'Trust' insight

Pretty self-explanatory
Neil.
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'Trust' insight

Postby Neil. » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:36 pm

Top Balcony pointed out the 'Uncut' online article: https://www.uncut.co.uk/features/elvis- ... ds-111782/

I was intrigued by Elvis saying he based the album on trying to rewrite existing hits! 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Brass In Pocket'. You can see what you means, actually - as a jumping-off point to those songs.

ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS
TRUST
F-BEAT/COLUMBIA, 1981
Recorded at a troubled time, Costello’s fifth took aim at his pop contemporaries

Every one of the 45rpm records that we issued between late 1977 and mid-1980 made some kind of showing on the UK hit parade. My face was suddenly on the cover of teen magazines, as unlikely as that may sound now. It’s a sad and predictable story that too much attention can turn a young man’s head. I thought myself above all temptations but wrote a lot of songs about the debris that surrounds them and anything else that flew by my window.

That’s what filled Armed Forces and Get Happy!!.

After some hits, some inexplicable catastrophes and producing The Specials under a laundromat in the Fulham Palace Road, I felt like driving the car into a ditch or at least to Sunderland, so, with stupefying arrogance, we set about showing our contemporaries what could be done with their winning formulas.

“Clubland” was supposed to be “Message In A Bottle” with a middle eight, “You’ll Never Be A Man” was “Brass In Pocket” with more chords and some ideas hijacked from The “Detroit” Spinners, while “White Knuckles” was like hearing several XTC songs through a haze of scrumpy, gin and sherbet dabs.

I doubt any of them were better songs than their models, but it was a lark. I wish I could say it kept us out of trouble.

Somewhere along the way the Attractions managed to cut what I think of as their most original ensemble performance, “New Lace Sleeves”.

Around this time, my publisher told me the song I’d just written on a newly purchased piano reminded him of something by Erik Satie, so I went to a music shop to find out what he was talking about and discovered that I could actually play the opening bars of a few of his deceptively simple piano pieces. However, I absolutely needed Steve Nieve’s fingers to make sense and music out of my sketch for “Shot With His Own Gun” and then I straightened up long enough to co-produce Squeeze’s East Side Story.

sulky lad
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby sulky lad » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:16 pm

I knew Clubland used the same chords as "Message in A Bottle" and whilst statistically the latter is the better song ( higher charts. most often played on radio, best seller etc) Clubland is a work of absolute genius with a bass pattern than Sting could only dream of mastering and a lyric that he couldn't have come up with even with a thesaurus rammed up his ass! Not that I've got anything against him but for once, not in the same league as our man!
Not to mention that amazing video apparently filmed in Jersey about 40 years ago this month! Does anyone know if Jake appears in the video - I thought he did but I could never pick him out if he was?

Neil.
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby Neil. » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:28 am

Yes, Clubland is a fabulous epic, I love it! You feel you've been on a night out after it's finished - complete with hangover!

sulky lad
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby sulky lad » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:54 am

Neil. wrote:Yes, Clubland is a fabulous epic, I love it! You feel you've been on a night out after it's finished - complete with hangover!


Yeah it encapsulates that sense of excitement and dread that nightclubs at that time in the U.K. epitomised !

emotional_fascism076
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:34 am

Clubland was the first song I heard from Trust on the Best Of compilation. I never heard anything like it. Great track along with White Knuckles.
Who on earth is tapping at the window?

sweetest punch
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:45 pm

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/elvis-costello-trust/

40 Years Ago: Elvis Costello Gives Listeners His ‘Trust’

Elvis Costello’s discography is heavy with acknowledged classics (This Year’s Model, Get Happy!! and Imperial Bedroom among them) along with the occasional acknowledged dud (Goodbye Cruel World, Mighty Like a Rose). His 1981 album, Trust, released on Jan. 23 of that year, falls somewhere in the middle

A varied, occasionally intricate Attractions record released amidst his critical high-water marks, it has both its detractors and staunch supporters. Indeed, at various points in the years since its release, Costello himself has straddled both sides of the critical fence.

