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Blood & Chocolate


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Audio CD, May 1, 2007
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This 1986 release finds Costello at his rawest with furious rockers like I Hope You're Happy Now and Tokyo Storm Warning . Even the ballads ( I Want You, in particular) are menacing.

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"A pissed-off, 32-year-old divorcé's version of This Year's Model" is what Elvis Costello once called this 1986 noise-pop masterpiece. Following the foray into acoustic roots music that informed the heartbroken King of America, Costello immediately redubbed himself Napoleon Dynamite for songwriting and DIY-cover-painting credits, teamed again with the Attractions and producer Nick Lowe, and headed for the figurative garage. Spattered with bad love and strange dreams, nervy Beatles "tributes" (the deranged "I Want You" held the same end-of-side-1 place on the original LP as John Lennon's namesake ode to Yoko did on Abbey Road), and blurt after blurt of bent tunefulness, Blood & Chocolate was for all that an exceedingly artful, criminally ignored album. "Someday they'll probably make a movie out of all of this," Costello sings on the penultimate "Poor Napoleon." "There won't even have to be a murder, just a slow, dissolving kiss." --Rickey Wright

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Uncomplicated 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Hope You're Happy Now 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Tokyo Storm Warning 6:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I Want You 6:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Honey Are You Straight Or Are You Blind 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Blue Chair 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Battered Old Bird 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Crimes Of Paris 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Poor Napoleon 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Next Time Round 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hip-O
  • ASIN: B000OHZJN2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,613 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Audio CD
How is Elvis Costello like Woody Allen? Just about everyone admits they're great artists, but most people only pay attention to their early work and ignore more recent output. It's their loss. By the time he produced "Blood and Chocolate," Elvis Costello was already being taken for granted and ignored by most listeners. He repaid their neglect with one of his finest hours. This is the last howling hurrah of the original, "punk/new wave" Elvis Costello, and he and the Attractions, with an able assist from Nick Lowe, do themselves proud. Song for song, for variety and quality, this album is hard to beat. You want slam-bang rockers? Try "Uncomplicated," "Honey Are you Straight . . ." or the free-associating maelstrom of "Tokyo Storm Warning." You want near-perfect pop? Try "Blue Chair" or "Home is Anywhere You Hang Your Head." You want to be left breathless with wonder? Sit close to the speakers for "I Want You." Get it, listen to it, tell your friends. You'll thank yourself and they'll thank you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Young on March 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As an EC fan...this is possibly the most punk album by the punk/new wave pioneer. True, it came out in 1986, but it's a raw, live-in-the-studio (mostly) rock band playing songs...
It works, better than he thinks it does.
Hard driving, desperate rock and roll from EC and the Attractions. Steve Nieve's organ punctuates madly and cascades it's way over Bruce Thomas's bass lines, creating a melody like a disastrous waterfall that pours over Pete Thomas's rock solid drumming.
The result is a discordant, spartan proceeding that has some of EC's best songs and the Attractions' best playing. Words: : Well, here's a boy if ever there was/Who's gonna do great things/I guess that's what they all say/And that's how the trouble begins/I've seen them rise and fall and through their big deals and smalls/And he better have a dream that goes beyond 4 walls."
Lyric brilliance, vocal emotiveness unrivaled by a damn good soul singer, and awesome musicality..buy it or die trying...fantastic album.
And the bonus CD... WELL! Great stuff, alternate takes of album tracks (that make me trust EC's judgement) and some demos, and some B-sides...WELL! A non-fan doesn't need any of it, but for someone who has followed a career, it's invaluable...luckily, RHINO is not charging for the second CD..buy them, realize them, enjoy them...this is songwriting at it's best!
Trust me....this is worth your time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin C. Brown on December 10, 2007
Format: MP3 Music
I've been an Elvis fan since Day One, no matter what format he decided to take. I pull out Elvis once a day at minimum, but if I were asked to take only one of his works with me, I wouldn't hesitate to name Blood & Chocolate.

Here's a clue how much I enjoy it, my 38 yr old (as of 2007) Golden Crown Amazon parrot can sing every word of this album. Alice's favorite artists are Elvis, Jimi and INXS. But she only sings the words to the songs of Blood & Chocolate. Otherwise she's the opera diva with a loud voice, but no words.

I can't place my finger on what exactly it is about this album that hits me so, but it might be the deep lyrics and their meaning. Or it just might be that it's a great beat to belt out as you paint your blue chair.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BOB on January 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I will defer to all the laudatory comments listed here. I had one observation, however, regarding this new version by Rhino vs. the previous, also-excellent version by Rykodisc.

The final track on the Ryko CD was "A Town Called Big Nothing (Really Big Nothing)", a wonderful, 5-minute+ little gem originally writen for a Alex Cox film that featured Costello's father on trumpet.

However, it is NOT included on the new Rhino CD. This is a curious and unfortunate omission, so FYI to all who are considering replacing the Ryko's. Perhaps Rhino will include it on one of the future Costello releases.

(UPDATE: The track never made it to any of the Rhino releases. It now only appears on The Singles Volume 3 set.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on February 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Welcome to "the place where they take your spine & turn it into soap flakes"...

Costello has always been angry, he built his reputation on it. But on Blood & Chocolate, all kid gloves are off. Those great pop hooks & bitter turns of phrase are there, but here he deliberately keeps things as ugly and brutal as possible. Playing almost in mockery of stuff like "Oliver's Army". It's the sonic equivalent of elegantly burning oneself in effigy with a bloody hammer. Smothered in decidedly claustrophobic production, it feels like a drunken brawl in a broom closet. One gets the sense Costello is hell bent on nailing The Attractions kicking & screaming down into his own coffin.

"Uncomplicated" clangs in like a ringside bell. One immediately gets the sense that everyone's playing in the dark, pissed as hell, determined to beat any semblance of melody into a pulp. Steve Neive hits the Wulitzer like a drunken carny. Pete Thomas seems to be pounding on the decapitated heads of those he hates. As if in spiteful opposition, Bruce Thomas plays as if he's creeping up to push the shiv in. As for Costello, he gleefully lives up to the self-deprecating nickname "little hands of concrete", spitting out his lyrics as if he couldn't stand the taste of them.

In short, everyone seems to be hell bent on playing their instruments as if they were billy clubs, flogging the same damn horse. This is particularly evident on the likes of "Tokyo Storm Warning" and "Honey Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?" Elsewhere, the atmosphere could only be described as perverse. "Poor Napolean" reeks of a 10 day bender & "Anywhere You Hang Your Head" is the sonic equivalent of a suicidal hangover.

A major highlight is "I Want You". Easily one of the creepiest & most powerful songs Costello & Co.
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