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Let Them All Talk: The Music of Elvis Costello (Sanctuary Music Library) Paperback – July 25, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing (July 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860741967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860741968
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Carroll on March 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book today. I am not that versed in Mr. Costello but I got curious when I finished the autobiography of Bebe Buell, "Rebel Heart", with Victor Bockris. I am now curious to explore his music mentioned in both books. I love a good love story!! This one sort of reminds me of the movie "Immortal Beloved" with Gary Oldman. After finishing this bio by Hinton, I was left wondering how one man could have so much talent and so many songs inside of him. It is rare to say the least. The only music I have by Mr. Costello is the "Painted From Memory" effort, which I really enjoy. I guess I will have to go and purchase the entire lot at this point!
As for this book, I found it interesting and complete. Many times I found it hard to put down. When you read this book back to back with Ms. Buell's bio, it is even more entertaining. My final word, is that Mr. Costello is a genius and a master of mind games. Wordplay is also a specialty of his and I think he will be around as an artist for a very long time. An enormous talent for sure!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Clarke on March 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
I think some of the reviews about this book are a tad harsh and unfounded. I really enjoyed the thing and all the fun theories on the topics of his songs and such. I feel that Hinton did a very complete job of exploring all the possibilities. I think that even if Costello himself were to write his own book, it would be veiled in mystery. Most writers of his talent love to confuse and excite the listener. I feel this book answered alot of questions and confirmed alot of MAYBE's... I think that this is the best of the Costello tomes and I can't wait to hear the new record, "When I Was Cruel". Sounds like he is trying to say sorry to someone. And whats up with the two big bumble "Bees" on the cover?? I can hardly wait!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By hermit the frog on September 1, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brain Hinton writes like the annoying guy you wish would quit whatever club you both belong to.
Having said that, this is the first book I have ever read to have completely slipped past any and all editors at a publishing house. I'm tempted to get a red pen and do it myself, but I don't have the time..
On the flip (city) side, I learned tons of things I never knew about EC. I have been completely oblivious to the nuts and bolts of his beginnings, or his family life, although I've listened with intense interest since "Punch the Clock"in '83. I can forget what he used to mean to the rock scene, as opposed to now, where he basically enjoys shooting arrows in all musical directions, and following them to their targets.
I must say I enjoyed the moments where I could take Hinton to task in my head whenever he got something wrong, which was all too often. But his factual sins were mostly slight, like misquoting a word in a lyric or song title, or attributing a lyric line to the wrong song of the right album, or compressing time for peripheral events like EC's Larry Sanders appearances.
Do others feel that Unwanted Number is really about incest? Hinton casually declares this when wrting about its live premiere at the Chicago C&S show. I can see where one could decide to hear this in the lyrics, but maybe I'm being too opaque. For the purposes of the movie ("Grace of My Heart," for which it was written), it was discussed as a song about teenage pregnancy. It's within EC's character to throw that extra element in it, but I wouldn't have been so matter-of-fact about labeling the song as Hinton did.
But that's Hinton in a nutshell. He's all over the place while he's trying to put his thoughts together.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
They say anybody can write a book and Let Them All Talk is proof positive of that addage. This autobiography is a pastiche of interviews, press clippings and personal accounts. In short, it is painstaking reading.
If you can say anything good about this book, at the least, it is a fairly comprehensive account of Costello's career. The only problem is that it is so loosely strung together it is like reading an unassembled jigsaw puzzle. Almost every single paragraph seems to switch gears midway through, leaving me wondering if parts of a second book been inserted piecemeal into the one I was reading.
As a final note, Hinton shows extremely bad taste in criticizing the work of Tony Clayton-Lea, Krista Reese and David Gouldstone. I mean hey, let's leave that stuff on the playground.
Only a Costello fan would buy this book and unfortunately, only a Costello fan COULD read this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sserata@hotmail.com on July 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book will give you very interesting information regarding Elvis Costello and his musical career but it is dry and very English. The biggest downfall was each chapter follows the same format: history of the CD that year, stories of the songs on the CD and then reviews by pop and music magazines. Then on to the next CD, alas it leaves something to be desired. And the author's obsession with Bebe Buell begins to bore the reader as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Andrews on June 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although I am a latecomer to Elvis fanship (I started with THE JULIET LETTERS), I have been a diehard fan ever since. I have played all his albums countless times and have tried valiantly to foist his music on everyone who has crossed my path (I'm sure, like most EC fans, sometimes with great success and sometimes with great failure). But for all I have loved his music, I have never known much about the guy...not any more than what I learned from the Elvis Costello entry in Billboard's Rock Movers & Shakers encyclopedia.
Like many EC fans, I eagerly awaited the publication of this book...even throughout the many months that its publication was delayed. When it finally came out in Summer 1999, I rushed out and bought it. I started reading it but then put it down after about 50 pages when my life became very complicated. Just recently I picked it up again where I left off and finished it today.
While LET THEM ALL TALK was an easy read -- the pages flowing quickly from one to the next -- the book did not tell me what I wanted to know.
I'll tell you what this book IS: it is about the music, not the musician. Hinton anaylzes almost every (not every) recorded song by Elvis. He gives about a paragraph to each song. And his analyses are not even based on first-hand input from Elvis himself. They are just Hinton's ideas on what the songs are about. He also prefaces each album by telling a little about the making of the album and reprinting tons of critics' quotes about all the albums. Then he concludes each album's review by mentioning some highlights from that album's tour. Finally, here and there, he briefly mentions a snippet or two about Elvis' personal life.
That's where I was upset. I bought this book hoping it would be a BIOGRAPHY.
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