Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Armed Forces (1979)
Spectacular Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming
There’s a line in the 1995 movie Money Train that made an impression on me as a youngin’.
When he was complaining about a lifetime of following in his brother’s footsteps, Woody Harrelson’s character explained, “my ceiling is always your floor.”
To which Wesley Snipes said something along the lines of “then move out of the maple fudgin’ building.”
While Wesley’s less-than-compassionate reply likely made me laugh at the time, Woody’s line was the one that kept me thinking about what it would be like to live in someone else’s shadow.
If Declan Patrick MacManus didn’t feel like following in someone else’s footsteps, choosing a stage name of “Elvis” was a curious choice.
Was this Elvis’s ceiling the other’s floor? Or vice versa?
Well, beyond their stage names, I wouldn’t say the musical Elvises live in the same maple fudgin’ building.
But looking at Elvis Costello on his own, particularly after hearing Armed Forces, the ceilings & floors metaphor may still apply.
What I’ve realized?
Elvis Costello has an impressively high floor, though the ceilings aren’t outrageously high.
This Year’s Model, likely my least favourite of the bunch, represents the low point at about a 7.5/10. I’d be happy to have a floor so high!
My Aim is True, likely my preference of the lot, would probably earn about an 8.5-9.0/10. Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not off the charts either.
The rest of the albums from this week’s series, Armed Forces included, would fall somewhere in between.
To which an optimist might say, what admirable consistency!
But consistently good, rather than great.
Which means, as a tenant in an Elvis Costello building, although I wouldn’t be rushing to move out, I also wouldn’t be rushing to spend all of my free time in the relatively high-floored/low-ceilinged living quarters.
Verbalize the Positive
Someone whose generosity doesn’t appear to have any sort of ceiling? That would be Aaron @ keepsmealive.
A few weeks ago, a care package of musical goodies arrived at my house. Included in the parcel? A working 8-track cartridge of Armed Forces!
So while I liked this album, I’m a much bigger fan of all the nice things Aaron does for so many of us bloggers & the many ways he constantly builds community. Or as he would say, COMMUNITY!