Saturday, November 22, 2014

Elvis Costello & The Attractions Pump It Up & Show # 535

In April of 1978, Elvis Costello & The Attractions released the single for the song "Pump It Up". Also a part of the 1978 album This Year’s Model, this single featured an album outtake entitled “Big Tears” as its B-side. The song “Pump It Up” begins with a bass and drum intro featuring Costello’s rhythm section of The Attractions, Bruce Thomas on bass and Pete Thomas on drums (there is no relation between the two). The song picks up with spiraling and dizzying organ from Steve Nieve as Elvis Costello supplies the quirky guitar parts and vocals that are both equally aggressive and have a sense of paranoia. Lyrically, the song has been described as being “underscored with sexual menace” as stated by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic. In the linear notes to the 2002 Rhino reissue of This Year’s Model Costello says that this song along with “Little Triggers” and “Hand In Hand” are “more cynical” and have “a guilty edge” to them as a result of the temptations and distractions of touring. This song is an excellent example of The Attractions musical abilities. Additionally, the album that this comes from is the first proper album to feature Elvis Costello and The Attractions as his backing band.

The B-side to this single, “Big Tears” is even more interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, the song lyrically is darker than it’s A-side, although both songs have an edgier construction. This song features 60s organ sounds by Steve Nieve along with the rest of The Attractions rhythm section and lead guitar from The Clash’s Mick Jones. His guitar is not noticeable at first, but once the chorus hits you can hear his undeniable style adding to the songs overall make up. Once again in the linear notes to the 2002 reissue of This Year’s Model Costello says that this song is the only “genuine outtake song from the This Year’s Model sessions. “ he goes on to say that he is not sure why the song did not make the album and adds further details behind Mick Jones appearance on this track. Costello notes that Mick’s band mates did not really approve of him being on that track and that he was originally brought in to play guitar on “Pump It Up”. “There is a version [of “Pump It Up” with Mick Jones on guitar] lying around somewhere on which he plays. However, he made much more difference to “Big Tears” Costello adds, summing up the tracks history. These two songs showcase both the frenetic and amphetamine paced rhythm abilities of The Attractions within Elvis Costello’s song writing powers.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. Useless Eaters - Walking In Circles
2. The Poles - CN Tower
3. Dan Sartain - Baby’s Town
4. Neil Young - All Those Dreams
5. Jack-O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers - Ditch Road
6. The Small Faces - Long Agos And Worlds Apart
7. Chris Crossroads - Dreams
8. Christian Bland & The Revelators - CB160
9. Paul Westerberg - Let’s Not Belong Together
10. Alvvays - Adult Diversion
11. The Twilight Sad - Pills I Swallow
12. Invasions - Born On A Wave
13. Paul Jacobs - Bag Of Bones (Do It Again)
14. The Gun Club - Sleeping In Blood City
15. The Gun Club - Mother Of Earth
16. Alex Chilton - Come On Honey
17. Teenage Head - Get Of My Back
18. Deja Voodoo - Big Pile Of Mud
19. The Mods - You Use Me
20. Actual Water - Double Negatives
21. Thee Oh Sees - Devil Again
22. The Black Angels - Bloodhounds On My Trail
23. Wreckless Eric - Grown Ups
24. The Stimulators - Loud Fast Rules
25. The Saints - Messin’ With The Kid (Live At The Hope And Anchor London 1977)
26. Chelsea - Urban Kids
27. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Pump It Up
28. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Big Tears

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 22. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

No comments: