Thursday, February 02, 2017

Minimalism Project - The Very Best of Elvis Costello

A couple of years ago I started attempting (on this very blog) to review all the albums that I owned. I got about four or five in and lost momentum. Now I am proposing a different approach. This year I intend to listen to every CD I own - and if I don't love it I will get rid of it. (read more about my minimalism project here) I am going to do mini reviews of the albums as I go.

The Very Best of Elvis Costello  (2004)

It has to be said I don't love greatest hits compilations. You can have much of a good thing and listening to hit after hit can be tiring. That said I do own some greatest hits compilations and this is one of them. I wasn't a huge Elvis Costello fan when I was younger and the records of his I did own were singles so I didn't really know where to begin with is albums. I remember when I bought this double album - it was about 12 years ago. We had been to a garden party out in the wilds of Norfolk and at some point Elvis Costello was played and I found (to my surprise) that I was really enjoying it. Later that week I duly went out and bought The Very Best of... But I have to confess it's not something I play very often. I listened to CD 1 today and did enjoy it to begin with - but there is just too much of it. Each CD (there are two) has twenty plus tracks. If you listened to the whole thing it would be like listening to four albums back to back - only the most die hard fans would want to do that. I can do it with Bowie (heck I can listen to ten Bowie albums back to back) - but each Bowie album is pretty unique and, I have to say, Elvis Costello becomes a little samey after a while. There are some very good tracks on here though, and CD 1 has quite a few of the early new wave hits - Accidents Will Happen (which I still have on vinyl), Radio, Radio, Pump it Up etc. But it also has a smattering of his more corny sentimental tracks that I was never particularly keen on - For the Roses and She for example. At some point I will give CD 2 a listen - but not today.

There are enough good tracks on here to make it a keeper I think.

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