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Album: When I Was Cruel
Avg rating:
5.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1562









Released: 2002
Length: 3:23
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Bells are chiming for victory
There's a page back in history
45
They came back to the world that they fought for
Didn't turn out just like they thought
45

Here is a song to sing to do the measuring
What do you lose, what do you gain, what do you win?

Nine years later a child is born
There's a record, so you put it on
45
Nine years more, if we're lucky now
Nine-year-old puts his money down
45
Every scratch. every click, every heartbeat
Every breath that I held for you
45
There's a stack of shellac and vinyl
Which is yours now and which is mine?
45

Repeat chorus

Bass and treble heal every hurt
There's a rebel in a nylon shirt
But the words are a mystery, I've heard
'Til you turn it down to 33 and 1/3
'Cos it helps with the elocution
Corporations turn revolutions
45

So don't just weep and shed
Just change your name instead
What do you lose when it all goes to your head?

I heard something peculiar said:
Perhaps he's got a shot and now he's dead
45

Bells are chiming and tears are falling
It creeps up on you without a warning
45
Every scratch, every click, every heartbeat
Every breath that I bless
I'd be lost, I confess
45
Comments (218)add comment
I would rather take a swift kick to the boys than listen to another Elvis Costello track
 DaidyBoy wrote:

Sad to say that "Coma Girl" hits the bottom of my list.  Instant PSD every time, followed closely by this offering.  Sorry fans.
 
Thanks for the apology.  I know I was crushed.
 sfyi2001 wrote:

                   E X C R U C I A T I N G.
 

 

 Vinni_NL wrote:
This guy is just like broccoli. I really hate it, but my parents keep telling me it's really good.
 
I appreciate your effort to incorporate humor into your pissing and moaning about a song.
Most overrated artist in music history!
 Vinni_NL wrote:
This guy is just like broccoli. I really hate it, but my parents keep telling me it's really good.
 

If you don't like it, you don't like it.  Like singers, there are a multitude of other veggies you can enjoy.
wait, what are we talking about?
 kcar wrote:


I'm not that far alone but Bill played "Coma Girl" by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros about 6 songs back and it's odd how they're grating on me the same way tonight...
 
Sad to say that "Coma Girl" hits the bottom of my list.  Instant PSD every time, followed closely by this offering.  Sorry fans.
 sfoster66 wrote:
Have to say that with every play this track becomes a little bit more yuck...please stop...
 

I'm not that far alone but Bill played "Coma Girl" by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros about 6 songs back and it's odd how they're grating on me the same way tonight...
Oh man poor Elvis, look at those ratings! Shaking my head, your hearts are stones
                                    
 worst voice
i think he is popular on account of being close to j lennon at time of lennon's death.

his voice is exceedingly unpleasant.

Stefan_Lutz wrote:
Horrible he’s so lacking talent. I have no idea how this is popular.
 

Horrible he’s so lacking talent. I have no idea how this is popular.
 sfoster66 wrote:
Have to say that with every play this track becomes a little bit more yuck...please stop...
 
Have to say that with every play this track becomes a little bit greater... please more! :)
Have to say that with every play this track becomes a little bit more yuck...please stop...
 dc_zee wrote:
 I'm feeling dense, can you elaborate on what you think it's come to mean?  Thanks in advance.

maryte wrote:
Elvis should add another verse about the most recent abomination that 45 has come to mean.

 
That abomination would be Donald Trump
 

Actually I prefer the "Perfact Sound Forever" 500rpm to 200rpm speeds
Can’t wait for President Elizabeth Warren.
Why does Radio Paradise play so much Elvis Costello? It seems really disproportionate. Same thing for Robert Plant.
I'm picturing Weird Al doing a satirical video using this song to sing about Trump.
 I'm feeling dense, can you elaborate on what you think it's come to mean?  Thanks in advance.

maryte wrote:
Elvis should add another verse about the most recent abomination that 45 has come to mean.

 

I like it so much. Makes me feel like an alien cause so many people here hate him.
Thank you, Bill.


ug
uuuuuuugggg
{#Crashcomp}
SO many amazing EC tracks - why this one??
 Broken_Ear wrote:
One weekend listening here and you end up with ear bleeding 4x Elvis Costello, 4x Leonard Cohen, 3x Dave Matthews, 3x Tom Waits. It's either masochism or laziness to not change the channel from time to time.

