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Elvis Costello — Inch By Inch
Album: Goodbye Cruel World
Avg rating:
5.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 333









Released: 1984
Length: 2:24
Plays (last 30 days): 0
You can take a powder
You can take a drink
You can keep the shrink
And the kitchen sink
Write my name in heaven
In invisible ink
I just woke up from dreaming, I think

You can take me over
You can give me a lip
You can take me under
You can give me the slip
Take off everything or tear me off a strip
Like a lady in the chamber
And another in the clip

Don't move a muscle baby
Don't even flinch
You can miss me by a mile
Or just inch by inch
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
You can pull me up again
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
As pulses race
I long to see that look upon your face

You can take me outside
You can take me apart
You can take me upstairs
you can take me to heart
You made me love you when
you thought you were so smart
Don't try to stop me when
you told me to start

Don't move a muscle baby
Don't even flinch
You can miss me by a mile
Or just inch by inch
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
You can pull me up again
Inch by inch
Inch by inch
As pulses race
I long to see that look upon your face
Comments (50)add comment
Inch by inch to the end of the song I hope.
Short and sweet......context....Such a dearth of real music that year...
 mrdak wrote:
glad that was short

 
{#Cheers}
Wow, I used to have this album on cassette, but it's long gone. This is a forgotten treasure. Thanks.
 jbunniii wrote:
"Goodbye Cruel World" is severely underrated overall.  This song is Exhibit A.  "The Comedians" is Exhibit B.
 
As Elvis himself says about his "worst album"  some really good songs are stuck inside those arrangements.

 jbunniii wrote:
"Goodbye Cruel World" is severely underrated overall.  This song is Exhibit A.  "The Comedians" is Exhibit B.
 

I really like "I Wanna Be Loved" (not even his song I don't think)—and the super-cool 80s duet with Daryl Hall: "The Only Flame In Town". There are a few clunkers on this album—but also many great songs. I think Declan is too hard on himself with this one.
glad that was short
 jbunniii wrote:
"Goodbye Cruel World" is severely underrated overall.  This song is Exhibit A.  "The Comedians" is Exhibit B.
 
My second favorite tune off this album is "The Deportees Club".

"Goodbye Cruel World" is severely underrated overall.  This song is Exhibit A.  "The Comedians" is Exhibit B.
Speaking of slinky...
Papernapkin wrote:
Do you ever notice RP plays Elvis C but never Elvis P?
 
 
SweTex wrote:
Lets keep it that way.
 
Not true, "A Fool Such As I" and "Jailhouse Rock" have both been played this month.

 Papernapkin wrote:
Do you ever notice RP plays Elvis C but never Elvis P?
 

Lets keep it that way.
{#Fire}  rule # 1 ,never Q,mr bills doings,,just adopt !

 The_Seeker wrote:
That little bass lick reminds me of the middle section of 'I'm Only Sleeping' by The Beatles.

As for Elvis Costello, there's not much of his stuff that I like and this is no exception.
 
On your first point you are exactly right. Two words - Geoff Emerick.

On your second, that's a shame - missing out on one of the greatest singer songwriters in the history of rock and roll.


 velvetglove wrote:


I'd like to direct the following to any Elvis Costello fans out there.  Especially those that may be suffering from the same confusion I am (and based upon some of the comments below, more than a few of you are...) 

Costello is incredibly prolific.  Has anyone else noticed that the song choices made here from among his work are, well, downright peculiar?  Jeebus knows that I love the Radio Paradise, but only a few of these choices can be realistically chalked up to sentiment.  38 Costello tracks in the library, with a high percentage of clunkers.  Oh yes, and number of the brilliant ones remain unplayed.  Not once

It begs the question I'm about to ask: Bill — are you an Elvis Costello hater?

  As the proud owner of (check's IPOD) well over 500 Elvis tracks, I gotta say I can't agree. Inch by Inch is a mediocre song from EC's self-confessed worst record but I think in the 39 there are more great gems that are not big hits - like Beyond Belief, Man out of Time, Secondary Modern, Deep Dark Truthful Mirror, Monkey to Man, American Gangster Time, -  than clunkers.
Now if there were only 500 plus in the playlist {#Cool}

 alux wrote:

Dude.  Do you have any idea how full of yourself this makes you seem?  

 
 
As opposed to someone who claims that he posts from "atop the pyramid"?

 velvetglove wrote:


I'd like to direct the following to any Elvis Costello fans out there.  Especially those that may be suffering from the same confusion I am (and based upon some of the comments below, more than a few of you are...) 

