Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis grows into his songwriting, May 5, 2007
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
After three brilliant albums of tart, taut albums fueled by incessant touring and the excesses of rock living, Elvis Costello made the headlines with a single regrettable drunken utterance. Before anyone knew what was happening, he became better known than most pop artists of the day, and for all the wrong reasons. It forced him to a place that made him reevaluate his career to that point, and "Get Happy" began to emerge. He immersed himself in a stack of his old favorite soul records (Booker T, Four Tops, Stax/Volt albums), and emerged a different songwriter. "Get Happy" was the album where EC challenged himself to move beyond a public's expectation and led to his forth five star record.

While Elvis and the Attractions weren't completely r'n'b and alcohol saturated, some of Elvis' songs here do show the frenzy that they were recorded in. He once said that Nick Lowe's attitude toward production was "a fader in one hand an a vodka bottle in the other." The result was that these songs were frequently written and recorded in canon blasts, like the boast of "Possession" being written in five minutes after an afternoon's infatuation with a cocktail waitress. The band was challenging itself to pound out as much music as possible, as if every idea could be turned into a song. It created a wealth of material, as evidenced by the original album's sonic blast of twenty songs.

It also meant that EC's vocal performances were sometimes given all the nuance of a party reveler standing astride the jukebox ("I Stand Accused" and "Possession" being two obvious violators). On the other hand, there are some stunners here that point at the upcoming "Trust" and EC's vocal growing sophistication, as in the brilliant "Riot Act." It didn't stop the compositions from frequently striking the bull's-eye, and to this day I am amazed that the twenty multiple genre hook heavy songs on "Get Happy" somehow couldn't produce one radio single. (Also of interest is that "The Sopranos" lifted "High Fidelity" as one of the songs for an episode about Tony and Carmella's marital dysfunction.)

All told, Elvis, along with the invaluable input of The Attractions and Nick Lowe, rose to the occasion to make an album that shattered boundaries. Soul, ska and country (as well as the trademark "new wave" sound) still effortlessly roll from the grooves of "Get Happy."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'mon Get Happy, January 15, 2009
This review is from: Get Happy (MP3 Music)
After three brilliant albums of tart, taut albums fueled by incessant touring and the excesses of rock living, Elvis Costello made the headlines with a single regrettable drunken utterance. Before anyone knew what was happening, he became better known than most pop artists of the day, and for all the wrong reasons. It forced him to a place that made him reevaluate his career to that point, and "Get Happy" began to emerge. He immersed himself in a stack of his old favorite soul records (Booker T, Four Tops, Stax/Volt albums), and emerged a different songwriter. "Get Happy" was the album where EC challenged himself to move beyond a public's expectation and led to his forth five star record.

While Elvis and the Attractions weren't completely r'n'b and alcohol saturated, some of Elvis' songs here do show the frenzy that they were recorded in. He once said that Nick Lowe's attitude toward production was "a fader in one hand an a vodka bottle in the other." The result was that these songs were frequently written and recorded in canon blasts, like the boast of "Possession" being written in five minutes after an afternoon's infatuation with a cocktail waitress. The band was challenging itself to pound out as much music as possible, as if every idea could be turned into a song. It created a wealth of material, as evidenced by the original album's sonic blast of twenty songs.

It also meant that EC's vocal performances were sometimes given all the nuance of a party reveler standing astride the jukebox ("I Stand Accused" and "Possession" being two obvious violators). On the other hand, there are some stunners here that point at the upcoming "Trust" and EC's vocal growing sophistication, as in the brilliant "Riot Act." It didn't stop the compositions from frequently striking the bull's-eye, and to this day I am amazed that the twenty multiple genre hook heavy songs on "Get Happy" somehow couldn't produce one radio single. (Also of interest is that "The Sopranos" lifted "High Fidelity" as one of the songs for an episode about Tony and Carmella's marital dysfunction.)

All told, Elvis, along with the invaluable input of The Attractions and Nick Lowe, rose to the occasion to make an album that shattered boundaries. Soul, ska and country (as well as the trademark "new wave" sound) still effortlessly roll from the grooves of "Get Happy."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A heaping helping of Costello's greatness., December 12, 2007
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Get Happy may not be entirely free of filler, but there's still enough great stuff here to make your head spin. Costello's fourth album is a twenty-track tour-de-force that sees him nodding to the visceral new wave punk of This Year's Model while further expanding his musical vocabulary. He builds on Armed Forces' pop influences, incorporating them into a vision that now includes soul, punk, folk, classicist rock `n' roll, as well as references to reggae, disco, and whatever else he can get his hands on. Get Happy is more noticeably soul-influenced than his previous records, but it's more than just a genre exercise- Costello builds on the Stax/Volt sound, using its raucous and hook-filled ideals as the basis for some of the most creative songs ever written or performed: The music is smartly built, catchy in every way imaginable, and performed with the kind of breathless urgency that is the Attractions' (Costello's backing band at the time) trademark. Lyrically, this disc features some of Costello's most scathing wit and cutting observations. His poetry is wry and acidic, barbed and evocative, hilarious and brutal.