 
Love Costello.
Cohen sounds like he's trying to carry a tune while belching.
Dave Matthews is amazing.
Tom Waits sounds like a vomiting wildebeest.

Just goes to show ya...there's something here for everyone, and that's why the PSD button exists.
 maryte wrote:
Elvis should add another verse about the most recent abomination that 45 has come to mean.

 
Ditto that. 
 Broken_Ear wrote:
One weekend listening here and you end up with ear bleeding 4x Elvis Costello, 4x Leonard Cohen, 3x Dave Matthews, 3x Tom Waits. It's either masochism or laziness to not change the channel from time to time.

 
 I have an idea for you: Don't listen to RP anymore. The rest of us enjoy the eclectic mix.
Elvis should add another verse about the most recent abomination that 45 has come to mean.
Every scratch, every click, every heartbeat
Every breath that I bless
I'd be lost, I confess
45

One weekend listening here and you end up with ear bleeding 4x Elvis Costello, 4x Leonard Cohen, 3x Dave Matthews, 3x Tom Waits. It's either masochism or laziness to not change the channel from time to time.
Jay-sus, the track isn't all that good, but Elvis in '02 was sure as war, hate and confusion a bit prescient for '17 with the lyrics and title.  
Just like the orange menace...... 45

                   E X C R U C I A T I N G.
 

Hear this way too much, starting to dislike it.  Used to be cool, not anymore.
Don't forget - no Elvis no Shipbuilding. 
 

anyway elvis costello is overplayed IMHO

fredriley wrote:

So use PSD. One click, problem solved, stream continues. Semplicissimo.

 


 pwilster wrote:
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears

 
So use PSD. One click, problem solved, stream continues. Semplicissimo.
Why is he important?
 Stratocaster wrote:

Whaaaaattt?!? This guy is pure genius. 

Of course, people say the same thing about David Byrne - so nevermind. 

 
You have proven a point, but I don't think it is the one you thought it was.
 pwilster wrote:
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears

 
Whaaaaattt?!? This guy is pure genius. 

Of course, people say the same thing about David Byrne - so nevermind. 
The best Elvis.
Please make It stop Billy!
Oh no. The Mac client's "Play something different" does nothing. I'm stuck in Costello-hell. 
Costello. 

Automatic 1.

Can't stand this guy. His voice is awful. He reminds me of Ke$ha in that I have no clue what the appeal is. 
It's Costello, but i still like it. First Costello-Song I rated higher than 3.
 pwilster wrote:
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears

 
No.
 pwilster wrote:
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears

 
Man is a consummate artist.  Stop whining and deal.
 pwilster wrote:
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears

 
You're crazy...this dude rocks. I'd hate to see your opinion of what's good.
I really wish RP would remove this, and all Elvis Costello songs from its playlist. It's annoying to stop the streaming every time this obnoxious voice appears
also surprised at all the negative comments. i really like it.
His voice makes me want to juggle blue-ringed octopus'.
 
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Yuck. I like the early Costello. But this song is weak and sucks.

 
agree!!
I like EC but this isn't one of his stronger tunes.
Have never seen the point of Costello, but I realize many people like him. I just don't get it. Downright annoying, really.
Wow, how is it that this song is getting panned? Absolutely rocks! 9.
singing via his nose, isn't he?
Ingenious lyrical brilliance (is that redundant) from Elvis C. 9
 michaelc wrote: 
I was trying last night to think of the best example of why you should ignore the music press.  I came up with it.  Porcupine Tree.  Regulars to this station know them to be an excellent band that has been largly ignored by the music press.  My second best example would be rap music, which gets outsized coverage.  I dont object so much to the fact that rap is thug music and misogynst ( I do object to that too).  But rap is just so awful sounding - I just do not consider it music.
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Yuck. I like the early Costello. But this song is weak and sucks.

 
Weak and sucks? Oh, no.
 
The lyrics are pretty great, IMO so go look at 'em... 
Yuck. I like the early Costello. But this song is weak and sucks.
I remeber when I was 45...sorry, that's all I've got on this one.
 bc wrote:

You're right about their music coverage.
But ironically, you can get some financial/political reporting there that's better than most.  Matt Taibi is one of the few people relentlessly pursuing the financial industry's malfeasance.
Maybe the New York Times will respond by reporting on some good new bands or something.   Yeeeah.

 
Superb article  "Jahar's World" - one of the Boston Bombers, by Janet Reitman,  - Silly brouhaha about the cover photo. A lighthearted look at Willie, still truckin' at 80.  and I quite agree about Matt Tabibi. When you live in a see-no-evil city like Houston  (ahhhh, there is the Houston Press), you learn to appreciate harder-edge reporting found elsewhere.
 bc wrote:

You're right about their music coverage.
But ironically, you can get some financial/political reporting there that's better than most.  Matt Taibi is one of the few people relentlessly pursuing the financial industry's malfeasance.
Maybe the New York Times will respond by reporting on some good new bands or something.   Yeeeah.

 
ummm ya maybe https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/category/music/


Love this verse:

Bass and treble heal every hurt
There's a rebel in a nylon shirt
But the words are a mystery, I've heard
'Til you turn it down to 33 and 1/3
'Cos it helps with the elocution
Corporations turn revolutions
<auto mute> <flat voice warning>{#Taped-shut}
 gillespp wrote:
Next stop, 78 . . .
 
yep.. waitin for it ...
Next stop, 78 . . .
 lshinkawa wrote:
Diana Krall is a lucky woman.

 
I think Elvis did all right for himself too! {#Hug}
 rdo wrote:


I normally am not a fan of anti-corporate banter, but in this case I think it is apropos.  Can we please not ever refer to that corporate rag Rolling Stone?  It's just one giant advertisement for the music industry. It has nothing to offer.  Don't read it.
 
You're right about their music coverage.
But ironically, you can get some financial/political reporting there that's better than most.  Matt Taibi is one of the few people relentlessly pursuing the financial industry's malfeasance.
Maybe the New York Times will respond by reporting on some good new bands or something.   Yeeeah.
Diana Krall is a lucky woman.
 peter_james_bond wrote:

A career that has spanned 4 decades, 30 studio albums, numerous hit singles, many nominations and awards, and accolades such as; In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time... but, he's not that good...
 

I normally am not a fan of anti-corporate banter, but in this case I think it is apropos.  Can we please not ever refer to that corporate rag Rolling Stone?  It's just one giant advertisement for the music industry. It has nothing to offer.  Don't read it.
I literally ran into him on W12th Street Manhattan the other day. By the time I realized who he was he'd already crossed 5th Avenue. You gotta be pretty quick in this town to both recognize and genuflect o your pop idols.
 expatlar wrote:
Hey, if you play a lot of Elvis Costello, how 'bout some(more) Joe Jackson?
 
..........musicsmiley...........
 Vinni_NL wrote:
This guy is just like broccoli. I really hate it, but my parents keep telling me it's really good.
 
Your parents are into Elvis Costello?!  I guess you're relatively young.
This guy is just like broccoli. I really hate it, but my parents keep telling me it's really good.
{#Roflol} 

Jamunca wrote:
Subtract forty from five and you might come close to my rating.
 


 Alexandra wrote:

This song became highly significant when I turned 45 this past Saturday!

 
You don't look a day over 44!
 liteon1 wrote:
What's with the unhealthy obsession with Elvis Costello here on RP, Bill?  Give it up!  He's not that good.
 
"Unhealthy"?  Are you a doctor?


Subtract forty from five and you might come close to my rating.

This song became highly significant when I turned 45 this past Saturday!


I feel bad rating this a 5 out of 10, but it is Decent.
 peter_james_bond wrote:

A career that has spanned 4 decades, 30 studio albums, numerous hit singles, many nominations and awards, and accolades such as; In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time... but, he's not that good...
  Touche Mr. Bond.

  


There are MUCH better Elvis Costello songs.... Not one of my favorites.
Terrible!
 oenyaw wrote:


Totally agree!
signed:  someone from Greenville, FL, birthplace of Ray Charles, of whom EC's made such a vulgur racist slur.{#Arghhh}
 
For which Elvis has apologized on numerous occasions. Even Ray Charles forgave him, saying "Drunken talk isn't meant to be printed in the paper."


 starfishNcoffee wrote:
{#Dance}This definitely is an 8 - Most Excellent!
 
Ditto.

Nice to hear songs from "When I Was Cruel" on RP. Underrated album, IMHO.
 liteon1 wrote:
What's with the unhealthy obsession with Elvis Costello here on RP, Bill?  Give it up!  He's not that good.
 
