“Several of the songs on Get Happy had been played on the mysteriously named “Armed Funk Tour” in the spring of 1979, our last American trip for over two years. However our first trial sessions revealed our “road” arrangements to be trite, brittle, and uncomfortably close to the rapidly dating style which was now called “New Wave”. The decision to change was not exactly agonized over. It took a few drinks, a handful of old Stax singles (which I had recently bought in Camden Town) and our copies of Motown Chartbusters vol. 3 for us to imagine that we could quickly find a new blueprint for the album.” —  Elvis Costello (from the Rykodisc liner notes)

And so goes the infinite circle that is music. In the thirty years since Get Happy’s release I have to wonder how many bands reworked their own sound after picking up a couple of Costello records. “Girls Talk” off the reissue….

MP3: Elvis Costello :: Girls Talk
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7 Responses to “Elvis Costello :: Girls Talk”

  1. Of ALL the great records in EC’s catalog, GET HAPPY is the one I’d make sure to grab before heading off on that 3 hour tour with Gilligan and the Skipper!!!

  2. Isn’t girls talk in Taking Liberties?

  3. From Dave Edmunds “Repeat When Necessary”… now that is a record you should look at.

  4. For some reason, despite his catalog of great music, this is one of my favorite EC songs. I can’t even tell you how happy it made me when I saw him live in early 00’s and he played it.

  5. No doubt. Now, can we get a EC tour covering all of Blood & Chocolate? I’d quit my job to follow the band for this endeavor…

  6. I’m glad to see someone write about Get Happy!, which has always been, I think, a bit of a forgotten record in his discography.

    For my money, I don’t know if the band ever sounded better than they did on the first 7 tracks (“Love For Tender” through “Men Called Uncle”) which seem to blur by in about 10 minutes….they are just on fire, especially Steve Nieve.

  7. A guilty pleasure of mine is Linda Ronstadt’s 1980 attempt at Punk and New Wave Mad Love.. My dad bought this on cassette and my 12-year-old self had a huge crush on the whole album. I wouldn’t learn until years later the controversy around this album from her fans as well as Elvis Costello. The record is obviously an attempt to cash in on the New Wave trend and she didn’t stay in this phase for very long. She didn’t write any of the songs on it. Her inclusion of three Elvis Costello songs (“Party Girl”, “Girls Talk”, and “Talking in the Dark”) that fit the tone and style of the album was not welcomed by Costello. She had used “Alison” by Costello on her previous album “Living in the U.S.A., too.

    I can’t find the specific quotes– but he said something like the only bad thing about her versions was that she sang them.

    In any event, her covers of Costello would introduce me to his music.

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