Elvis Costello

Armed Forces - Radar 1979

Tracks: 1. Accidents Will Happen / 2. Senior Service / 3. Oliver's Army / 4. Big Boys / 5. Green Shirt / 6. Party Girl / 7. Goon Squad / 8. Busy Bodies / 9. Sunday's Best / 10. Moods For Moderns / 11. Chemistry Class / 12. Two Little Hitlers / 13. What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love And Understanding


Elvis Costello's third album, "Armed Forces" is, like all his early albums, inspired and full of fine songs. Nick Lowe produced Costello's first five albums and thus he played a big part in securing Costello artistic and commercial success. In contrast to the raw and slightly punky sound of the first two albums a more produced and polished sound characterizes this album.

You might thus well fear that Costello's music would lose some of the edge that made him interesting and relevant in the first place. This is by no means the case, partly because his songwriting on this album is so strong, probably the most consistent of any of his numerous albums.

Songs like "Accidents Will Happen" and "Oliver's Army" with its Abba sound are well-known classics, but several of the lesser known songs also have a durability that makes them great listening still and songs you may feel like singing along with. "Busy Bodies," "Two Little Hitlers" and the magnificent "Chemistry Class" are among my absolute Costello favourites. In fact there is only one or two songs on this highly successful album which do not quite hold level. "Moods of the Modern's" has never really been my cup of tea, and "Goon Squad" is a rather ordinary rocker.

As an added bonus, this edition features Costello's version of Nick Lowe's legendary "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding" - a song originally found on Brinsley Schwarz's last album.

If you think you could settle for just one Costello album, "Armed Forces" would be a good

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