Which makes for some great material- highlights include the smoldering, bloody-minded sarcasm of "Opportunities," and the surprisingly tender (but subtly barbed) reverie of "New Amsterdam." "Beaten To The Punch" is a raw soul screamer that shows off Costello's raucous vocal skill, and "King Horse" is a smug stab at mach male aggression. "Love For Tender" is a rip-roaring barrage of puns and great melodies, and "The Imposter" is a runaway musical freight train. "B Movie" is full of tense, squirming dub-reggae, and a cover of the old r&b chestnut "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" bristles with throat-shredding soul.

But there is some filler (and with a twenty-track album, how can there not be some?)- Nothing truly horrible, but tracks such as "Clowntime Is Over" and "Temptation" do cause the record's momentum to drag somewhat. Nonetheless, this is still classic Costello, and a great addition to his gem-stuffed catalogue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever, June 11, 2009
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Get Happy by Elvis & the Attractions is up there with Abbey Road as one of the greatest rock albums ever made, from the first cut to the last. Incredible wordplay floating in a stew of crunchy, tight, sparkling rockin' new wave rhythm country & ska. This one album contains enough golden nuggets to make careers for 4 or 5 lesser artists. I listened to it constantly 25 years ago - it's just as stunning today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Happy,Get Going!, April 6, 2009
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Getting caught up in non stop recording can have very mixed results.All one has to do is eyeball the catalog of people like Prince or Todd Rundgren in their prime to figure that out. One of the main issues I tend to have with Elvis Costello during this time. His first few albums with the Attractions have this tendancy to sound a bit........well alike. The songwriting hugely strong across this but pretty much everything is,for example is done very speedily.There is no question that,especially when the tempo is upped that he is just really rushing everything.His version of "I Stand Accused",along with "Love For Tender","Opportunity"...pretty much everything here just bleeds into a whole:the speedy tempos,the Stax/Motown organs and basslines,which are particularly strong here and a lot of....slightly unintelligable singing at times. Some tunes like "High Fidelity" and "B Movie" are even a little cluttered up.It's great,reckless and rocks like nobody's business but it all but totally lacks that combination of focus and diversity Costello would achieve as the 80's wore on. Oddly enough something very interesting happens when the album gets into the ballad side of things. "Motel Matches" and "Riot Act" both have this genuine release of tention and great musical build,probably because even at the manic pace at which he kept his music Costello realized you had to keep the style of the ballad as it was so...on these the tunes themselves have more focus,the playing sounds better and Elvis shows us what he has in him as a singer. I would'nt say by any means this is a retro 60's soul album by any means:it has that flavor but producer Nick Lowe still gives everything that....revved up British New Wave sound so there kind of a musical cultural clash here,not all that different then would appear on The Jam's final recording The Gift.However I must point out on a soul/new wave kind of project like this,it's best kept short and sweet.And maybe this one runs on a bit long (about 50 minutes) to really hit it's point home. But it will sure cook at a party both in the backround and especially on your rock lobster era dancfloor!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Happy Indeed, January 4, 2009
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Stripped down sound most like their live shows, few overdubs and layers make this an album that the Attractions could play live note for note. Steve Nieve, Bruce and Pete Thomas rock on this homage to classic rock and roll that influenced Elvis's songwriting for the first part of his career. "B Movie" transports you to a damp alleyway, "Almost Beaten to the Punch" and "5ive Gears In Reverse" (note the spelling) feature Elvis screaming his head off, the cover of "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" swings at a faster tempo than the Sam and Dave version, "High Fidelity" showcases Elvis's moody whisper, "Riot Act" is a classic. The album also features different versions of two songs, "Black and White World" and "Clowntime is Over" than appeared earlier. Again, Elvis' word play stand out, especially on "Temptation" (a direct homage to Booker T's "Tide is Tight"). Get Happy Indeed!!!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Happy all over it, March 11, 2009
By 
This review is from: Get Happy (MP3 Music)
Got this album upon release in 1980. It is a brilliant album filled with very short songs. 'Five Gears In Reverse' was played on FM radio in South Florida.
'I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down' kicks off the album in high gear.
'Beaten To The Punch' is a favorite. 'Riot Act' is one of the most under rated songs in the whole Costello catalog.
This album is not only must have for any Elvis Costello fan, it's also a must for any fan fan of pop or rock music. A must!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Happy...buy Get Happy, January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
You simply can't go wrong with any Costello record from this era. This one caught him in a very Motown mood. No better song writer before or since EC came along.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated classic!, February 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Loved it when it first came out,but never fully appreciated how good it was until now.Costello has had a long journey,and I like his more recent,more "mature" work as much as his earlier work.This was a somewhat overlooked album at the time,but it is amazing how the level of how high both songwriting and performance of the band is...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Brough hit the nail on the head, November 22, 2008
By 
freereign (Ocean of Corn, MN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Get Happy (Audio CD)
Way to go, Tim, I totally felt this sentiment and was glad to hear it from someone else! --folks, this one is really the epitome of what Elvis had done and what he was to become: It's sentiments, it's energy, it's directness, it's homage to musics past both echoes Costello's past and boldly introduces us to what he would do in the future TO music, and FOR music. It's very uplifting to hear, regardless if you've heard anything else by him, and that speaks VOLUMES for any artist.
I advise you all to own this record, it's TOP 10-Alltime-worthy to be sure!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Get Happy
Get Happy by Elvis Costello (Audio CD - 2007)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.