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Artist: Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Album: Punch The Clock
Appears On (Mixes): Mp3s Posted At Phancy.Com
Song Notes: This is such an achingly gorgeously sad song. That's Chet Baker on the Trumpet, there, too. Elvis had actually written "Almost Blue" as a Chet Baker song, but was overjoyed when forces combined to bring him into the studio for "Shipbuilding". Later in his life, though, Chet Baker had added "Almost Blue" to his repertoire, though, which made Elvis pretty dang proud. A lot of people didn't like Punch The Clock. They are wholly wrong as this is very strong in my list of Essential Elvis Costello Records. I saw a Rolling Stone review that panned this album when it was reissued by Rhino, saying it was produced by anonymous studio hacks. Those Anonymous Studio Hacks are Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, a couple of the best pop music producers in England, who have been behind a LOT of great records, including almost all of the Madness records, and some of the best They Might Be Giants work, like "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Bangs". See, this is why I either should or should not run Rolling Stone, because upon reading that, I would have fired that guy. Not for disagreeing with me on the production of Punch The Clock, but for not knowing who Clanger/Winstanley are, which seems like one of those pretty big flashing signs of "Hello, I do not know what I am talking about." If he had said "The glossy Clanger/Winstanley production doesn't work with Costello's rough-edged voice" or something like that, he would have still been wrong, but in a way that I could go "Oh, I disagree, but I suppose I could see your point". But to just dismiss them unknowingly is, in my mind, akin to not realizing who, say, George Martin is. So, basically, boo to that. - Rev. Syung Myung Me