Friday, September 16, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 24)

Elvis Costello will be receiving a coveted first-ever three-day residency in this series because I just can't seem to be able to whittle down what I want to play. For day two, here are a couple from the 7" pile. First up is "Live at Hollywood High." The three-song EP (played at 33 1/3) was a limited-edition bonus included with the first pressings of the 1979 album 'Armed Forces.' I bought a used copy of that album in 1983, and the former owner was apparently kind enough to include the rare artifact when he sold it to the shop. As I mentioned last time, I sold off most of my Costello vinyl in 1989. The next owner of that copy of 'Armed Forces' wasn't quite so lucky. I kept the 7" and have had it in my possession for some 33 years. If you end up liking this one, I suggest you pick up the entire 20 song 'Live at Hollywood High' CD Hip-O Select released in 2010. Really good stuff.

"Watching the Detectives" (Live)
"Accidents Will Happen" (Live)
"Alison" (Live)

We have discussed this before, but when it comes to music, I'm always in awe of Costello's encyclopedic knowledge and impeccable taste. I don't mind telling you his choice of covers through the years has taught me much about genres I grew to love because of him. Not long after the release of 'Imperial Bedroom,' Costello and the lads put out a faithful cover of "Head to Toe," a deep track from 'Going to a Go-Go,' one of the best albums Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ever put to wax. This was, in part, to promote the 'Imperial Bedroom' tour of the UK in the fall of 1982. In fact, a list of all the tour dates can be found on the back cover. It wasn't a huge hit (No. 43), and the 7" wasn't released here in America at all. I got this one in the import section of a local shop in 1983, and I was proud to be the only one in my group of school pals (and loyal fans) to have it. Yep, it's the envy that I remember. The B-side is another cover, this time written by the ever-popular team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and made a little famous by Sissie Houston and much more famous by Amen Corner.

"Head to Toe"
"The World of Broken Hearts"

Let's listen to one more group of singles by "The Man" next time.


JC said...

will add more later to this and the earlier EC posting.

Great to see the love for 'Head to Toe'. A superb little bit of pop music and long been one of my songs to cheer me up no matter how foul my mood.

drew said...

God I love Alison!

The Swede said...

Always loved that version of 'Accidents Will Happen'.

kevinpat said...

Elvis does Smokey. Beloved Motown track, also done by Chris Clark, although it pales to the Robinson. And yes on the Elvis covers. He always manages to salvage a great song that otherwise got lost on an album or gets obscure & neglected. Beside talented, a smart man. A curious side note: What would make such a big music lover give up a vinyl Elvis Costello collection? No judgment here, just curious. Expanded CD versions? Loss of love for Elvis? Hmmmm??

And the live Elvis is always cool. One early Elvis show I saw he aimed and swung a search light on the crowd for "Lipstick Vogue". Blinded the crowd. I thought that was so cool. Much better than spitting on the crowd which some punk bands obnoxiously did. Hahahahah. I love Elvis. (not that dead one)

kevinpat said...

A side comment. The other night I saw a Matthew Sweet set in Daryl's Place. Great show. Loud and rather fast. A bunch of bald headed men whined it was too loud and they didn't like the mix. Wah wah wah. Despite a new album to add to the 10 or so he has, he stuck primarily to the first two, which was perfect. Time Capsule, I Wanted To Tell You, Evangeline, Girlfriend, Sick of Myself, Divine Intervention, Knowing People and my favorite Sweet song, Someone To Pull The Trigger. It was a blast. All band. Very little interaction with audience. Just one great song after another.I had fun. And I think it's supposed to be loud, gramps.