Skip to content

Punch The Clock – Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Punch The Clock

1983, 6/10
Elvis Costello went for the pop jugular with Punch The Clock, teaming up with the production team of Langer and Winstanley, who had helped to create hits for Madness and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. But it’s not a good fit for Costello’s music – plastering backing vocals and horn sections on constrains the fluid ensemble playing of The Attractions and feels as cynically calculated as the album title implies. But there are a handful of terrific songs here, and even though the overall sound of the Punch The Clock is dated, it’s worth hearing the highlights.

The smooth soul of ‘Everyday I Write The Book’ was Costello’s only US top 40 hit song, and it’s worthwhile, benefiting from the slick sound and backing singers, and showcasing Costello’s deftly punning lyrics. I’ve always found it confusing that the first wave of British punk ran out of steam before Margaret Thatcher’s conservative, repressive government, but two of Costello’s best songs here are directed at The Iron Lady – ‘Shipbuilding’ is stately and dignified with Chet Baker’s trumpet, while ‘Pills and Soap’ is tense and brooding.

I don’t have much use for the rest of Punch The Clock, as it doesn’t play to Costello’s strengths, but there are a few songs here that are essential.

 

5 thoughts on “Punch The Clock – Elvis Costello and the Attractions Leave a comment

  1. I’m listening to this record and this trumpet comes on and I check it out and it’s Chet Baker. Beautiful. Distinct sound. ( Hotfox did a take on the Stones ‘Waiting For a Friend’. Sonny Rollins takes a great solo and makes it my favorite Stones song)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Video Games Nebula

Out of This World

movies and songs 365

Recommendations of films and music. Plus other random stuff

What's So Special About Music Anyways?

Witty opinions about great music

thecuriousastronomer

Life, the Universe, and everything

The Telltale Mind

Thoughts on Movies, Music, Comics and stuff.

Thirty Three And A Third

Vinyl Records stole my heart

Sounds Of The Radio

Counting Down My Top 1000 Songs

Stuff and That.

We do reviews, ya dig?

Progarchy

Pointing toward Proghalla

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Hurricane Willem nu je hier bent. Welcome to the blog of Discobar Bizar, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Hurricane Willem whilst you are here!

%d bloggers like this: