Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best & Worst

I like the idea of not just the best by a great band, but the worst as well.


Next up: Best and Worst by The National, The Decemberists, Mark Lanegan, Vampire Weekend, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Rolling Stones, Clarence (Thomas) Carter, Steve Malkmus, and the Ting Tings.


  1. Best Elvis Costello
    Beyond Belief

    Worst Elvis Costello
    The song from the Hugh Grant movie

  2. Actually, I believe the best Elvis Costello song has been scientifically proven to be New Lace Sleeves. Human Hands is runner up. Beyond Belief may be third, or it might be tied for third with No Action.

    But I didn't know about the Hugh Grant movie song. Which one? I like Hugh Grant movies. At least, the RomCom ones. Don't look at me like that.

    Elvis Costello Worst: I really only listen to the albums I like regularly. My Aim Is True though Blood and Chocolate, but not all of them. I never got into Almost Blue the album and I may have actually never heard Goodbye Cruel World. It would be hard to pick a bad one from the group I actually like, but one of them has to be the worst of just them. Since by my own subjective rules I can't in good conscience pick Monkey To Man off Delivery Man, because I don't really listen to that album, I will pick Shipbuilding. I'm sure it is a fine song. I'm sure plenty of people like it for very good reasons, but it kind of bores me.

    For the longest time I didn't like Get Happy. at least not like the other albums. So at one time I would probably pick a song off of that. You know what, I going to go look for a worse song than Shipbuilding from the first 6 albums. Wish me luck.

  3. Even though we aren't united on "Baker Street", we seem to be very EC compatible. I LOVE Human Hands and always skipped Shipbuilding. Did you ever hear Chet Baker's version of "Almost Blue"? Brilliant!

  4. Yeah, Chet Baker's version is awesome. It was in that documentary about him, Let's Get Lost, also good.

    What is cool about New Lace Sleeves is the weird, rambling verse and then the chorus that is also a little rambling and doesn't seem like a chorus until it says New Lace Sleeves at the end. And then because it repeats after another verse you realize, "OK, that's the chorus." It's just an odd song that on paper I wouldn't like but that whole "Slow dances that left no warning of/ outraged glances and indiscreet yawning/ Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere" really gets me. His phrasing on that and Human Hands' "all you toy soldiers and scaremongers/ are you living in this world sometimes I wonder/ In between saying you've seen too much and saying you've seen it all before" is so cool.

    Other than that and a bunch of other things, I have absolutely no opinion.

  5. Wait, you don't like Baker Street? In God's name, why?

  6. I was never a fan of Shabby Doll. And King of America is where he started that really annoying over-breathy thing on his singing which bugs, though I like most of the album.

    I'll go to bat over Shipbuilding though. That is one of his most beautiful songs.

  7. I liked that "Alison" song, but mostly because I'm married to one...

  8. I like Carol by Chuck Berry kind of for that reason. (Nice photo by the way)

    I recognize Shipbuilding has a lot going for it. I will give it another chance. I could never really get into King Of America either. I had college friends that were very into it. That and Truth Decay by T-Bone Burnett. God, they would just go on and on about those 2 albums. Art student, am I right?

  9. Since you mentioned New Lace Sleeves earlier (which I also dig), my favorite on Trust was always Watch Your Step.

  10. Always had a fondness for Whisper To Scream and the strange sounds at the beginning of Big Sister's Clothes. My brother, during a very brief stint of actually liking music, used to like to sing "Shot with his own gun" tunelessly over and over. I'm glad he has since denounced music as boring. Except for Queen.

  11. Jim, You've heard Shipbuilding as much as I have. You are done with it as am I. It's boooorrring.
    As for "King Of America", I am firmly sitting in the "love" it camp. Easily my most played besides my Imperial Bedroom obsession.

    Don't get smart or sarcastic. She bounces back just like elastic. Spare us the theatrics or the verbal gymnastics. We brake wise guys just like matchsticks.

  12. I know EC doesn't seem to get a lot of love for his more out there collaborations, but I have to chime in for a song or two off of The Juliet Letters, with the Brodsky Quartet - Romeo's Seance and Jacksons, Monk and Rowe are particular faves.

    And Marcy, you know what song I'm going to pick as his best in my book - do I even need to say it?

  13. I just looked at the Wikipedia entry for Elvis' discography. Seriously? He's done all that? I have Spike but on vinyl so I haven't heard it in years and years, but everything after that I either have not heard or heard and it didn't stick with me. Maybe it was that breathy quality Pat spoke of.

    I always liked that particular verse in The Loved Ones, Marcy. I don't think I ever knew what he was going on about in that song, though. Sometimes he gets too wordy for his own good. I like Tokyo Storm Warning, but it makes very little sense.


Strongly disagree

http://www.vulture.com/2018/05/rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-artists-ranked-from-best-to-worst.html I have many issues with this ranking but...