Issued for the first time in 1980, Get Happy!! was Elvis Costello’s fourth album, and (to me) the one signaling the end of his purple years. Granted, his biggest hits were yet to come, but those were to be sporadic successes. The string of consecutive Top 10 singles ended here with his cover of “I Can’t Stand Up (For Falling Down)”. The sound of the album also marks the first detour from Elvis’ “classic” New Wave sounds, as some R & B inflections are very evident throughout.
The original LP has 20 tracks. Many last little more than 2 minutes, and some are even shorter than that. Absolutely nothing has a chance of getting on your nerves, and the one “long” track (in the context of the album, obviously) is the set closer. The song is named “Riot Act” and it is one of Elvis’ most balanced lyrics from the period. Content and form are perfectly interweaved, and the disc couldn’t finish on a higher note. Continue reading