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Elvis Costello — Accidents Will Happen
Album: Armed Forces
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 949









Released: 1979
Length: 2:55
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Oh, I just don't know where to begin
Though he says he'll wait forever
It's now or never
But she keeps 'em hangin' on
The silly champion
She says she can't go home without a chaperone

Accidents will happen
They only hit and run
You used to be a victim now you're not the only one
Accidents will happen
They only hit and run
I don't want to hear it cause I know what I've done

There's so many fish in the sea
That only rise up on the sweat and smoke of mercury
But they keep you hangin' on
they say you're so young
Your mind is made up but your mouth is undone

Accidents will happen
They only hit and run
You used to be a victim now you're not the only one
Accidents will happen
They only hit and run
I don't want to hear it cause I know what I've done

And it's the damage that we do we never know
it's the words that we don't say that scare me so
there's so many people to see
so many people you can check up on and add to your collection
But they keep you hangin' on
until you're well hung
Your mouth is make up but your mind is undone

Accidents will happen
They're only hit and run
You used to be a victim now you're not the only one
Accidents will happen
They only hit and run
I don't want to hear it cause I know what I
I know what I
I know what I've done
I know (x4)
Comments (121)add comment
Weak sauce
 Steely_D wrote:
Damn, this was a time.

 
Yep.  Oliver's Army are on their way.
Damn, this was a time.
 kcar wrote:

It was actually a band from CA called Clover. According to Wikipedia, anyways. One of the non-original Clovers, Sean Hopper, teamed up with Huey Lewis after Clover split and formed the News. The Attractions backed Elvis on his second album, "This Year's Model." 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clover_(band)

Clover was an American country rock band formed in Mill Valley, California, in 1967. They are best known as the backup band for Elvis Costello's 1977 debut album My Aim Is True (recorded in the UK), and for members later forming or joining more successful acts, including Huey Lewis and the News,The Doobie BrothersToto, and Lucinda Williams. Clover disbanded in 1978. Three members reunited for two concerts backing Costello in San Francisco on November 8, 2007. 

 
Brinsley Schwarz (the band) and other UK pub rock bands were fans of the country rock thing happening in the US. One Brinsleys song had a line, "Gonna saddle up and ride away, back to the hills where Clover plays." Brinsley Schwarz' bassist was Nick Lowe. Nick was the de facto house producer at Stiff Records when Elvis walked in with a demo tape. It wasn't the entire band, no Huey, but that's how they came to be on the record. Later, the Attractions re-recorded the songs for the first album and I forget the timeline exactly but I think the decision was made to go with the Clover versions, some of which had appeared on 7" singles. I suppose the Attractions versions are out there but I haven't tried to find them. Probably in a box set somewhere...
Good Lord the accompanying visuals for this song on the Apple TV app are a nonstop string of aircraft and transportation disasters!
      Unmistakable Elvis Costello ....  excellent   {#Yes} .....nothing accidental here
 tulfan wrote:


I understood that Huey Lewis' band, the News was the backing band for his first effort.

 
It was actually a band from CA called Clover. According to Wikipedia, anyways. One of the non-original Clovers, Sean Hopper, teamed up with Huey Lewis after Clover split and formed the News. The Attractions backed Elvis on his second album, "This Year's Model." 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clover_(band)

Clover was an American country rock band formed in Mill Valley, California, in 1967. They are best known as the backup band for Elvis Costello's 1977 debut album My Aim Is True (recorded in the UK), and for members later forming or joining more successful acts, including Huey Lewis and the News,The Doobie BrothersToto, and Lucinda Williams. Clover disbanded in 1978. Three members reunited for two concerts backing Costello in San Francisco on November 8, 2007. 
 DavidS_UK wrote:
RESPECT!! 
 
Someone who 'gets it' about PR.  We may not like everything we hear but it's always instructive/informativeI may disagree about thw merits of this particular song but wholeheartedly endorse Westslopes generous nature.

westslope wrote:

I understand the talent, I see the peer respect.

 

Can't help it; must be an involuntary muscle.  Pushes me away.  2

 

But I would be disappointed if RP didn't play Costello.   So enjoy, wince, let's all behave like we are alive.



