LP came with a free 7": Side A 'Stranger In The House', Side B 'Neat Neat Neat', housed in a Radar house sleeve. This promotion also included a black and white sticker stuck on the LP shrinkwrap that said 'Free Album With This Single'.

The US version was a different photo from the same session and didn't feature the deliberate mis-cropping. The original American pressing on Columbia also says "Costello" instead of "Columbia" on the inner label.

Where My Aim Is True implied punk rock with its lyrics and stripped-down production, This Year's Model sounds like punk. Not that Elvis Costello's songwriting has changed -- This Year's Model is comprised largely of leftovers from My Aim Is True and songs written on the road. It's the music that changed. After releasing My Aim Is True, Costello assembled a backing band called the Attractions, which were considerably tougher and wilder than Clover, who played on his debut. The Attractions were a rock & roll band, which gives This Year's Model a reckless, careening feel. It's nervous, amphetamine-fueled, nearly paranoid music -- the group sounds like they're spinning out of control as soon as they crash in on the brief opener, "No Action," and they never get completely back on track, even on the slower numbers. Costello and the Attractions speed through This Year's Model at a blinding pace, which gives his songs -- which were already meaner than the set on My Aim Is True -- a nastier edge. "Lipstick Vogue," "Pump It Up," and "(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea" are all underscored with sexual menace, while "Night Rally" touches on a bizarre fascination with fascism that would blossom on his next album, Armed Forces. 

Even the songs that sound relatively lighthearted -- "Hand in Hand," "Little Triggers," "Lip Service," "Living in Paradise" -- are all edgy, thanks to Costello's breathless vocals, Steve Nieve's carnival-esque organ riffs, and Nick Lowe's bare-bones production. Of course, the songs on This Year's Model are typically catchy and help the vicious sentiments sink into your skin, but the most remarkable thing about the album is the sound -- Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again. [The 1993 CD reissue standardized the sequencing of This Year's Model on both sides of the Atlantic, restoring the album to its original British running order and adding six bonus tracks. The first three tracks are singles and B-sides, including the classic rant "Radio, Radio," the organ-driven '60s pop of "Big Tears," and the frenetic "Crawling to the USA." The remaining three tracks -- "Running Out of Angels," "Greenshirt," and "Big Boys" -- are all demos.] 

01."No Action" – 1:58
02."This Year's Girl" – 3:17
03."The Beat" – 3:45
04."Pump It Up" – 3:14
05."Little Triggers" – 2:40
06."You Belong to Me" – 2:22
07."Hand in Hand" – 2:33
08."(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" – 3:07
09."Lip Service" – 2:36
10."Living in Paradise" – 3:52
11."Lipstick Vogue" – 3:29
12."Night Rally" – 2:41

The US release on Columbia, two months after the original UK release, dropped "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" (reportedly as being "too English") and added "Radio Radio" to close side two.

Some European versions of the album added "Watching The Detectives" at the end of side one. This non-album single released in 1977 shortly after My Aim Is True was already included on the US version of Costello's first album.

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