While I have never forgiven Goodbye Cruel World (even E.C. disdains it), it's far from my Costello cut-off. In fact right up till the end of the eighties and Spike, Costello burned a bright flame. However, the erratic material and showier singing of the nineties alongside the side-lining of the Attractions and that beard kinda killed it for me. Sure I dutifully listened to the Brutal Youth (even tried wrapping my head around The Juliet Letters) and When I was Cruel et al but little of it hit on a gut level. I'm sure in my next Costello phase (I've had about four), I'll be eating my words and buying some over-stuffed Kojak Variety re-issue.
So if you cut Elvis off somewhere before Almost Blue (I love old country but Elvis sings his own material best) you miss out a lot. To help you catch up (or just remind you), here's a concert from the Punch the Clock tour. With the TKO Horns and more in tow, it's a chance to hear the first six years of Elvis' career in a different, slightly cracked, light.
MRML Readers keep leaving us your Elvis-related comments. Here's some more samples:
I saw Elvis at Bogart's in Cincinnati Ohio in 1978. Still have the ticket stub. The Show was $2.94 + 0.06 tax. It was an awesome show. During one point in the show, Elvis walked through the audience from table-top to table-top while continuing to play. I saw him again in 1979 in Dayton Ohio at the Victoria Theatre for the Armed Funk tour. Again, an awesome show. By that time, the ticket price had increased to an astounding $7.00.
Saw Elvis many times. Every show was outstanding, his gigs use to go on and on and on. 2hrs, 3 hrs even. me and my mate john always positioned ourselves at the front. Many times came out soaked to the skin with sweat and often losing items of clothing. Managed to get backstage at one gig at De Montfort Hall when he was supported by The Pogues, I thought I could drink in those days but Jeez I was ill for days after. Along with The Jam gigs I attended at the time I have never seen such power and intensity. Fucking brilliant!!!!
(Sir Charlie Palmer)
The Gangster is Back CD
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Elvis at Amazon