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  • Almost Blue
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Almost Blue

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Audio CD, August 30, 1994
$10.90 $3.79

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The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook


Declan MacManus is known as one of the most idiosyncratic new wave performers, under his alias Elvis Costello. The UK-born singer-songwriter had a string of Top 30 chart hits in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s, though his work throughout his career has always gathered critical respect.

Although he was initially marketed as a punk, his music originally seemed to sound more like ... Read more in Amazon's Elvis Costello Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009UW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)?
2. Sweet Dreams
3. Success
4. I'm Your Toy
5. Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
6. Brown To Blue
7. Good Year For The Roses
8. Sittin' And Thinkin'
9. Colour Of The Blues
10. Too Far Gone
11. Honey Hush
12. How Much I Lied
13. He's Got You (Live In Aberdeen)
14. Cry, Cry, Cry (Live In Aberdeen)
15. There Won't Be Anymore (Live In Aberdeen)
16. Sittin' And Thinkin' (Live Iin Aberdeen)
17. Honey Hush (Live In Aberdeen)
18. Psycho
19. Your Angel Steps Out Of Heaven
20. Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This CD is an out of print collectible!It is the 1994 Rykodisc version. Catalog RCD 20277. There are a few small cracks on the green jewel case. There is a punch hole through the UPC.

Costello's flirtation with "real" country music, this album of covers produced in Nashville by veteran Billy Sherrill was prompted by some genuinely bad feelings as his personal life fell apart. It hasn't held up well over the years since its 1981 release, but there is one brilliant moment--Costello's cracked-voice reading of hero Gram Parsons's "How Much I Lied." The Rykodisc edition adds an array of bonus tracks, including Leon Payne's apropos "Psycho," cut during the tour for the Baroque-pop Armed Forces. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on August 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First off I love the Warning! label in the liner notes: "This album contains Country & Western Music & may produce radical reaction in narrow minded people". Further more, I'm afraid I disagree with any previous reviewers who cite this is the 1st misstep in a career that was consistantly on the rise. On the contrary, I think Almost Blue was the 1st time Costello completely stumped his audience. He's certainly done it a few times since.

It takes real balls to put your own stamp on a Hank Williams tune. Albeit, a relatively obscure one. Opening with "Why Don't You Love Me" Costello & company immediately put a spin into their own conceit. Throwing themselves into the proceedings with the same hyper, punked out abandon found on This Year's Model. This is your 1st indication that this isn't going to be your typical Country standards album. Or at worse a joke.

Fact of the matter is, he truly goes for the throat on this one. His take on "Sweet Dreams" may make Patsy Cline fans cringe in their beehives, but any Gram Parsons affecionado will appreciate Costello's heartfelt renditions of "Hot Burrito #1 (I'm Your Toy)" or "How Much I Lied". Both are just as touching as the originals, sung as if he'd written them himself.

"Good Year For The Roses" was the big surprise hit on this album. In England at any rate. Personally, I never get sick of hearing it. And I love the original.

As bonus discs go, Rhino & Mr. Costello have once again given you an all too generous assortment for your buck. Infact, there's more than twice as many tracks than on the original album. It starts off with his legendary duet with George Jones on "Stranger In The House". It doesn't disappoint. Followed by an even odder pairing with The Man In Black.
Read more ›
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth French on September 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
For all you Costello completists out there, DO NOT toss your Rykodisc copy once you get this new Rhino version. There are two "Live in Aberdeen" tracks on the Ryko pressing that did not get carried over onto the new one.

As for the record itself, when I first bought the vinyl 20+ years ago, I knew very few of the songs and had none of the original versions. Now I have almost all of them, as well as a deep appreciation for country music. I have Elvis and my wife to thank for that!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By beamis on January 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
What better country is there than Britain to hail from to able to intepret American country music? The mother country is where much of southern culture originated, including it's musical heritage. Wales and West Virginia are more alike than most people care to realize. To me it's a natural. It is not uncommon to see Merle Haggard songs on jukeboxes throughout the rural counties of the U.K. Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue" ranks right up there with the splendid work of his fellow countryman, such as the "Muswell Hillbillies" by the Kinks and much of the c&w that the Rolling Stones and Faces produced circa 1969-72. So I wish Costello fans would lay off this nonsense about this supposed rocker "experimenting" in Nashville. This album is on a more emotional level than most and seems at times uncomfortably personal in the song selection. That's what makes it like classic country to me. It gives you a chill right up your spine at certain moments. A pure delight. Billy Sherrill, the producer, really tries to make it sound like a George Jones album from the early sixties, cornpone and all. That's the way country sounded before the big hats of today. His version of "Success" and "Color of the Blues" is worth the price admission. You can tell that Costello listened to this music in England as a young lad and it made a deep impression. Great first country album for the unintiated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Frank G on November 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Simply astounding album. Elvis Costello was at his height of popularity and had the courage to eplore his personal favorites and bring them to his "New Wave" audience. Unfortunately his audience was so influenced by the Stalinistic"Year Zero"/scorched earth attitudes of the Class of '77 punk that they pretty much rejected this amazing sampler of heartfelt Country soul. ( Although I do recall Los Angeles' KROQ Rodney on Roq giving the aggro version of Hank Williams "Why Dont You Love Me -Like You Used to Do?" quite a few spins at the time).In their defense one must recall that "Country' at that time was as UNcool as you could get with the charts dominated by the likes of 'supergroups' like Alabama ad nauseum...Costello however TRIED to redirect the spotlight on the good stuff, the hearty, celtic rooted mournful stuff.It is worth noting that that ONLY Country lyrics share Costello's 'boy loses girl' themes( as opposed to the inane posturing of late 70's 'Prog rock' fantasy and 80's'hair bands' and todays hip hop)Country had the REALITY of a life that touches all people at all times NOT 'bling'- Fast forward 20+ years with fellow Celts The Thrills covering a similiar genre, the Late Great Johnny Cash having an ENORMOUS amount of 'Street Cred' post Rick Rubin's AMERICAN series and a general lovefest of all things Gram Parson's ( including this seasons biggest concert draw- Parson's bastard offspring band -The Eagles) Country/Roots/Alt.Country/Americana is Cool. Costello covered not one but TWO Parsons tunes ( 'How Much I Lied ' and 'I'm Your Toy'/'Hot Burrito #2') as well as taking us on a trip through George Jones, Merle Haggard , Hank Williams' greats ( all the stuff that Soccer Mom 'Country' radio ie Shania/Chesney/Garth and NO TWANG- REFUSES to play.Read more ›
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