A career that has spanned 4 decades, 30 studio albums, numerous hit singles, many nominations and awards, and accolades such as; In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time... but, he's not that good...


 liteon1 wrote:
What's with the unhealthy obsession with Elvis Costello here on RP, Bill?  Give it up!  He's not that good.
 

Totally agree!
signed:  someone from Greenville, FL, birthplace of Ray Charles, of whom EC's made such a vulgur racist slur.{#Arghhh}


The more I hear Elvis C. the more it reminds me of Tom Petty.
If you don't like the song, turn down the volume until it ends. I appreciate the eclectic mix of music;even the songs that I don't care for.

Bill, I know you do not need anyone's "permission" - but please, keep on doing what you do, any way that you want - you make RP interesting and enlightening with your selections/combinations.  THANK YOU!  AND I HAPPEN TO LOVE ELVIS COSTELLO.  Haters begone!

What's with the unhealthy obsession with Elvis Costello here on RP, Bill?  Give it up!  He's not that good.
 lemmoth wrote:

How incredibly dull and boring.  Now all you Dylan, Neil, Waits, Lou and Bruce fans get behind me on this one.

 
Sorry, I appreciate and enjoy all those you mentioned but still can't stand Costello's singing, even if he is an excellent musician and veteran performer. {#Snooty}
I have always liked this song, as a matter of fact, I like this whole album; title track is outstanding.{#Cheers}

In all these years why has Elvis not seen someone about his nasal congestion...
I have made a mild at temp to not like this, but I can not...
Lecture: How to "sing" while throwing up -101

Abstract: An introduction to the fine art of making musical-ish gutteral sounds while your mouth is filled with a mixture of bodily fluids of varying thickness.
Location: Inferno Hall (Opposite Paradise Park)
Time: Weekdays 6:00 a.m. PST
Lecturer: Prof. E. Costello (World expert)
Attendance: Non-mandatory
Pre-requisites: None, preferably none at all
Bring to class: Earplugs, painkillers

 karljonasson wrote:
I didn't know anything about Elvis till I started listening to RP. Since then I've bought 10 of his albums! He's become my absolute favorite artist.

I think he owes you some royalties, rather the other way 'round!
 

Welcome to Elvis fandom, my Canadian friend.  And you know he's married to a British Columbia native now.
 westslope wrote:

Interesting to observe the fat tail on left-hand side of the song rating distribution.  Guess I'm not alone with my unsympathetic, anti-patriotic crude tastes....

 

De gustibus no es disputandum


 

Rather thin tail on the left side compared to the fat head at the top.

Rate this a 9 - a very good late Costello song.
huge buzzkill after thievery corporation

 lemmoth wrote:


Another fool thinkin' every rock singer needs to be Freddie Mercury.  It ain't opera friend.  Let's ban all rock sung by folks without converntionally good voices.

Bye Bye to Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Elvis C.(best vocalist of the bunch by the way), Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen.

Send them and their considerable song-writng skills to some sort of modern day tin-pan alley to just write songs to be interepreted by the Linda Ronstadts of the world. 

How incredibly dull and boring.  No all you Dylan, Neil, Waits, Lou and Bruce fans get behind me on this one.
 
I'm in line behind you, and well said!

 Jdanzi wrote:
One of the worst Costello songs :(
 
That's quite an indictment. I'd like to take a 45 to my speakers at this moment...{#Cowboy}
Elvis's appearance on 30 Rock last night was quite hilarious
One of the worst Costello songs :(
 holborne wrote:
Applause!

As I've said before, this "Shut him up, he can't sing" crap that's been flying around is thanks to the American Idol-ization of America — if he doesn't sound like Clay or Kelly, his mouth should be duct taped shut. It's bullshit. Rock is not all about the technique, people. Listen to The Clash and then tell me that only people with mellifluous voices should be able to sing.
 
{#High-five} Here Here! Bravo! - more applause! {#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}{#Clap}
 westslope wrote:

Interesting to observe the fat tail on left-hand side of the song rating distribution.  Guess I'm not alone with my unsympathetic, anti-patriotic crude tastes....

 

De gustibus no es disputandum


 

One has to be pedantic when it comes to Latin "...non est..."
excellent popsong!
elvis is king
{#Crown}

{#Dance}This definitely is an 8 - Most Excellent!


