Song of the Day #3,794: ‘Watch Your Step’ – Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello produced my second-favorite album of 1981, and just a few months earlier, he released my favorite.

Costello’s fifth album, Trust, is similar to Squeeze’s East Side Story in that it’s a New Wave record dabbling in a host of other genres. Squeeze lead singer Glenn Tilbrook even duets with Costello on the fun track ‘From a Whisper to a Scream.’

Trust flew under the radar at the time of its release, but it has been very well regarded in retrospect. Several critics have gone so far as to call it Costello’s best work.

I’ll stop short of that — I put a few albums ahead of it — but it is definitely in my top five. It features some of my favorite Costello tracks, most notably the fantastic ‘New Lace Sleeves,’ which has to be in the running for the title of his best song, period.

Other highlights include ‘Clubland,’ ‘Big Sister’s Clothes,’ ‘You’ll Never Be a Man,’ ‘Shot With His Own Gun’ and today’s SOTD, ‘Watch Your Step.’ Trust would make a fine introductory album for anybody unfamiliar with Costello’s work.

As you’ll see over the next two weeks, I missed out on a lot of 1981 releases, but I have no doubt that Trust will maintain the top spot no matter how many I discover.

Don’t say a word
Don’t say anything
Don’t say a word
I’m not even listening
I read in the paper about their escape
They’re just two bits of kids from a bunch of sour grapes
You better watch your step

Watch who’s knocking on your front door
Now you know that they’re watching
What are you waiting for?
Think you’re young and original
Get out before
They get to watch your step

Every day is full of fun
And family spies
They’re making heroes out of fall guys
They say it’s good for business
From Singapore to Widnes
You better watch your step

Broken noses hung up on the wall
Back-slapping drinkers cheer the heavyweight brawl
So punch drunk they don’t understand at all
You better watch your step

Every night
Go out full of carnival desires
End up in the closing time choirs
When you’re kicking in the car chrome
And you’re drinking down the Eau de Cologne
And you’re spitting out the Kodachrome
You better watch your step

I send you all my regards
You’re so tough
You’re so hard
Listen to the hammers falling in the breaker’s yard
You better watch your step
You better watch your step
Ooh, watch your step

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,794: ‘Watch Your Step’ – Elvis Costello

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I agree with all you’ve said. Trust is a great reflection of where Costello had been and where he would be going, musically speaking.

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