Thursday, April 19, 2012

Elvis Costello and the Attractions Armed Forces

For those that missed the first posts, I'm doing an homage a day to the 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine list of the top 500 albums ever, one LP a day until I've been through them all. Let me know how they still stand up, and whether you'd include the albums on a list like that! For the original list, go here.

Armed Forces

Armed Forces is Elvis Costello's third album, his second with the Attractions, and the first to officially credit the Attractions on the cover. It was released in the UK by Radar Records and in the U.S. by Columbia in 1979 (see 1979 in music). The American version deleted "Sunday's Best" and substituted Costello's version of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," which had been released the previous November as the B-side of Nick Lowe's "American Squirm" single, at the end of side two. The album had the working title Emotional Fascism.

Initial pressings of the album in the UK and U.S. included a promotional three-song single, Live at Hollywood High, which was recorded on 4 June 1978 (1978-06-04). The live tracks, also produced by Nick Lowe, are "Accidents Will Happen," "Alison," and "Watching the Detectives". The UK edition also included 4 postcards featuring pictures of the band. In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Elliott's brother, Michael (played by Robert MacNaughton), sings "Accidents Will Happen" in the family kitchen after coming home from school.

In 2000 Q magazine placed Armed Forces at number 45 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 482 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time

All songs written by Elvis Costello, except as noted.
Side one

1. "Accidents Will Happen" – 3:00
2. "Senior Service" – 2:17
3. "Oliver's Army" – 2:58
4. "Big Boys" – 2:54
5. "Green Shirt" – 2:42
6. "Party Girl" – 3:20

Side two

1. "Goon Squad" – 3:14
2. "Busy Bodies" – 3:33
3. "Sunday's Best" – 3:22
4. "Moods for Moderns" – 2:48
5. "Chemistry Class" – 2:55
6. "Two Little Hitlers" – 3:18
7. "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" (Nick Lowe)

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