Elvis Costello And The Attractions Goodbye Cruel World on 180g LP
Remastered from the Original Master Tapes!
Elvis Costello wasn't in a happy place when he began writing Goodbye Cruel World. His marriage collapsed between the record's start and finish. He was also dealing with what he deems the "dreadful 80s" – a period in which the importance of videos trumped musical merit, the government in his native England engaged in controversial conflicts, and nuclear threats hovered over daily life like a black cloud. What possible good came out of the age? An underrated yet smart batch of songs that stands up to many of the singer-songwriter's better-known works.
Produced by the hit-making team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, Goodbye Cruel World reflects the polish of the day in places but now reveals a deeper soulfulness, grit, and honesty. Such aspects particularly come to fore on multiple tunes featuring saxophonists Gary Barnacle, trombonist Jim Paterson, and percussionist Luis Jardim – the very first guests ever welcomed on an Attractions album.
With added instrumental assistance, Costello and Co. traverse styles ranging from rambunctious new-wave rock ("The Deportees Club") to frisky New Orleans-derived blues ("Sour Milk Cow Blues") to suave, jazzy pop ("The Only Flame In Town"). In the closing "Peace In Our Time," a sobering albeit optimistic song whose verses still apply to contemporary times, Costello crafts the finale to a socio-politically conscious trilogy that began with "Shipbuilding" and "Pills and Soap."