 

 
Totally agreed!  If you don't like the song, rate it accordingly.  But there's no reason to say "this song sucks" or "I hate Elvis".
RESPECT!! 
 
Someone who 'gets it' about PR.  We may not like everything we hear but it's always instructive/informativeI may disagree about thw merits of this particular song but wholeheartedly endorse Westslopes generous nature.

westslope wrote:

I understand the talent, I see the peer respect.

 

Can't help it; must be an involuntary muscle.  Pushes me away.  2

 

But I would be disappointed if RP didn't play Costello.   So enjoy, wince, let's all behave like we are alive.



 


Aha, one of those interesting double peak songs that generate lots of interesting comments - people seem to either like it or hate it (or looking at the comments maybe it's more the naysayers generally don't like Elvis Costello rather than this song in particular. 
For me, a likeable 7 at least.
Accidents do happen: Elvis Costello starting to sing being one of them!
 DaveInVA wrote:
Not the greatest song to listen to when you are driving {#Mrgreen}

 
.... and not the greatest when you are NOT driving 

{#Skull} sucko-barfo
Not the greatest song to listen to when you are driving {#Mrgreen}
An accident is not stricly necessary, but a nose operation will do.
 MiracleDrug wrote:
brilliant song from an equally brilliant album...


 
....... what he said
 hencini wrote:


Hmmm... You sure about that? I'm pretty sure they were with him starting on his second album (This Year's Model)... 

 

I understood that Huey Lewis' band, the News was the backing band for his first effort.
 lemmoth wrote:
It was on this album that he first worked with his dynamic band, the Attractions.

 

Hmmm... You sure about that? I'm pretty sure they were with him starting on his second album (This Year's Model)... 
There's an great live version of this on the bonus disc of the Rhino reissue of Armed Forces. Totally different personality. 
{#Lol} (former member) wrote:
There was a period after this where Elvis put on quite a bit of weight, looking a bit like Jerry Garcia. And so we rewrote his catalog

Appetites will happen; it's always eat and run...

What's so funny bout fats, proteins, and carbohydrates?

Two BIG Hitlers

Allison...my aim is food.... 
 


Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus is the most brilliant songwriter in the rock and roll idiom since Robert Zimmerman.

It was on this album that he first worked with his dynamic band, the Attractions.

I understand the talent, I see the peer respect.

 

Can't help it; must be an involuntary muscle.  Pushes me away.  2

 

But I would be disappointed if RP didn't play Costello.   So enjoy, wince, let's all behave like we are alive.


brilliant song from an equally brilliant album...

The significant majority of the votes are "8".  

Almost all of the comments say this song is crap.

Hilarious.

I will go against the grain.  I gave it an 8 and I love the song, the album, the genre and the artist. 
One of the many anthems when I was at art college in Crouch End, in London, at the end of the 70s/early 80s. New wave was a fantastic period of music. Roundhouse, Marquee, 100 Club. The Stranglers, Nick Lowe and The Undertones drank in our local pub. Music was raw and available all around us. You just had to be there to appreciate the moment. This number still holds its own despite most 80s music sounding very dated. OK, EC has a a voice that you either love or hate, but eclectic is what this station is all about, right?

 
 Droidac wrote:

If you want an 11, you could just rate it 1, then rate it 1 again. That's what I do everytime this song comes on.

 
{#Roflol} I think it's terrible as well. 2.

 kaybee wrote:
I've always liked Costello's coupling of clever, sarcastic lyricism with upbeat Buddy Holly arrangements and vocals.  This is one of his best, I think.
 
{#High-five} That's a great description!

There was a period after this where Elvis put on quite a bit of weight, looking a bit like Jerry Garcia. And so we rewrote his catalog

Appetites will happen; it's always eat and run...

What's so funny bout fats, proteins, and carbohydrates?

Two BIG Hitlers

Allison...my aim is food.... 
 fissmoll wrote:
A track from the best album ABBA never wrote, we just to say back then... EC pretty often quoted ABBA as a good band at the time of recording Armed Forces and me and my friends found the piano-playing derived from ABBA's Benny Andersson pompuos style of playing Good track from a brilliant album
 


 Felix_The_Cat wrote:
Wow! Lenny Kravitz?
 
good one.  EC could be his Dad.

