Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK LP

Original Release Date

1979

Release Information

UK LP+7" 1979 (Radar - RAD 14 / SAM 90). Single with initial copies only
UK LP 1979 (Radar - RAD 14)

1 Accidents Will Happen 3:00
2 Senior Service 2:17
3 Oliver's Army 2:58
4 Big Boys 2:54
5 Green Shirt 2:42
6 Party Girl 3:20
7 Goon Squad 3:14
8 Busy Bodies 3:33
9 Sunday's Best 3:22
10 Moods For Moderns 2:48
11 Chemistry Class 2:55
12 Two Little Hitlers 3:10
Live At Hollywood High (7")
13 Accidents Will Happen 3:23
14 Alison 3:06
15 Watching The Detectives 6:07

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US LP+7" 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709 / AE7 1171). Single with initial copies only
US LP " 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709)

1 Accidents Will Happen 3:00
2 Senior Service 2:17
3 Oliver's Army 2:57
4 Big Boys 2:54
5 Green Shirt 2:41
6 Party Girl 3:18
7 Goon Squad 3:14
8 Busy Bodies 3:33
9 Moods For Moderns 2:48
10 Chemistry Class 2:55
11 Two Little Hitlers 3:11
12 (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding 3:30
Live At Hollywood High (7")
13 Accidents Will Happen 3:23
14 Alison 3:06
15 Watching The Detectives 6:07

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UK 2xCD 2002 (Edsel - MANUS 103) (This edition also issued in the US by Rhino)

Disc One: Armed Forces
1 Accidents Will Happen 3:00
2 Senior Service 2:17
3 Oliver's Army 2:58
4 Big Boys 2:54
5 Green Shirt 2:42
6 Party Girl 3:20
7 Goon Squad 3:14
8 Busy Bodies 3:33
9 Sunday's Best 3:22
10 Moods For Moderns 2:48
11 Chemistry Class 2:55
12 Two Little Hitlers 3:10
13 (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? 3:31
Disc Two: Bonus Disc
1 Tiny Steps 2:43
2 Busy Bodies (Alternate Version) 3:48
3 Talking In The Dark 1:58
4 Big Boys (Alternate Version) 2:56
5 Clean Money 1:59
6 Wednesday Week 2:06
7 Elvis Costello - My Funny Valentine 1:33
8 Accidents Will Happen (Live) 3:18
9 Mystery Dance (Live) 2:01
10 Goon Squad (Live) 3:42
11 Party Girl (Live) 2:19
12 Stranger In The House (Live) 3:52
13 Alison (Live) 3:08
14 Lipstick Vogue (Live) 4:26
15 Watching The Detectives (Live) 5:51
16 You Belong To Me (Live) 2:39
17 Chemistry Class (Live Solo) 2:34

Chart Placings

UK Chart Hit: 2, 28 wks
US Chart Hit: 10

Credits

UK LP:

Steve, Elvis, Bruce, Pete

Produced by Nick Lowe

Free Single:
An Alive Production

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2xCD:

Armed Forces was first issued as Radar RAD 14 (UK), and as Columbia JC 35709 (US), January 1979
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? was first issued as the B-side of the Nick Low single American Squirm, Radar ADA 26 (UK), credited to Nick Lowe & His Sound. The track did not appear on the UK release of the album.
The track was included only on the US version of the album.

Produced by Nick Lowe
Engineered by Roger Bechirian
Recorded at Eden Studios, London, UK, August-September 1978

Elvis Costello - guitar, vocals
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Pete Thomas - drums
Bruce Thomas - bass

Remastering by Dan Hersch at DigiPrep

Bonus Disc:
1: First issued as the B side of Radio Radio
2: Recorded at Eden Studios, London (August 1978)
3, 6: Talking In The Dark & Wednesday Week First issued as Radar (UK) single #RG 1, given away at London Dominion Theatre concerts, December 1978
4: Recorded at Eden Studios, London (September 1978)
5: Add Dave Edmunds & The Attractions Backing Vocals. First issued on Taking Liberties (US) and Ten Bloody Marys And Ten How's Your Fathers (UK)
7: First issued as the B-side of Oliver's Army
8, 13, 15: were first issued as a give-away EP with initial copies of Armed Forces
9-12, 16: Recorded live at Hollywood High School, Hollywood CA (4 June 1978)
17: Recorded live at The Warner Theatre, Washington, DC (28 February 1978)

Additional Credits

None yet

Reviews & Opinions

RED STARR, SMASH HITS, FEBRUARY 8 - 21, 1979: More great songs of pain and anger from a true star. Pay particular attention as El turns his attention from himself to society at large. Not so many classics as Last Year's Model [sic!], his 1978 album, but still easily the pick of the current litter. Recommended, but my copy jumps (on 'Goon Squad' and 'Green Shirt') so check before you buy or insist on a receipt. Best trax: 'Oliver's Army' Green Shirt'. (8 out of 10).

PUNKY GIBBON: Costello is only intermittently exciting third time round. Excursions into reggae ('Senior Service'), funk ('Moods For Moderns') and psychedelia ('Green Shirt') attempt to break the mould, but otherwise Costello seems to be heading into a new wave cul-de-sac and a few of the songs have no impact at all, all memories of their very existence drifting off into the stratosphere the moment they end. Nonetheless, its best two cuts are exquisite: 'Oliver's Army' crams umpteen hooks, an Abba-esque piano signature and a crapload of anti-fascist venom into one of the best singles of 1979, while the infectious 'Accidents Will Happen' is top-notch modern pop with power. The US version replaced the waltzy 'Sundays Best' with '(What's So Funny Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?)', which was written by the album's producer Nick Lowe. Issues from both countries came with a free live EP featuring an extended version of 'Watching The Detectives' and a version of 'Accidents Will Happen' featuring just Elvis and piano.

Additional Notes

The UK LP came in two versions: the limited edition version came in a fancy fold-out sleeve and included a set of four postcards and a free single. The normal edition came in a regular sleeve and didn't include the single or the postcards. For those who want the Armed Forces album on CD without a billion bonus tracks, I would direct you to the digipak Hip-O release from 2007, which only has the one ('(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?') and appears to be the same master as the 2002 CD.

Images

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK LP+7" 1979 (Radar - RAD 14 / SAM 90)Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK LP+7" 1979 (Radar - RAD 14 / SAM 90)

UK LP+7" 1979 (Radar - RAD 14 / SAM 90). Click here for more

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK LP 1979 (Radar - RAD 14)Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK LP+7" 1979 (Radar - RAD 14 / SAM 90) Back Cover

UK LP 1979 (Radar - RAD 14). Click here for more

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - US LP+7" 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709 / AE7 1171)Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - US LP 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709)

US LP+7" 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709 / AE7 1171). Click here for more

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - US LP 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709)Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - US LP 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709) Back Cover

US LP 1979 (Columbia - JC 35709). Click here for more

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK 2xCD 2002 (Edsel - MANUS 103)Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Armed Forces - UK 2xCD 2002 (Edsel - MANUS 103)

UK 2xCD 2002 (Edsel - MANUS 103). Click here for more

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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