Costello is incredibly prolific.  Has anyone else noticed that the song choices made here from among his work are, well, downright peculiar?  Jeebus knows that I love the Radio Paradise, but only a few of these choices can be realistically chalked up to sentiment.  38 Costello tracks in the library, with a high percentage of clunkers.  Oh yes, and number of the brilliant ones remain unplayed.  Not once

It begs the question I'm about to ask: Bill — are you an Elvis Costello hater?
 
Dude.  Do you have any idea how full of yourself this makes you seem?  

 
 velvetglove wrote:


I'd like to direct the following to any Elvis Costello fans out there.  Especially those that may be suffering from the same confusion I am (and based upon some of the comments below, more than a few of you are...) 

Costello is incredibly prolific.  Has anyone else noticed that the song choices made here from among his work are, well, downright peculiar?  Jeebus knows that I love the Radio Paradise, but only a few of these choices can be realistically chalked up to sentiment.  38 Costello tracks in the library, with a high percentage of clunkers.  Oh yes, and number of the brilliant ones remain unplayed.  Not once

It begs the question I'm about to ask: Bill — are you an Elvis Costello hater?

 

Huh, interesting. I hadn't actually thought of it, but now that you mention it...

I don't think Bill hates Elvis, though (just a guess). Elvis-likers (for lack of a better term) are a rather varied lot — for example, I know one who claims her favorite Elvis album is Spike. Um, what?
 holborne wrote:
Yeah, this is an adequate song from a crummy album. And I LURVE Elvis.
 

I'd like to direct the following to any Elvis Costello fans out there.  Especially those that may be suffering from the same confusion I am (and based upon some of the comments below, more than a few of you are...) 

Costello is incredibly prolific.  Has anyone else noticed that the song choices made here from among his work are, well, downright peculiar?  Jeebus knows that I love the Radio Paradise, but only a few of these choices can be realistically chalked up to sentiment.  38 Costello tracks in the library, with a high percentage of clunkers.  Oh yes, and number of the brilliant ones remain unplayed.  Not once

It begs the question I'm about to ask: Bill — are you an Elvis Costello hater?

 Papernapkin wrote:
Do you ever notice RP plays Elvis C but never Elvis P?
 

