The Cover Of The Book. The Picture Comes From The "Nonsuch" Photo Shot.
Named after one of Andy’s most ethereal compositions, this book (first released in 1992) stands as a moving portrait of a band that is incredibly cerebral, and yet has the ability to tug at your heartstrings like few bands in history. That contradiction comes as no surprise. The story of XTC involves the clash between ideals and reality, and that is something that comes across very vividly on this book.
The book has 188 pages. It includes 10 chapters, two sections of black & white photographs and a discography at the end. It begins out of chronological order (the first chapter deals with Andy’s breakdown) and then the story properly starts and it is run without detours or digressions. It is also an “authorized” biography – the book was compiled from interviews with the band members and their families. And most key figures like Todd Rundgren and Steve Lillywhite are also among the interviewees.Continue reading →
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 →