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“I would be happier with amnesia”: Elvis Costello’s ‘Get Happy!!’ turns 40

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Over at The Ringer I wrote about the fortieth anniversary of Elvis Costello’s Get Happy!!, a remarkable record released in the aftermath of a humiliating controversy that nearly cratered his career, but may ultimately may have saved have saved his life. Check it out if this sounds like something you’d be into!

By age 24, Costello was well established as a genius auteur whose mastery of song form situated him alongside not only the major figures of the rock era, but also connected him to the larger traditions of Tin Pan Alley and the Grand Ole Opry. He threw off great tunes at such a rate that he couldn’t release them all, so they were farmed out to icons like Dave Edmunds and George Jones. His momentum so unbridled it could not be stopped and could hardly be contained. There was only one person who could halt the inextricable rise of Elvis Costello.

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