Elvis Costello and the Attractions Almost Blue on Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity! Original Master Recording! Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve!
Costellos Soulful Country & Western Covers Album Tackles Standard Tunes by George Jones, Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, and More!
Expertly played 1981 set marks the second of the Encyclopedic Pop Musicians many forays into multiple styles.
Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Knockout Sonics Present Costellos Close-Up Vocals, Steve Nieves Piano, and the Pedal-Steel Guitars in Great Relief.
Elvis Costello was so enamored with American country music when he finally discovered it, he was motivated to record Almost Blue. Renowned as one of the most passionate and enthusiastic covers albums ever made, the 12-song set finds the iconic singer/songwriter interpreting standards by the likes of Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and other legends. Replete with heartbreak, lonesomeness, boozing, cheating, and dreaming, its laden with country and westerns customary themes and dignified by one of the finest performances of Costello and the Attractions peerless career.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited edition 180g LP opens up the soundstages, clears previously muddled midrange frequencies, and places the imaging of the various country-tuned instruments into clear focus. For the first time, listeners can hear just how much of himself Costello invests in the vocal performances, while the Attractions dont miss a beat, particularly pianist Steve Nieve and guest musician John McFee. Moreover, the strings (when employed) take on new life, and the records cover art, a take-off on Kenny Burrells Midnight Blue, is faithfully reproduced.
At the time of the albums recording in 1981, Costello was admittedly emotionally shattered. The title of the effort isnt merely coincidental. Feeling dejected and disenchanted, the vocalist had been put through the ringer: His pop stardom yielded one incredible record after another, but Costellos marriage was in tatters, his behavior deplorable, and his reputation tarnished by a famous drunken incident that shamed him for decades. In addition, he chose to follow his string of original LPs up with the soul- and R&B-minded Get Happy, a creative masterwork that nonetheless caused some of his mainstream fans to believe hed abandon his hit-making pedigree.
So he did what any self-respecting, astute musician would want to do: Cut a country and western record steeped in heartbreak, fragility, sadness, despair, and beer-glass-raising spirit. Largely informed by the stacks of country LPs he bought in used shops during U.S. tours, and in the ideal frame of mind, Costello sought out not to make standards such as Sweet Dreams, Too Far Gone, Honey Hush, and Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down his own but to put a unique spin on the darkness, surprise, soulfulness, foreboding, and authenticity that they contain within.
With each note, Costello succeeds and exceeds expectations, turning in versions that sound both old and new. Such timelessness, and the confluence of contemporary and traditional, distinguishes Almost Blue from nearly every other country tribute album made by pop/rock artists before and since. Costello and the Attractions embody the deep sentiments attached to these weeping ballads, tear-jerking lullabies, honky-tonk rave-ups, and playful shuffles in an incredibly convincing manner. Producer George Sherrill, famous for working with the likes of Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and Marty Robbins, and brought on board specifically for the project, frames the music with the perfect blend of grit and professionalism.
Recorded in CBS Studio A Nashville May 18-29, 1981.
Numbered, Limited Edition
Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Elvis Costello, guitar vocal
Pete Thomas, drums
Bruce Thomas, bass
Steve Nieve, piano organ
1. Why Don't You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)?
2. Sweet Dreams
4. I'm Your Toy
5. Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
6. Brown To Blue
7. A Good Year for the Roses
8. Sittin' and Thinkin'
9. Colour of the Blues
10. Too Far Gone
11. Honey Hush
12. How Much I Lied