Written By Braddon S. Williams

Elvis Costello: This Years Model

Elvis Costello’s second album, This Year’s Model (1978), was his first recording with The Attractions, and the musical muscle they provided for his brilliant songwriting was a perfect match. From the opening snarled words from Costello’s mouth, No Action sets the tone of alienation, frustration, and angst that pervades much of the album.

Literally every song on This Year’s Model is enriched by earworm melodic hooks and deliciously venomous imagery from the angry poet with the horn rimmed glasses and the intellect to present as the punk rock answer to Bob Dylan.

This Year’s Girl, The Beat, Pump It Up, Little Triggers, You Belong To Me, (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea, Lipstick Vogue, and Radio, Radio just stick in your head for days.

Costello went on to explore many musical styles and constantly evolved and grew as a lyricist and songwriter, but for my money, his first 3 albums (and particularly This Year’s Model and Armed Forces) remain the cream of the crop.

https://youtu.be/tSXoRFFTSyo

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

As a writer, songwriter, and all around nerd, I was instantly in awe of Elvis Costello upon first discovering his music while still in high school. Armed Forces was the first one that I bought, and I had one of the first pressings that came with a bonus disc with 3 live songs on it. This was just his second album recorded with The Attractions and it came out in 1979, so I was 17 at the time. Elvis Costello is such a brilliant songwriter; his melodies are so infectious that it can be easy to overlook just how clever his lyrics are. Some of my favorites off this album include Accidents Will Happen, Party Girl, Oliver’s Army, Green Shirt, and Senior Service. His cover of Nick Lowe’s (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding was incredible, too. I have covered it in a couple of bands I have been in, and it is always a blast to play and sing. The live disc had stellar versions of Alison and Watching The Detectives from his first album, and a stripped down piano version of Accidents Will Happen off Armed Forces. This one inspires me still, and probably always will.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind