Day Two of the 30 Day Music Challenge calls for ‘A Song You Like With a Number in the Title.’ I had many options from which to choose, from Wilco’s ‘The Lonely 1′ to Barenaked Ladies’ ‘If I Had $1,000,000’ and everything in between.
I opted to go with ‘5ive Gears in Reverse’ from Elvis Costello’s excellent Get Happy!! album, because Costello was so committed to the number in the title that he replaced the ‘F’ in ‘Five’ with a 5.
My #1 album of 1980 was an easy call, considering it’s one of my very favorite albums by one of my very favorite artists.
Elvis Costello’s fourth studio album, Get Happy!!, doesn’t exactly capture the sound of the 70s giving way to the 80s (it’s a throwback to the R&B and soul records of the 60s) but it’s a blast start to finish, showcasing Costello at his peak both lyrically and musically.
The Random iTunes Man is going all theme weekend on me.
Here’s another track from Elvis Costello, this time from the excellent Get Happy!!. Listening to it has me thinking I ranked this album too low on my list of favorite 80s records. Isn’t that always the case? Whatever you’re enjoying in the moment feels like the best thing ever, until you move on to the next thing.
That’s what makes lists kind of ridiculous. Of course it’s never stopped me from obsessively compiling them.
Best Albums of the 80s – #11
Get Happy!! – Elvis Costello (1980)
Elvis Costello makes his first appearance on this list at #11, but trust me, it won’t be his last. The 80s proved to be the man’s strongest decade by far.
Get Happy!!, Costello’s fourth album, typified the sort of stylistic shifts he had already made on his early records and continues to make to this day. Having explored punk and new wave (filtered, as always, through his own cerebral sensibility) on This Year’s Model and Armed Forces, he turned his attention to R&B.
I wondered how long it would take the Random iTunes Man to settle on an Elvis Costello song.
I have 536 songs performed and/or written by Elvis Costello in my iTunes collection, even more than the 520-something I have by Bob Dylan. You’d think that those two would pop up with some regularity. But through three and a half months of Random Weekends, each of them has come up only once.