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This Year's Model CD

123 customer reviews

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This Year's Model
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Audio CD, CD, May 1, 2007
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Product Description

Elvis' landmark first album with his formidable back-up band the Attractions just bristles with tension and energy on such sensational tunes as Pump it Up; Lipstick Vogue , and Radio, Radio .

With his second album, Elvis Costello firmly established himself as one of rock's--not just punk/new wave's--premier singer-songwriters. Building on the promise of his '77 debut, My Aim Is True, Costello put together a backing touring trio, the Attractions (keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas, and drummer Pete Thomas), and their versatility helped Costello define himself as a punk-fuelled power-pop force. Sporting influences ranging from Bob Dylan (the stream-of-consciousness "Pump It Up") to Burt Bacharach (the Dusty Springfield-worthy "Little Triggers"), this '78-released collection also features such righteously angry anthems as the anti-conformist "This Year's Girl," and the anti-MOR classic, "Radio Radio." --Billy Altman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hip-O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,472 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on December 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If "My Aim Is True" landed on the music scene like a stick of dynamite with the fuse lit, "This Year's Model" was the explosion that came after. Elvis' first album with the Attractions more than lived up to its predecessor, in that having a working band behind him matched the music to the blunt force of the songs.
Once again, it is the stark voice of EC that opened the album as he ominously intones "I don't wannna kiss you, I don't wanna touch." When the players kick in, it's a whole 'nother world from "My Aim Is True," and for the first time, "new wave" had a front man. Before this album had been released, one of the central songs had made headlines. Elvis' broadside at narrow-format broadcasting, "Radio Radio," was performed in such a bizarre fashion on Saturday Night Live that he was effectively banned from the show for almost a decade and made this (then) seventeen year-old a fan for life. That performance sealed a decision for me to get into radio and make artists like Elvis accessible to listeners. When I was fortunate enough to tell him this many years later, Elvis kindly autographed a ragged poster of "Armed Forces" "Don't blame me."
Personal nostalgia aside, this double disc version "This Year's Model" contains all the songs that comprised the original US and UK versions and the original UK artwork. These are some of the songs by which EC is measured, like "Radio Radio," "Pump it Up" and "The Beat." The Attractions' playing was melody driven in addition to frenetic, a perfect compliment to Elvis' brilliant lyrics.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on February 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The first three albums by Elvis Costello are not only his three best albums ever---they are three of the finest albums released by any artist of that era. While "My Aim Is True" stands as one of the greatest debut albums ever, I feel that his next two releases, "Armed Forces" and "This Year's Model," were even better than his first excellent work.

"This Year's Model" is the peak of Elvis Costello's angry and cynical lyrical database, with fast, raucous music that ups the intensity like only Elvis could. When I think of the numerous punk groups of that era that I enjoyed like Black Flag, Sex Pistols and The Dead Kennedys, I take the odd step of lumping "This Year's Model" in with the same sarcastic emotion backing the music. While the abovementioned Punk groups may have marketed themselves to the kids who fancied themselves raw, gritty, and streetwise, Elvis seemed geared toward the everyday middle-class Joe who, despite no torn jeans or Mohawks, still possessed that bitterness toward commercialism and the rat race.

This album has classic Costello rants that range from relationships gone sour to the greedy corporate world, with some songs like "Living in Paradise" seemingly combining both. The tunes grow increasingly intense with each track, with "Hand in Hand" and "Lipstick Vogue" grabbing most of the glory in the second half of the album. No resting, no misleading Guajardian twists, just sharp music and seething lyrics.

"Radio, Radio" is the appropriate finale of "This Year's Model," which is a loud, fast, break-free tune that totally bashes the formula based model of commercial radio.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Rhino two disc reissue has everything contained on the first disc and then some. The re-mastering is fine on the Rhino release and this does not improve on it. The packaging and liner notes are much better in the Rhino release. The live concert on the second disc would be the only reason to purchase this release if you already have the Rhino release. The concert was originally a radio broadcast from the Warner Theater in Washington DC a week or so before the officially released El Mocambo concert. It contains an early solo version of "Chemistry Class" that was previously released on a different Rhino re-release (Armed Forces?). The rest of the concert is presented here for the first time in its entirety. So what are the differences between the Warner Theater concert and the El Mocambo concert? The set lists are close though I've always thought that "Live at the El Mocambo" was edited to fit on one vinyl disc. Here are a few differences: Lip Service is only on El Mocambo and No Action, Red Shoes, Hand in Hand, Blame it on Cain and Chemistry Class are only on the Warner Concert. Both have the Dallas version of Less than Zero and the Wipeout drum roll version of mystery dance. The Warner concert appears to be the whole show and I suspect that "Live at the El Mocambo" has the song order altered in addition to having a few songs cut. Both concerts are about equal in the quality of the performance. The band sounds deranged and hungry for success on both. It is "pull out the stops" rock and roll in its purest form. Both have mistakes in playing and sound quality-wise the Warner concert has more stage buzzes. There's no doubt that Elvis Costello and the Attractions are at their aggressive cocky best on both shows (The Warner show features Elvis stating, "Are some of you unimpressed?...Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
An open letter to Elvis Costello (not that he'll ever see it or read it).
Good for you Wayne I'm totally with you on this. As a fan of Elvis going back as far as the 78 winterland show with nick lowe and having seen him play probably close to 50 times i've noticed a certain attitude among some fans that reminds me of watching letterman (who i also dig but lately i've... Read More
May 21, 2008 by jed clampett |  See all 7 posts
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This Year's Model
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