July 22: Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True (1977)

elvis costello my aim is true

On My Aim Is True, Elvis’ raw energy comes through in a way that’s never completely recaptured on later records. While the songs range from mellow country twang to full-on, spitting assault, there’s a strange cohesiveness to the album simply by virtue of its rough, rushed feel. Although it’s a studio album, there’s a latent energy to Nick Lowe’s production that grants My Aim Is True all the immediacy of a live show.
~Matt LeMay (pitchfork.com)

Elvis Costello’s debut album brought home to me just how timid Little Criminals really is. Costello’s best songs are anything but timid, but they’re as intelligent as some of Newman’s finest, as endearingly elusive in their meanings, and funny in the same bitter, self-deprecating manner. They are also, like Newman’s signature songs, very weird.
~Greil Marcus (rollingstone.com)

.. it’s that his sensibility is borrowed from the pile-driving rock & roll and folksy introspection of pub rockers like Brinsley Schwarz, adding touches of cult singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and David Ackles. Then, there’s the infusion of pure nastiness and cynical humor, which is pure Costello. That blend of classicist sensibilities and cleverness make this collection of shiny roots rock a punk record — it informs his nervy performances and his prickly songs. Of all classic punk debuts, this remains perhaps the most idiosyncratic because it’s not cathartic in sound, only in spirit.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (alldylan.com)

Welcome to the working week
Oh, I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you
Welcome to the working week
You gotta do it till you’re through, so you better get to it
~Elvis Costello (Welcome to the working week)

Welcome to the working week

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July 2: Elvis Costello released “Imperial Bedroom” in 1982

It may not have been a commercial blockbuster, but it certainly earned the respect of legions of musicians and critics who would have previously disdained such a punk rocker. And, perhaps, that’s also the reason that he abandoned this immaculately crafted style of work on his next album, Punch the Clock.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom is really a mansion, each of whose rooms is decorated with painstaking care and detail by the artist. In every aspect of this masterfully wrought, conceptually audacious project, he’s managed to bulwark his emotional directness with vision and clarity — and to make an album that lingers and haunts long after the last note has died out. Like a long, episodic novel — or a long, episodic relationship — you can look back when it’s over and measure how far you’ve traveled.
-Parke Puterbaugh (rollingstone.com)

Man Out of Time:

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20 Songs Released in 1981 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

1981 was not a great year in music for me, but still some wonderful albums & singles were relesed. Here are my 20 chosen songs.

    • Every Grain of Sand – Bob Dylan

      Written by Bob Dylan, recorded in Los Angeles in the spring of 1981 and released in August of that year on Dylan’s album Shot of Love.

      The love in “Every Grain of Sand,” though firmly rooted in Dylan’s conversion experience and his Bible studies, immediately and obviously reaches beyond its context to communicate a deeply felt devotional spirit based on universal experiences: pain of self-awareness, and sense of wonder or awe at the beauty of the natural world.
      -Paul Williams (Bob Dylan, performing artist:The Middle Years )


      In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
      When the pool of tears beneath my feet floods every newborn seed
      There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
      Toiling in the danger and the morals of despair


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20 Songs Released in 1979 You Must Hear





My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A lot of wonderful music was released in 1979, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • And the Healing Has Begun – Van Morrison

    Released on his 1979 album, Into the Music.

    And we’ll walk down the avenue again
    And we’ll sing all the songs from way back when
    And we’ll walk down the avenue again and the healing has begun
    And we’ll walk down the avenue in style
    And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile
    And we’ll say “baby, ain’t it all worthwhile?” when the healing has begun
    I want you to put on your pretty summer dress
    You can wear your Easter bonnet and all the rest
    And I want to make love to you yes, yes, yes, when the healing has begun




    Continue reading “20 Songs Released in 1979 You Must Hear”

20 Songs Released in 1978 You Must Hear





My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A lot of wonderful music was released in 1978, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) – Bob Dylan

    Released on his brilliant album “Street-Legal” in 1978.

    Señor, señor
    Can you tell me where we’re headin’?
    Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?
    Seems like I been down this way before
    Is there any truth in that, señor?


    Spotify:


    And lets include a brilliant live version from London 1978:


    Continue reading “20 Songs Released in 1978 You Must Hear”

20 Songs Released in 1977 You Must Hear





My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A lot of exciting music was released in 1977, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • Like a Hurricane – Neil Young

    Written by Neil Young in 1975 and first released on the album American Stars ‘n Bars in 1977.

    Once I thought I saw you
    in a crowded hazy bar,
    Dancing on the light
    from star to star.
    Far across the moonbeam
    I know that’s who you are,
    I saw your brown eyes
    turning once to fire.




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