Wow! Lenny Kravitz?
Elvis has a way with words!
{#Notworthy}
 lemmoth wrote:
Where is the 11 when you need it?  Pure genius of a song.  Love every version especially the slowed down live ones.

So many people you can check up on and add to your collection.

And what a great outro..............

{#Notworthy}{#Notworthy}
 
If you want an 11, you could just rate it 1, then rate it 1 again. That's what I do everytime this song comes on.

his songs all sound ungoodly the same to me
Where is the 11 when you need it?  Pure genius of a song.  Love every version especially the slowed down live ones.

So many people you can check up on and add to your collection.

And what a great outro..............

{#Notworthy}{#Notworthy}
I've always looked Costello's coupling of clever, sarcastic lyricism with upbeat Buddy Holly arrangements and vocals.  This is one of his best, I think.
This one has stood the test of time.  That's not a mistake.

Superb.
 sharkey wrote:


No. I agree with Frenchie. Just never got this guy. It's pure crap.
 

You realize the second and third sentences pretty much contradict each other, right?

And something you don't get != "pure crap."

I think this accidentally got into the RP mix.
 Rickvee wrote:
A classic EC song - great melody and timeless lyrics. Thank God EC came along.
 

Agree.
A classic EC song - great melody and timeless lyrics. Thank God EC came along.
jmk999 wrote:
Few things are as reliable as the chorus of whining whenever a Costello song is played on RP. If those of us who like his music concede he's not the very best musician ever, will you shut the hell up?
No. I agree with Frenchie. Just never got this guy. It's pure crap.
:eek: :stop: :puke:
His first three albums were phenomenal. And that was when I was in high school, almost 30 years ago!! Now he is coming around again. But the first years were the best.
Declan & Co hit their stride - a gem.
Few things are as reliable as the chorus of whining whenever a Costello song is played on RP. If those of us who like his music concede he's not the very best musician ever, will you shut the hell up?
Pyro wrote:
all opinion, of course (no need to get all personal!)
If you look at my song comments, you'll see this is a frequent thing. Its not personal, its facetious.
out_to_lunch wrote:
your MOM is an accident!!!
all opinion, of course (no need to get all personal!)
Pyro wrote:
:yes: Accidents will happen, Mr & Mrs Costello....
your MOM is an accident!!!
Daniel_Pittenger wrote:
I know he's classic and all that, but I really can't stand him. His voice is irritating. All opinion of course.
:yes: Accidents will happen, Mr & Mrs Costello....
Accidents continue to happen, as this song has made it on to the play list yet again..
buddy0407 wrote:
The original angry young man. Excellent!
A track from the best album ABBA never wrote, we just to say back then... EC pretty often quoted ABBA as a good band at the time of recording Armed Forces and me and my friends found the piano-playing derived from ABBA's Benny Andersson pompuos style of playing Good track from a brilliant album
The original angry young man. Excellent!
You philistine! Geecheeboy wrote:
Call me philistine if you want. When EC comes on, I go see what's playing on the LRC. Maybe we won't have to worry about it too much longer if the RIAA has their way....
Call me philistine if you want. When EC comes on, I go see what's playing on the LRC. Maybe we won't have to worry about it too much longer if the RIAA has their way....
I know he's classic and all that, but I really can't stand him. His voice is irritating. All opinion of course.
Saw him with Squeeze, one of the best shows ever.
With his fingers in his nose! highwindows wrote:
As someone else has I think observed - he sounds as if he is permanently on the edge of throwing up!! :snooty:
kazuma wrote:
Perhaps Michael Richards should consider this as his new theme song.
*snort*
mrmojorisin wrote:
I just don't get the attraction of Elvis Costello.
But do you get The Attractions of Elvis Costello?
Perhaps Michael Richards should consider this as his new theme song.
E.T. phone home.
one of my favorite Elvis Costello tunes - a solid 5
nuggler wrote:
That's cool. Just respect him....
This is quickly going in the direction of Anchorman.
davin wrote:
Yeah. I want to like him but I just don't.
That's cool. Just respect him....