Part of this might have to do with the circumstances of its recording, and the condition of the man and his band before, during and after rolling tape. According to Costello, Trust was “easily the most drug-influenced record of my career.”

“It was completed close to a self-induced nervous collapse,” he described in the liner notes to the record's 2003 reissue, “on a diet of rough ‘scrumpy’ cider, gin and tonic, various powders [...] and, in the final hours, Seconal and Johnnie Walker Black Label. The barely coherent ramblings of my addled brain were gradually beaten into some shape by the relentless re-working of melodies and lyrical fragments, many of which predated my professional career.”

Costello, the Attractions and producer Nick Lowe had for unclear reasons eschewed the London studio (Eden Studios) where they had previously recorded, preferring to set up shop at DJM Studios, on the outskirts of the city. All involved agreed the acoustic setup of the new digs did not properly capture the sound of Costello’s new material, and as frustrations mounted, they found sufficient distractions nearby

“Most days would begin with disenchantment at hearing the previous day’s efforts,” Costello recalled in 2003, “and a plan to repair to a pub at the end of the wonderfully named Lamb's Conduit Passage would soon be proposed. Fortified by several pints of the cider that had fueled our rehearsals, we then purchased a couple of flagons of the same and the cycle of delusion and disappointment that would continue until the small hours.”

Eventually, the band made their way back to Eden to work. The songs they assembled and completed were informed by politics (“Clubland,” “Big Sister’s Clothes,” “Pretty Words”), ennui (“Watch Your Step,” “Strict Time”) and the slow dissolution of personal relationships, most notably Costello’s first marriage (“Lovers Walk,” “Different Finger,” “You’ll Never Be a Man”). The latter tracks were spiked with “adult guilt and romantic disillusionment,” he noted in 2003. “At this remove it seems unnatural that I should have been so unremittingly cynical, but as sense and nonsense collided in the aftermath of our two-and-a-half years of pop success and disgrace, this was a pretty accurate, if blurred, picture.”

One of the earliest-written songs on Trust is “New Lace Sleeves,” a track Costello called “one of the greatest Attractions performances” in a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone. Illicit lovers sleeping together on the sly has rarely been expressed so cynically, not to mention so humorously, as Costello does in the first verse: “Bad lovers face to face in the morning / Shy apologies and polite regrets […] Good manners and bad breath will get you nowhere.”

“That the song itself is mostly concerned with the tension between passion and the emotionally suppressing influence of 'being civilized' is an irony that we can all enjoy with twenty years or more of hindsight,” Costello noted in the 2003 liner notes.

Another highlight on the album is “From a Whisper to a Scream,” which featured guest spots from Graham Parker & the Rumour guitarist Martin Belmont and Squeeze singer Glenn Tilbrook. Costello had just agreed to co-produce the next Squeeze record (1981’s East Side Story) and Tilbrook had stopped by the studio to hang out – in the nick of time, as it turned out.

“Glenn had come to visit the studio during the inevitable crisis in which my voice had vanished due to so many nights spent carousing more than singing,” Costello recalled in 2003. With Costello’s voice blown out, someone needed to provide a guide vocal for the song the band was working on. He recalled Tilbrook “offered to deputize on vocals, so we could cut the track for ‘From A Whisper To A Scream,’ and the effect was so impressive that we decided to cut the song as a duet when I had recovered.”

When most listeners think of Trust, though, they think of “Clubland,” the only single from the record that made even a minor impact on the charts (and even then only in the U.K., where it debuted and peaked at No. 60). And they think of “Clubland” because Costello has played it so often in the years since its release and included it as part of a number of compilations.

Years after recording the song, Costello recognized an inadvertent influence on its instrumental arrangement.

“Oddest of all, it now occurs to me the circular arpeggios in ‘Clubland’ may have secretly been a disrespectful gloss of the Police's guitar style,” he noted in 2003, “though obviously with a darker lyrical content that their songs always seemed to lack. Although my arrogance about and detachment from the pop mainstream was almost complete, we approached this song as if it were to be the next in our only recently broken run of hit singles.”

