Elvis Costello - Armed Forces (180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl) [LP] (Numbered Limited Edition)
Elvis Costello Armed Forces on Numbered Limited-Edition 180-gram LP from Mobile Fidelity
Ranked #482 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time
High Fidelity! Half-Speed Mastered LP is Definitive Version of This 1979 Pop Classic
Also Available on MoFi LP: Costello's Brilliant 1977 Debut My Aim Is True and 1978's Urgent This Year's Model
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?'' You need this record.
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.
We don't need to tell you that these will not last. An acknowledged pop landmark, Armed Forces is a new-wave classic.
Elvis Costello Armed Forces Track Listing:
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. Sunday's Best
10. Moods For Moderns
11. Chemistry Class
12. Two Little Hitlers
13. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?