443. Elvis Costello And The Attractions - Armed Forces (1979)
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
Elvis finally does it right! This is his third album on the list and the two previous ones just felt slightly off the mark, near being great but always somehow falling a bit short, but with great potential. This potential is definitely realised here.
Costello has had a pretty obvious progression from album to album, and this is no exception, and what started with My Aim Is True, developed in This Year's Model comes to full fruition in Armed Forces.
The album sounds slick, beautiful and supremely effective and catchy. There are still the remnants of Elvis' original punk attitude, particularly in the lyrics, but he has moved to a slicker post-punk which suits his voice and lyrics better than what he did before.
Frankly I loved this album, it was hard not to sing along to the smart, sarcastic and angry lyrics. I was never a Costello fan but this album made a great impression. There will be three more albums by him on the list, lets wait and see if the progression is further or if he slumps from this high point.
1. Oliver's Army
2. Two Little Hitlers
3. Green Shirt
4. Accidents Will Happen
The album originally had the working title Emotional Fascism. It was produced by Nick Lowe at Eden Studios in West London.
Initial pressings of the US album included a promotional three-song 7" 33⅓ rpm EP, Live at Hollywood High, recorded on June 4, 1978. The live tracks, also produced by Nick Lowe, are "Accidents Will Happen," "Alison," and "Watching the Detectives," which are included on the Rykodisc reissue and on the Rhino bonus disk along with six more songs from the Hollywood High gig.
In 2000 Q magazine placed Armed Forces at number 45 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 482 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.