Costello was dissatisfied with how “Clubland” sounded on record, a circumstance he recognizes now as a result of a key absence in the studio.

“We continued to record for several days without Nick Lowe while he was down with the flu,” Costello recalled. “And the record of ‘Clubland’ probably never did recover from his absence. Although the arrangement was strong, I now see why Nick had some reservations about our master take upon his return to the studio. At the time I was adamant that this was the version to be mixed, although I have heard the same arrangement played to very much better effect on many occasions since.”

Trust was met mostly with indifference at the time of its release; among its harshest critics was Costello himself. “I feel it's under-realized,” he told The Face in 1983. “There were some very good songs on it and some very bad songs, but overall we didn't follow it through to anything definite enough.”

The album has since been remembered in more appreciative terms by critics like Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield, who called Trust “his funniest, his wisest, and his most rocking” album. Costello also seems to have revised his assessment of the record, though, in true Costello fashion, he doesn’t just come out and say so.

“Almost by accident, the album arrived at a sound and tone that was very true to my feelings at the time,” he noted in 2003. “The world it described was the opposite of the album title in much the same way that Get Happy!! had been less than cheerful. It suggested a tarnished and disappointed soul looking beyond the certainties of brash, arrogant youth and early success and on into a life (and possibly a career) in music."

“It also,” he concludes, “contains several songs that I still perform to this day.”

If longevity is one of the marks of artistic success, with that statement alone, the songs on Trust should be lauded for their significance. Decades after its release, the album might be ripe for reappraisal.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:50 pm

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4788
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
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Re: 'Trust' insight

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:11 pm

https://bestclassicbands.com/elvis-cost ... ew-6-2-21/

REVIEWS: ALBUM REWINDS
Elvis Costello & The Attractions ‘Trust’: A Dark Masterwork Turns 40
by Sam Sutherland

Elvis Costello’s fifth album and fourth with the Attractions captures the quartet at a potent but troubled peak, its title a loaded, ironic signifier. Trust is non-existent for tortured characters enduring or enacting betrayals, deceptions and delusions that cast complicated shadows. Granted, Costello had traded in dark themes from the outset of his career; the songs were darker yet on this, the first of two full-lengths released in 1981. The Attractions played with an agility honed by extensive touring and previous studio sets, but behind the scenes, tensions were surfacing between members.

Since his 1977 recording debut, Costello had been swept into an accelerating cycle of tours and studio sessions spurred by his prolific songwriting output and producer Nick Lowe’s swift pace. Assembling a working band for his sophomore set, Costello recruited players versatile enough to keep up with his rapid growth: Bassist and Quiver alumnus Bruce Thomas was his most seasoned pick, while drummer Pete Thomas (no relation) had played with pub rockers Chilli Willi and the Hot Peppers. Completing the foursome was its youngest member, Steve Nieve, a classically trained rookie whose inexperience was offset by prodigious technique.

Together, Costello and the Attractions arrived fully formed on 1978’s This Year’s Model, then expanded their sonic palette with 1979’s majestic Armed Forces before making an exhilarating left turn into authentic, retro R&B on 1980’s Get Happy!!, which tempered its cynical themes with exuberant performances. A generous array of singles and B-sides plus constant touring raised the band’s profile further, but the pace took a toll on Costello, including a failed marriage, a tumultuous love affair and the notorious 1979 episode that tarred his reputation with a drunken, racist rant that made headlines, its facetious intent lost in translation.

Years later, Costello would recall those dark years and damages he regarded as self-inflicted. “Once I recognized it was not my vocation to write a happy ending, I did my best to avoid one entirely,” he would muse in Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, his 2015 memoir. The darkness prevailed as the band entered London’s DJM Studios in late October 1980 to begin tracking the fifth album. “This was easily the most drug-influenced record of my career,” Costello would later report. “It was completed close to a self-induced nervous collapse on a diet of rough ‘scrumpy’ cider, gin and tonic, and various powders…and, in the final hours, Seconal and Johnnie Walker Black.” Frustrations with early takes led them to regroup at Eden Studios, where the album would be completed.