ahhh the pain.... make it stop!!!!
mrmojorisin wrote:
I just don't get the attraction of Elvis Costello.
Yeah. I want to like him but I just don't.
I just don't get the attraction of Elvis Costello.
andesitic wrote:
I too am in agreement that this is way too much Costello.... Maybe an offshoot website called "radio costello" is in order.
How about you don't - Ladies and Gentlemen, Scotty don't.
catmaven wrote:
If you like this but want better, try this: Sugar Hill Records - The Best in Roots MusicFrom Hell To Breakfast: A Taste of Sugar Hill's Texas Singer-Songwriters ... With Sugar Hill's incomparable stable of Texas artists, this is one of the best ... www.sugarhillrecords.com/catalog/
You've been pimping Sugar Hill a lot, and I agree they're a great label. Not better than this, however.
Elvis' nasal voice annoys me this morning.
highwindows wrote:
As someone else has I think observed - he sounds as if he is permanently on the edge of throwing up!! :snooty:
I agree 100%! Don't really care for his music
This song appeared originally on Armed Forces - the best Elvis Costello album - hands down, in my opinion. You could gather one or two songs from all of his other records and maybe make an album almost as good as Armed Forces. Definitely a great CD to have in your collection.
:jump:
If you like this but want better, try this: Sugar Hill Records - The Best in Roots MusicFrom Hell To Breakfast: A Taste of Sugar Hill's Texas Singer-Songwriters ... With Sugar Hill's incomparable stable of Texas artists, this is one of the best ... www.sugarhillrecords.com/catalog/
:puke: :puke: :puke: :stop: :ass:
As someone else has I think observed - he sounds as if he is permanently on the edge of throwing up!! :snooty:
andesitic wrote:
Maybe an offshoot website called "radio costello" is in order.
I know I'd listen to it.
stephq123 wrote:
I can't stand Elvis Costello, and am glad to see I'm not the only one. I thought maybe I was missing something.
I too am in agreement that this is way too much Costello.... Maybe an offshoot website called "radio costello" is in order.
this is supposed to be "The Best of"???
I can't stand Elvis Costello, and am glad to see I'm not the only one. I thought maybe I was missing something.
eco wrote:
ah crap! i just spilled my drink...
Ah, well...accidents will happen. :propeller:
A true classic.
seekinggrace wrote:
Please stop with the constant Elvis Costello!! Eclectic doesn't mean hearing Costello 6+ a day.
Amen
stubbsz wrote:
Please get a clue or shut up.
Oh, you charmer! How thoughtfully reasoned! How well spoken!
Govi wrote:
Please, find something good by Costello or don't play him at all.
Please get a clue or shut up.
I remember when my brother bought this album. I was 9 or 10. Still incredible.
Aw, man, I'm 16 years old and I'm hanging out with Jay Weesner, and we're peeking through the blinds at Michelle Lumsden in her bedroom across the alley...
Please, find something good by Costello or don't play him at all.
Is this a bad rip? I don't remember the vocals being so muted.
Please stop with the constant Elvis Costello!! Eclectic doesn't mean hearing Costello 6+ a day.
Four stellar songs in a row!!!
8:26 am - Elvis Costello - Accidents Will Happen 8:24 am - Beatles - We Can Work It Out 8:21 am - Marshall Crenshaw - Mary Anne 8:18 am - David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
has anybody seen the video to this song? can anyone tell me if they have because i heard it was the first ever animated video? 1979 wasnt it?
ah crap! i just spilled my drink...
:jump:
Stevo wrote:
ugh.
Not ugh.
ugh.
First I heard of Elvis Costello was when my friend showed me My Aim is True and told me he was the next big thing. I looked at the cover photo, and then at my friend, skeptically. Well, guess who was right? Brilliant stuff.
lbrc wrote:
accidents will happen? that explains alot about elvis costello! :evil:
That must been what the doctor said when you were born!!! :beat:
lbrc wrote:
not angry. . . just stating the obvious facts. aparently elvis is aswell with this song :lol: :evil:
reminder: opinion is not fact - no matter whose it is. ^_^
i adore this song. it's awesome. this kicks the crap out of spooky girlfriend. :nodhead:
