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Let’s first address the 800 lb gorilla in the room: Elvis Costello’s catalog has notoriously, in the last decade, been reissued, repackaged, re-reissued, re-repackaged, and then some…if you’re keeping score the latest “reissues” came out less than a year ago. Every few years, each reissue again touts itself as the “definitive” and/or “deluxe” edition, boasting outtakes, live material, demos, et al. As frustrating as it is for the fans, there are, in fact, gems to be had if one can stomach re-purchasing various versions of the same albums multiple times. For example, check out the live, solo piano version, below, of Costello performing “Accidents Will Happen” off disc II of second Armed Forces reissue.

Corporate greed aside, Costello’s early albums, themselves, remain as vital as they were three decades ago. I was just reminded of this while listening to 1979′s Armed Forces (that would be, ahem, the 2-disc 2002 reissue, mind you), when the one-two punch of the back to back “Green Shirt” and “Party Girl” kicked in. Costello’s lyricism and delivery, his knack for communicating both the subtle and overt, in the medium of pop music, is rarely, if ever, matched. His biting, acerbic, wit at times cuts straight in, but more often than not works its way in sideways and twists a little. Which is, of course, Costello’s forte’.

Related:
Elvis Costello :: Armed Forces Revisited

Download:
MP3: Elvis Costello :: Green Shirt
MP3: Elvis Costello :: Party Girl

MP3:
Elvis Costello :: Accidents Will Happen (live, piano solo)
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Amazon: Elvis Costello – Armed Forces (2002 Reissue)

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Elvis Costello :: Allison (Live) – Costello’s First Television Performance (1977)

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4 Responses to “Elvis Costello :: Green Shirt/Party Girl – 1979”

  1. That performance is really quite beautiful. You know the fella’s got to be nervous up there, but he doesn’t show it.

    incidentally, I’m going to go with the “2&1/2 Years” box that Ryko put out some years ago as my favorite reissue. It comprises the first three studio albums with b-sides plus the Live at El Macombo show that was recorded in Toronto just before the release of “This Years Model.” Also, each of the inset sleeves opens up into a nifty mini poster. The first one ended up over my buddy’s commode.

  2. With all these reissues, the track that hasn’t been digitized is the remix of “Green Shirt” that was released as a 12″ single on green vinyl! Most copies of these are now severely damaged unless they were removed from the heavy duty plastic sleeves which dissolved into the vinyl grooves — so much for wacky 80s pre-CD packaging. If anyone knows if it has been legitimately released since then, I would love to hear it again!

  3. Is this version of Accidents from the “Live at Hollywood High” 45 that came with the original version of Armed Forces? I still rue the day that I stupidly tossed that piece of tasty vinyl …..

  4. yeah, on disc two of that ’02 reissue. widely available in a used record store near you

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