Armed ForcesElvis Costello

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Format: Vinyl LP

Armed Forces was the last title in a trilogy of albums that rank with the greatest three-LP series in pop-rock history. In retrospect, it also now appears to be the one on which the young Costello's pop tendencies peaked, right before they began to "mature" and grow less accessible. "Accidents Will Happen" features a melody line as beautiful as any ever written; "Oliver's Army" easily competes with the best of Abba and Brian Wilson among pop masterpieces. This is also where Costello's early themes--most notably romantic rejection equated with the horrors of neo-Nazism and modern politics--came together most precisely (the album's working title was "Emotional Fascism"). Rhino does its usual superb job, with wonderful remastering, in-depth liner notes by Costello himself (including a catty paragraph about famous groupie-author Bebe Buell, who often claims this album is about her), and a second disc of concurrent singles and alternate versions. Best of all are nine live tracks from the legendary June 4, 1978, Hollywood High School show, fully documenting that Costello & the Attractions were once among the all-time dynamic live rock acts
LP1
1Accidents Will Happen
2Senior Service
3Oliver's Army
4Big Boys
5Green Shirt
6Party Girl
7Goon Squad
8Busy Bodies
9Sunday's Best
10Moods For Moderns
11Chemistry Class
12Two Little Hitlers
13(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding
LP2
1Accidents Will Happen
2Alison
3Watching The Detectives