Genre: Pop Rock
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Elvis Costello & The Attractions Armed Forces Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Availability: Discontinued
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MFSL 1-331

Out Of Print! Only a few copies left!

This item not eligible for any further discount offers!

Audio Beat Rated 5/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sound!

Numbered, Limited Edition! Half-Speed Mastered From Original Master Tapes!

This is the definitive version of the 1979 pop classic.

Largely written on tour in hotel rooms and on the bus, Elvis Costello’s "Armed Forces" takes personal politics to a new level. A supremely melodic and hook-laden record, the 1979 set is a showcase of scintillating keyboard lines, sharp guitar work, and the most cohesive arrangements of Costello and the Attractions’ career. In every way, this is a pop masterpiece, defined by hits such as "Accidents Will Happen," "Oliver’s Army," and the anthemic "What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love and Understanding?"

While less musically intense than the preceding "This Year’s Model", "Armed Forces" doesn’t let up in the lyric department. Costello’s narratives are loaded with paranoia, irony, bitterness, and scathing humor. Originally titled Emotional Fascism, the singer’s third consecutive masterpiece is inspired by billboard sign slogans, insular observations, and social behavior that Costello found applicable to his own situation. "Oliver’s Army," "Green Shirt," and "Senior Service" address systemic governmental control. "Big Boys," "Two Little Hitlers," and "Accidents Will Happen" also concern control and betrayal, but that of the interpersonal nature.

Given the luxury of six weeks in the studio, Costello and the Attractions responded with spacious arrangements and a few extra touches and instrumental colors that add to the songs’ charm. Steve Nieve employs a monophonic Minimoog keyboard and pianos patterned after Abba’s sweet pop; whispers are exaggerated into black comedy shouts on "Goon Squad"; layered and echoed vocals provide the illusion of several Costello voices on multiple tracks. The band is of a piece, constantly in harmony and on the same page.

Half-speed mastered from the original tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited-edition 180-gram LP presents the vibrant dynamics of Armed Forces’ timeless pop songs in the highest possible fidelity. This album has never sounded so full, rich, airy, spacious, detailed, or necessary. The textures and voicings of Nieve’s keyboards are alone worth the investment. This pressing will have you dancing in the aisles and analyzing Costello’s brilliant turns of phrase for years to come.

Also available are Costello’s equally essential debut My Aim Is True (MFSL 1-329) and 1978's This Year's Model (MFSL 1-330)!

"Costello’s voice is far more natural-sounding here. The drums have more real texture, the cymbals cleanly rendered shimmer. The small dynamic shifts that bring the production to life, lost by compression, are here to enjoy. In fact, after you feel the need to crank it up higher at first, you’ll end up bringing the level back down to enjoy the album’s real sonic pleasures." - Michael Fremer,, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10

“Amidst the renaissance that vinyl continues to enjoy, these reissues [MFSL 1-330 Elvis Costello This Year's Model & MFSL 1-331 Elvis Costello Armed Forces] along with My Aim is True, shine brightly.” – Marc Mickelson,, Music 5/5, Sound 3.5/5 Sound!
Click Here to read the entire review!

"Costello's third album is wound tight, full of paranoia and anger. The concept is personal politics; the original title was Emotional Fascism, and one of the songs is called "Two Little Hitlers." The keyboard-driven sound of "Accidents Will Happen" helped define New Wave." -

"'What’s So Funny' was written by Lowe, Costello’s pal and producer. The original, by Lowe’s country-rock band Brinsley Schwartz, was mellow and cute, but Costello snarls the song intensely enough to make the title question seem brand-new, with thundering drums and droning piano. It’s like Abba playing punk rock." - Rolling Stone

• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Gatefold jacket
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free-Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• 1/2 Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tapes

1. Accidents Will Happen
2. Senior Service
3. Oliver's Army
4. Big Boys
5. Green Shirt
6. Party Girl
7. Goon Squad
8. Busy Bodies
9. Moods For Moderns
10. Chemistry Class
11. Two Little Hitlers
12. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?

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