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Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Brutal Youth (1994)

February 10, 2017


Spectacular Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


[Album 513/1001]

“This is hell, this is hell
I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse
But you get used to it after a spell”
– Elvis Costello, This is hell

When I listen to Brutal Youth, I inevitably think of the bells of hell.

Or Hells Bells.


Because a couple of years ago, I bought this cassette for $1, at Aux 33 Tours in Montreal, mere hours before seeing AC (lightning bolt) DC!

Montreal road trip with a great friend? $1 tape at an excellent record store? Acca Dacca association?

Obviously it doesn’t get much better than that in my books!



Although easier said than done, with Brutal Youth, I’ve done my best to separate my listening experience from the purchase experience.

Even if I’ve failed to separate the two, Elvis Costello certainly succeeded in creating another solid album.

However, I’m starting to think that another pattern is starting to emerge in the Costello discography:220px-brutalyouth

While listening to Brutal Youth was far from a hellish experience, I am sorry to tell you, it never gets better or worse with Elvis Costello.

I’m still trying to process if that’s a gentle criticism or a modest compliment.

I’m not sure if I should be praising his ability to remain relevant for so many decades or complaining that I can never get quite as excited about Elvis as I do about, say, Angus Young & co.

I suppose I’ll figure it out eventually.

If not, perhaps I’ll at least get used to it after a spell.


Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate Victim of the Fury’s recent post, highlighting some of his music influencers. I could not agree more with his three choices!

From → 1990s

  1. My question to you Geoff is, do you think there is an over prevalence of Costello albums in the book. I do personally (and I’m a fan).

    • When I saw there were only 4 Morrissey-solo albums on the 1001, I thought it was an outrage, only 4!
      But through the lens of “must” hear to get a perspective of how music shaped the world for 50 years, even with my beloved Moz, 1 would probably suffice, as none were dramatically signing a shift in the music world. The same could likely be said with Elvis

  2. Separating the listening experience from the purchasing experience isn’t very easy. I’ve found that it only gets more difficult if it’s an album that I don’t tend to listen to often – always has the memory attached to it then.

    • Though if the memory’s as positive as it is in this case for me, it’s not doing Elvis any disservice!

  3. Thanks very much for the mention! Never heard this one — I have been intimidated by the sheer number of EC albums and have thus have opted to stand pat with the first two and a few more chance pick-ups from the used CD bins.

    • My pleasure!
      It’s astonishing how many albums he has produced – I remember thinking, 6 albums on the 1001? Why so many? Turns out, it’s a fraction of the discography!

  4. Don’t think I’ve ever heard this one. Based on this, I don’t know if I really need to!

    But I am ALL in favour of trips to Montreal. Whether it was to see AC/DC or not, I would go to Montreal ANY TIME!

    • Which was my reaction as well when my friend Andy suggested it – road trip? Montreal?? And ACDC??? Talk about an effortless decision!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Armed Forces (1979) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 417 albums in 4 years! | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime (1994) & Rocket from the Crypt – Scream, Dracula, Scream! (1995) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. 1994 | 1001albumsin10years

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