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Classic Album Reviews: Elvis Costello & the Attractions | Get Happy!! / Trust / Punch the Clock Deluxe Editions

Like their predecessors, these supersized reissued are a Costellophile's dream.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


THE YEARS: 1980 / 1981 / 1983.

THE STORIES: Get happy, indeed. Elvis Costello fans have plenty to celebrate with the release of three more albums from the singer-songwriter’s varied and voluminous back catalogue. Like their predecessors, these renovated classics are a Costellophile’s dream — the original tunes have been superbly remastered, Elvis himself pens the lengthy liner notes, and there’s a disc of bonus cuts in each set. The best of the batch is Get Happy!!, with its blend of punky adrenaline and R&B grooves, but the cynically civilized Trust and the horn-fuelled pop of Punch The Clock are also worthy contenders.

THE GOODIES: Get Happy!! has gems like Love For Tenders, The Imposter, High Fidelity and I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down; Trust offers favourites like Clubland, Watch Your Step, New Lace Sleeves and From A Whisper To A Scream; Punch The Clock delivers the bona fide hit Everyday I Write The Book, along with Let Them All Talk and the exquisitely sad Shipbuilding.

THE EXTRAS: Plenty. Get Happy!! — famous at the time for packing 20 songs onto an LP — has been stuffed with 30, count ’em, 30 demos, live recordings, alternate takes and B-Sides, including classics like Girls Talk and Hoover Factory. Punch The Clock isn’t far behind with 26 extra tracks, while Trust checks in with a paltry (at least by comparison) 17 cuts. In any case, there’s little doubt Elvis is truly the king — of the reissues.

 

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