elvis has released some poo and freely admits it in the liner notes of his rereleases on rykodisk. But this is not poo. this is a cool song, folks. you need to know the lyrics before you decide that ec songs are good or not, because he is a tad hard to understand. his lyrics are brilliant. sometimes they require some contextual info to understand.
Originally Posted by sweet_william: A lot of negativism concerning this. If you had been there during the post disco, southern (c)rock crap of the late seventies, you'd understand what a relief EC and other New Wavers really were. It wasn't all great music upon reflection, but compared to what passed for pop then, it was a tremendous relief. :moon:
A lot of negativism concerning this. If you had been there during the post disco, southern (c)rock crap of the late seventies, you'd understand what a relief EC and other New Wavers really were. It wasn't all great music upon reflection, but compared to what passed for pop then, it was a tremendous relief. :moon:
originally posted by mperry: one would think that the "angry" young elvis of this era would be right up the alley of someone with such an affected "angry" disposition. :cool:
not angry. . . just stating the obvious facts. aparently elvis is aswell with this song :lol: :evil:
originally posted by mike1g: accidents can, and do happen. like this song for instance. at least i would hope it was an accident. c'mon, there had to be one dissenter. :)
not just one- there are many more, i do spare it the sucko barfo (i save that for dylan and van). this is more ho-hum. not for musical ability but for voice,lyrics and his stupid name. :lol: :lol: :lol: :evil:
Normally I like Elvis Costello. But, not crazy about this one. Seems a little strained.
Accidents can, and do happen. Like this song for instance. At least I would hope it was an accident. C\'mon, there had to be one dissenter. :)
Originally Posted by mperry: One would think that the "angry" young Elvis of this era would be right up the alley of someone with such an affected "angry" disposition. :cool:
It can be quite confronting to see a part of yourself reflected in someone else ;)
Anything by Elvis is \"godlike\"!
originally posted by lbrc: accidents will happen? that explains alot about elvis costello! :evil:
one would think that the "angry" young elvis of this era would be right up the alley of someone with such an affected "angry" disposition. :cool:
accidents will happen? that explains alot about elvis costello! :evil:
This song sounds like it belongs on Bosom Buddies
My all-time favourite EC song!!! Thanks, Bill!!! :) :D :) :D :cool: :D :) :D :)
As it says on the cover of his first LP \"My Aim is True\" - Elvis is King! And this LP (\"Armed Forces\") is the best of the best, although even average Elvis is still a heck of a lot better than almost anything else going.
Ive been on and off \"into\" Costello (and one of the few, it seems, who liked his Mighty Like A Rose album) and consider this to be one of the absolute highlights of his career. It\'s complex, but direct at the same time.
appidents will haccen. \'specially after too much merlot. :eek: :D
Elvis.....!!!! (And I don't mean the hip shaking one.) This is vintage Elvis at one of his peaks, and yes, he's had several. Unfortunately he lost most of his mainstream audience when he kept exploring the musical landscape but they stood still and wondered where he'd gone off to. Commercial radio was particularly guilty of this, playing "Alison" and "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea " as if it were all he'd ever done... This is probably the bes tof his first "new wave" period, where he teased punk and power pop and then gracefully bowed out to pursue the richer musical areas that "Get Happy", "Trust" and "Imperial Bedroom" and would provide. That was his second peak, but went largely unnoticed since it wasn't mainstream... Play more Elvis Bill, mind you already a lot of it, and for that I thank you. Cheers Jacques Radio Paradise: What Radio Could Have Been. NB: To the poster below, you probably meant to say "archetypal" and not "prototypical" which would imply a song in its earliest stages... like Elvis humming it for the first time in the bathroom while shaving... or perhaps a song Elvis wrote when he was 12...
To me this is the archtypical Elvis song - drop-dead gorgeous melodies, tight musicianship, and wordplay that rivals Dylan. More hooks than a Peter Pan revival! And thanx to Jacques for the proto vs arch catch!