However chaotic the environment, there was a method to the madness—musically, Costello sought to meld Get Happy!!’s more muscular rhythms with the richer, more melodic breadth achieved on Armed Force. Lyrics aside, the musical design would ultimately display the Attractions at their most riveting.

“Clubland” opens the album with sinister images evoking a nighttime demi-monde inspired by the band’s experiences on the Get Happy!! tour, an ordeal that he would reference on several other tracks. The arrangement finds Nieve layering organ and synthesizer beneath bold grand piano flourishes, set against Bruce Thomas’ melodic basslines and Pete Thomas’ spare yet explosive drumming, with Costello inserting squealing, staccato bursts of guitar .

With its angular syncopations and a shift from minor-keyed verse to major midway through the chorus, the song nods to the Police (“‘Message in a Bottle’ with a middle eight,” per Costello), the first of several new wave contemporaries consciously echoed here. “You’ll Never Be a Man” is a sneering mid-tempo takedown inspired by the Pretenders in their less turbulent moments, “Big Sister’s Clothes” borrows a Clash bassline, “White Knuckles” channels XTC, and “Fish ’n’ Chip Paper” trades in the nimble wordplay and English imagery Costello shared with his friends in Squeeze, the East London quintet whose fourth album, East Side Story, he would produce during this same period.

The Squeeze connection is audible on “From a Whisper To A Scream” as Glenn Tilbrook, that band’s co-writer, lead singer and guitarist, shares lead vocals with Costello, trading solo lines and then harmonizing on the choruses. Buttressing its dominant guitar attack is the Rumour’s Martin Belmont, who had joined the Attractions for recent European tour dates after Nieve was sidelined by a serious car accident, while the rhythm section offers another textbook example of the interplay between Bruce Thomas’ double-time bass figures and Pete Thomas’ four-square drums. Costello’s and Tilbrook’s ecstatic vocals bring giddy momentum to Costello’s lyrics, capturing erotic anticipation “like a finger running down a seam,” to provide one of Trust’s clearest extensions of Get Happy!!’s R&B fervor.

The flip side of that ardor is the coolly resigned disappointment detailed in “New Lace Sleeves,” a postmortem for “bad lovers face to face in the morning, shy apologies and polite regrets.” In its precise construction, Costello himself would later hear “one of the greatest Attractions performances” as cymbal, drum tap, single-note guitar, bass pulse and vocal are delicately woven into a musical framework for Costello’s mordant lyrics. “She’s no angel, he’s no saint,” Costello sings in a concise lament for lost innocence that moves with deliberate stealth, the band halting between vocal lines as if surveying threats.

The relative hush cast by “New Lace Sleeves” is shared on “Watch Your Step,” its title warning of vague but ominous risks lurking close at hand. Tonally and vocally, the track echoes “Secondary Modern” from Get Happy!!, a natural medley in future live shows sustaining an atmosphere of coiled dread familiar in much of Costello’s dark material from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Like “Clubland” and “New Lace Sleeves,” “Watch Your Step” was released as a single; like them, it fell short of earlier Costello releases on the U.K. singles chart. Trust fared better on U.K. and U.S. album charts, reaching #9 in their homeland and #28 in the U.S., but significantly below Get Happy!! in both countries, despite strong reviews.

One commercial speed bump may have been Costello’s prolific recording output. Ten months after Trust’s January 23 release date, the quartet issued its second ’81 long player, Almost Blue, this time swerving toward country under the aegis of veteran Nashville producer Billy Sherrill. Trust would thus stand as the culmination of Costello’s fertile partnership with Nick Lowe. That Costello would approach country as convincingly as he had R&B was hardly a surprise, demonstrated by a tidy miniature country ballad in “Different Finger,” a classic weeper steeped in adulterous guilt that was the shortest of Trust’s 14 tracks.

Elvis Costello would subsequently pursue a more meticulous studio luster for 1982’s Imperial Bedroom, with the Attractions soldiering on until the mid-’80s, when Costello’s omnivorous taste would lead him toward new influences and an expanding network of collaborators in the decades ahead.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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