Interesting to observe the fat tail on left-hand side of the song rating distribution.  Guess I'm not alone with my unsympathetic, anti-patriotic crude tastes....

 

De gustibus no es disputandum


I didn't know anything about Elvis till I started listening to RP. Since then I've bought 10 of his albums! He's become my absolute favorite artist.

I think he owes you some royalties, rather the other way 'round!


Personally, I think Elvis Costello has a very good voice.  Listen carefully to Alison or some of the stuff from Brutal Youth.  Or for that matter, try singing this song!  And as far as Eddie Mercury goes, I've always hated his voice, finding it screechy and irritating.  Which just goes to show, everyone's taste is different.!{#Smile}
Thanks lm,
I'm w/u 101%.
EC is one of the true poets. My album vote: Imperial Bedroom ( original version...no extras )
It was a complete and  powerful opus.

 
lemmoth wrote:


Another fool thinkin' every rock singer needs to be Freddie Mercury.  It ain't opera friend.  Let's ban all rock sung by folks without converntionally good voices.

Bye Bye to Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Elvis C.(best vocalist of the bunch by the way), Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen.

Send them and their considerable song-writng skills to some sort of modern day tin-pan alley to just write songs to be interepreted by the Linda Ronstadts of the world. 

How incredibly dull and boring.  No all you Dylan, Neil, Waits, Lou and Bruce fans get behind me on this one.
 

 lemmoth wrote:


Another fool thinkin' every rock singer needs to be Freddie Mercury.  It ain't opera friend.  Let's ban all rock sung by folks without converntionally good voices.

Bye Bye to Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Elvis C.(best vocalist of the bunch by the way), Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen.

Send them and their considerable song-writng skills to some sort of modern day tin-pan alley to just write songs to be interepreted by the Linda Ronstadts of the world. 

How incredibly dull and boring.  No all you Dylan, Neil, Waits, Lou and Bruce fans get behind me on this one.
 

Applause!

As I've said before, this "Shut him up, he can't sing" crap that's been flying around is thanks to the American Idol-ization of America — if he doesn't sound like Clay or Kelly, his mouth should be duct taped shut. It's bullshit. Rock is not all about the technique, people. Listen to The Clash and then tell me that only people with mellifluous voices should be able to sing.
 andesitic wrote:


Fair enough... but you must understand there are those of us out there that start bleeding uncontrollably from our ears when EC starts to sing...please EC stick to the songwriting and let someone with a voice sing.
 

Another fool thinkin' every rock singer needs to be Freddie Mercury.  It ain't opera friend.  Let's ban all rock sung by folks without conventionally good voices.

Bye Bye to Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Elvis C.(best vocalist of the bunch by the way), Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen.

Send them and their considerable song-writng skills to some sort of modern day tin-pan alley to just write songs to be interepreted by the Linda Ronstadts of the world. 

How incredibly dull and boring.  Now all you Dylan, Neil, Waits, Lou and Bruce fans get behind me on this one.

 horstman wrote:
My Aim is True, Next Years Model, and Armed Forces are musical tour de forces. Most of everything that followed was pale in comparison. His last two albums seem to be coming back to the early years. This song especially esquews this sound.

Solid 8. That and it references my age which is right in the middle.

Rock on Elvis.
 

Ok. I'll see MAIT, TYM (THIS Year's Model) and AF.  And I'll raise you Get Happy, Imperial Bedroom and Kinf of America as EC's three greatest LPs.
 philippepierre wrote:
(bis)
E.C. : Have you ever try to listen others songs?..
-> : yes, i even bought a CD to force myself (to be honest, a bargain on a flee market), but result was same-same :
i felt, and always feel, your voice is no choice.

E.C.: Well, you know, plenty, plenty do like me !
-> : I know... i'll like to be friend with them, to share at least this emptiness .
Do they all wear thick glasses to get better hearing ?

  Nice attempt at English.  By the way, EC is one of the foremost musicoligists of modern and classical music.  He has not only listened to other songs - he has written articles and been interviewed extensively about other peoples compositions from Bach to Beck.


Lowest rating I've given an Elvis song on RP - this one - 8
WTMECORP
3
philippepierre wrote:
Do they all wear thick glasses to get better hearing ?


{#Eek}
As a matter of fact I do, but it doesn't help with this song AT ALL.

Love LOVE the way this song settles down then just POPs and bounces around ...then settles down again Well done Elvis