For a small monthly price, I now have practically every song or album I’ll ever want to hear at my fingertips. I can listen to new releases by artists I might have otherwise never heard, and I can dive deep into the catalogs of great artists, unburdened by the costs that used to come with being a completist.
[Note: I am forgoing my usual April Fools’ Day post this year, in part because I’m in the middle of a Decades countdown and in part because the world seems to have turned into a giant, cruel prank without me needing to pile on.]
Elvis Costello’s Punch the Clock followed what may be his best album, Imperial Bedroom, by just a year, and in that context it can’t help but be a bit of a letdown. But it’s plenty good enough to land at #3 on my list of the best albums of 1983.
It’s a testament to the depth of Costello’s catalog that a song this good can end up as a forgotten B-side, and also that after months of Costello Weekends, plenty of Random Weekend appearances, and a bunch of other Song of the Day posts, I still have to much great material of his to mine.
Costello’s 1984 Goodbye Cruel World was sandwiched between Imperial Bedroom and Punch the Clock on one side and King of America and Blood and Chocolate on the other, so it’s hard to begrudge the man one misstep in the midst of such greatness.
‘Pidgin English’ is the 13th track on Elvis Costello’s briliant 1982 album Imperial Bedroom. This is an album on which Costello was working at the very peak of his powers, channeling his mad musical visions into addicting cerebral ear candy.
As YouTube commenter Vincent Straziuso writes about this track, “How do you imagine this song pull it out of the ether and write this???”