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Goodbye Cruel World [Rhino Bonus Disc]
     

Goodbye Cruel World [Rhino Bonus Disc]

by Elvis Costello & the Attractions
 

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In his liner notes, Elvis Costello warns listeners that this is his "worst album," a tongue-in-cheek stab at critics who panned it upon its original release. Sniping aside, Goodbye Cruel World has stood the test of time rather well, particularly the demi-hit "The Only Flame in Town," which is presented here in three distinctly different versions. The bonus disc

Overview

In his liner notes, Elvis Costello warns listeners that this is his "worst album," a tongue-in-cheek stab at critics who panned it upon its original release. Sniping aside, Goodbye Cruel World has stood the test of time rather well, particularly the demi-hit "The Only Flame in Town," which is presented here in three distinctly different versions. The bonus disc contains a pair of those, a lounge-flavored demo and a nicely swinging live version. While live material isn't a dominant part of the overall picture here, the nuggets that are unearthed are certainly worthwhile, particularly a shuddery take on "Worthless Thing." The meatier vault offerings are demo versions -- some of which, such as "I Hope You're Happy Now," wouldn't surface until much later -- and oddball pairings like the recruitment of Madness on a jaunty version of that band's "Tomorrow's Just Another Day." Like all of Rhino's Costello reissues, Goodbye Cruel World is outfitted with liner notes by the artist -- and the intricate song-by-song analysis presented here is especially illuminating.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Goodbye Cruel World is generally regarded as Elvis Costello's worst album, even by the man himself -- at least it was upon the first expanded reissue of the notorious 1984 belly flop, when he wrote in the liner notes to Rykodisc/Demon's 1995 edition, "Congratulations! You just bought the worst album of my career." When it came time to assemble the double-disc Rhino reissue of Goodbye Cruel World in 2004, he recanted somewhat, claiming that "with the benefit of a little more distance I am able to say that this is probably the worst record that I could have made of a decent bunch of songs." To a certain extent this is spin from rock's greatest spinster and leading wannabe rock critic, but Costello has a point -- the bonus disc here is indeed better than the finished album, cutting closer to the emotional quick of the songs. Which isn't to say that this is as cohesive as the finished album, since it's not: it's a 26-track clearing-house of B-sides, alternate versions, demos, and live tracks, containing nine of the ten bonus tracks from the Ryko issue ("Deportee" being moved to the reissue of King of America) and a grand total of 16 previously unreleased tracks. The only new tune to Goodbye Cruel World that has been previously released is Costello's duet with Madness on "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)," which is not the only time that ska revival is heard here, since Elvis covers a tune by The Specials "What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend" during a solo acoustic concert that provides the final six tracks on this bonus disc (four of which were on the Rhino edition). These are good live tracks, but the heart of this bonus disc is in the middle, during a selection of demos that roughly run from track eight to track 20 and include early versions of nine of the 14 songs that made it to the finished album. Stripped of the glossy Clive Langer/Alan Winstanley production and given spare, direct arrangements, the songs sound stark and moody, altogether stronger than they did on the finished album. Added to these nine songs are handful of unheard songs and working versions, plus a studio cover of John Hiatt's "She Loves the Jerk" and a previously released cover of Richard Thompson's "Withered and Died." This stretch of songs can be called the divorce album that Costello wrote but did not record in 1984, but since it's buffered by amiable B-sides and a good live show -- and also because these songs are by now familiar -- it doesn't quite have the impact it would have if it had been released as an album styled like King of America. It does make for good, even revelatory listening, a better album than the released Goodbye Cruel World and one of the better bonus discs in this series of Rhino reissues.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/03/2004
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227648626
catalogNumber:
76486

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Costello & the Attractions   Primary Artist
Elvis Costello   Guitar,Vocals,Anvil,Group Member
Daryl Hall   Vocals
Gary Barnacle   Saxophone,Electric Saxophone,Group Member
Green Gartside   Vocals
Luis Jardim   Percussion,Group Member
Nick Lowe   Bass,Vocals
Jimmy Paterson   Trombone,Group Member
Bruce Thomas   Bass Guitar,Group Member
Pete Thomas   Drums,Group Member
Maurice Worm   Group Member

Technical Credits

Joan Rivers   Contributor
Elvis Costello   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
John Hiatt   Composer
Richard Thompson   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Clive Langer   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Phil Spector   Composer
Mike Barson   Composer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
Jerry Dammers   Composer
Colin Fairley   Producer
Frank Haywood   Composer
Bill Inglot   Producer
Nick Lowe   Producer
Doc Pomus   Composer
Andrew Sandoval   Producer
Alan Winstanley   Producer,Audio Production
B. Williams   Composer
Imposter   Producer
Mono-Kings   Producer
Carl "Chas Smash" Smyth   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Ernest Tucker   Composer
Gary Stewart   Reissue Producer
Val Jennings   Reissue Producer
Farnell Jenkins   Composer

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