Au contraire! I just heard "(Hunka Hunka) Burnin' Love" just the other day.
Yeah, this is an adequate song from a crummy album. And I LURVE Elvis.
Like Elvis, but not one of his best works.
Do you ever notice RP plays Elvis C but never Elvis P?
rocco1207 wrote:
Up to this one I had bought every EC album religiously, as soon as they came out. With this record the magic just seemed to be missing. He's had a few hits here and there but the brilliance seems gone... I have no desire to buy his records anymore.
I thought this was his weakest record, but the subsequent ones are mostly consistently good, especially Blood & Chocolate, King of America, and Brutal Youth. Those are all outstanding, IMO, and nearly as good as any of the early stuff.
js5280 wrote:
Too bad it is wasted on his songs that always seem quite trite and singsongy IMO. Not an EC fan...
I became a fan of Elvis's voice with one song: "Al-i-son". Can't say I've liked a lot of his stuff but on his first album, his "aim was true . . ."
pelipeli wrote:
I like his voice; and I was a voice major! That said, there's a lot more to singing than hitting the right notes. Vocal quality is most of what you concentrate on - intonation is what comes with correct placement (and not being tone deaf of course)
Too bad it is wasted on his songs that always seem quite trite and singsongy IMO. Not an EC fan...
I remember when this song was the Screamer (best new song) of the Week on WLIR 92.7 in NY in July of '84. Oh, the memories.. (click here)
I like his voice; and I was a voice major! That said, there's a lot more to singing than hitting the right notes. Vocal quality is most of what you concentrate on - intonation is what comes with correct placement (and not being tone deaf of course) ploafmaster wrote:
I think the problem is that people are confusing a dislike for the sound of somebody's voice with the inability to sing. Elvis Costello certainly CAN sing. He's generally in tune with the rest of the music, and doesn't seem to have trouble hitting the right notes. It's the sound of his voice that I don't like, and that's a matter of taste. I suspect for a vast number of other folks claiming he "can't sing" they mean the same thing. If they really mean he can't sing, then either they have perfect pitch and are so picky that most symphonies would grate, or they don't know what they're talking about (literal ignorance, not an insult).
wtf? :eh:
Up to this one I had bought every EC album religiously, as soon as they came out. With this record the magic just seemed to be missing. He's had a few hits here and there but the brilliance seems gone... I have no desire to buy his records anymore.
Correct he can sing and it's a voice many don't like. My mum would call it "affected". I never really liked it but I liked his music so much that I got beyond it and now I kinda like it. ploafmaster wrote:
I think the problem is that people are confusing a dislike for the sound of somebody's voice with the inability to sing. Elvis Costello certainly CAN sing. He's generally in tune with the rest of the music, and doesn't seem to have trouble hitting the right notes. It's the sound of his voice that I don't like, and that's a matter of taste. I suspect for a vast number of other folks claiming he "can't sing" they mean the same thing. If they really mean he can't sing, then either they have perfect pitch and are so picky that most symphonies would grate, or they don't know what they're talking about (literal ignorance, not an insult).
I think the problem is that people are confusing a dislike for the sound of somebody's voice with the inability to sing. Elvis Costello certainly CAN sing. He's generally in tune with the rest of the music, and doesn't seem to have trouble hitting the right notes. It's the sound of his voice that I don't like, and that's a matter of taste. I suspect for a vast number of other folks claiming he "can't sing" they mean the same thing. If they really mean he can't sing, then either they have perfect pitch and are so picky that most symphonies would grate, or they don't know what they're talking about (literal ignorance, not an insult). veegez wrote:
I shouldn't even read these Elvis Costello song comments anymore because of the overabundance of dolts who predictably think Elvis Costello can't "sing". Terribly off-putting. Elvis Costello rules.
Wow. Haven't heard this in a long time. Agree with EC that this was probably their worst disc, but as others have commented, it does have some good songs (like this), marred by awful 80s production where Elvis seemed to be trying to go "mainstream."
That bass riff reminds me of "I'm Only Sleeping" by the Beatles. edit: guess I'm not the only one...
veegez wrote:
I shouldn't even read these Elvis Costello song comments anymore because of the overabundance of dolts who predictably think Elvis Costello can't "sing". Terribly off-putting. Elvis Costello rules.
I agree. He's one of the most creative people on the planet.
Pure genius, but as with most genius' they are way under appreciated, pity, I do so love his style. :good-vibes:
gizmo wrote:
Nice album cover - but sorry Elvis you just can't sing! :stupid:
I shouldn't even read these Elvis Costello song comments anymore because of the overabundance of dolts who predictably think Elvis Costello can't "sing". Terribly off-putting. Elvis Costello rules.
Nice album cover - but sorry Elvis you just can't sing! :stupid:
Govi wrote:
I wish I understood the attraction some find ...
Subconscious assimilation appears to be on track. :twisted:
The_Seeker wrote:
...As for Elvis Costello, there's not much of his stuff that I like and this is no exception.
Exactly my feelings. I wish I understood the attraction some find, but every time he's played on RP, I hit the stop listening button. :beat:
Darlington wrote:
Costello hates, no loathes this record. I have seen multiple interviews to this effect and in one of the reissues, he even talks about it in the liner notes. Methinks he is a little too harsh. It's not his best and has an outdate 80's production but there are many great songs on it, including this gem.
I remember feeling that this album represented a huge decline from everything that had preceded it. As a matter of fact, it was the last Costello album I ever purchased, and I had them all up to that point. But I have the terrible feeling (based in part on hearing this track for the first time in about 15 years) that I'd now find this album far superior to just about everything I've heard from him since. And that's pretty darn sad.
That little bass lick reminds me of the middle section of 'I'm Only Sleeping' by The Beatles. As for Elvis Costello, there's not much of his stuff that I like and this is no exception.
Cyclehawk wrote:
Great to hear lesser-known gems like this... while this album probably wouldn't rank among his strongest, it does have several great cuts like this one.
Costello hates, no loathes this record. I have seen multiple interviews to this effect and in one of the reissues, he even talks about it in the liner notes. Methinks he is a little too harsh. It's not his best and has an outdate 80's production but there are many great songs on it, including this gem.
This guy is very very boring!!!!!!!!!!
Great to hear lesser-known gems like this... while this album probably wouldn't rank among his strongest, it does have several great cuts like this one.
Great tune for us fans of the baritone sax, which is definitely not on most iPod rotations.
Most of Costello's singing is worse than marginal... this is no exception. Words are great, tunes are fine and mellow, it is just the way that he sings that turns it to cr*p.
Man, I just LOVE Declan McManus.
Sexxxxxxxxxy... *swoon*.