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Elvis Costello — Waiting for the End of the World
Album: My Aim Is True
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1695









Released: 1977
Length: 3:13
Plays (last 30 days): 2
The man from the television crawled into the train
I wonder who he's gonna stick it in this time
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment
So they'll probably pull his hands off when they find out his name
And then they shut down the power all along the line
And we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine
They got to touching; all the girls who were too scared to call out
Nobody was saying anything at all
We were waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'Cause you really started something
Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again
We got to the station about twenty minutes later
The legendary hitchhiker says that he knows where it's at
Now he'd like to go to Spain or somewhere like that
With his two-tone Bible and his funny cigarettes
His suntan lotion and his castanets
He was waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'Cause you really started something
And then the bride, the groom, the congregation and the priest
All got onto the train when we were three stations east, yeah
Hiding from a scandal in the national press
They had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach
But don't throw out the lifeline 'til they're clean out of reach
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Comments (177)add comment
I froze my ass off hoping to see Elvis at the El Macambo in Toronto, soon after this album was released.  We didn't get in and I got sick.  Shit :( 
Bill's intro "And now a cheerful little ditty from.." I think he said? made me laugh, and so did the line
"Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'Cause you really started something".
Good dj'ing and good songwriting.
As the ultimate reluctant Elvis Costello fan, castanets + suntan lotion in a song may be contrived AF yet remains perpetually satisfying. Go figure.  
 aonley wrote:

Country twang poser dingus.  Always trying to be someone, instead of being someone.



"Country twang" -- ? EC is actually known as a pioneer of the New Wave sound of the '80's. Ever listen to Green Shirt, Oliver's Army, Pump It Up....? No twang there, man.
Country twang poser dingus.  Always trying to be someone, instead of being someone.
Only a 6.8 overall?!? Come on! Not many artists can tell that complete of a story in a <4:00 minute pop song. And you can dance to it!

Please bump!
Too cool. Fantastic 😎
Snappy classic. First time I've noticed that the lead guitar sounds a lot like Adrian Belew. 
 Sleepytyme wrote:
Dfitz wrote:
Elvis Costello is a joke, a wanna-be Bob Dillon at best. Please stop playing his music RP, he is consistently a weak link in the radio paradise playlist chain.



Who's Bob Dillon?
 

I don't know, but I'll bet he's no Declan Patrick MacManus!
 Dfitz wrote:
Elvis Costello is a joke, a wanna-be Bob Dillon at best.  Please stop playing his music RP, he is consistently a weak link in the radio paradise playlist chain.
 

Who's Bob Dillon?
This is weak. Hope to never hear Elvis Costello again on RP.
Elvis Costello is a joke, a wanna-be Bob Dillon at best.  Please stop playing his music RP, he is consistently a weak link in the radio paradise playlist chain.
 Stefan_Lutz wrote:
What's he trying to say?
 
That you are as dumb as a sack of rocks?
NO.
years and years later it still feels fresh.
Shares some musical DNA with Come on Down to My Boat Baby, by Every Mother's Son.
Jeez, really dating myself. 
Reminds me of "What an Idiot He is" by Ashley MacIsaac
What's he trying to say?
Graham Parker, REM and the Costello. That's a bad trio of songs. Really bad..
Nice run here going...with Graham Parker, R.E.M. & Declan Mac.  

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
What is he waiting for ? Horrible 
I DO understand his talent, but his music is like fingernails dragging down the chalkboard to me....
Wow, people who hate Elvis C, really hate him, don't they? I guess there are switches within us all that get turned on or don't. I don't begrudge those whose Elvis 'switch' never got turned on, I just wish they had.' Cause you've missed what those of us with the 'on' switch have been thoroughly enjoying for decades.
Thank you RP for this gem! {#Roflol}
 PRoeder61 wrote:

You said it, ppopp.  This fellow will never amount to anything.  
 

 
LOL {#Lol}
 ppopp wrote:
Crudely performed. Repetetive nonsense. Annoying voice.

 
You said it, ppopp.  This fellow will never amount to anything.  
 
 ppopp wrote:
Crudely performed. Repetetive nonsense. Annoying voice.

 
That's awfully self-referential.
 ppopp wrote:
Crudely performed. Repetetive nonsense. Annoying voice.

 
Kind of like Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy", isn't it, ppopp? Which you gave a 9.

So much music is simply a matter of time and place.
This song takes me way back to those University Daze!

Thanks for playing it. 
This album, and others of its kind at that time, cut a wide swath through the pop junk on the radio and helped create New Wave with the Pretenders, Devo, Cars, Petty and all the others too abrasive for "regular" radio to play them.

Diss him now, but he's one of the reasons that RP exists. 
 springof63 wrote:
Not much love for Elvis C. on RP is there? Don't understand why.
'My Aim Is True', 'This Years Model', 'Armed Forces', - bought them all as they came out & they were great albums for me, & still are.
Some of his songs are extremely cleverly written, both lyrically & musically. I'm not trying to change minds, i'm just saying.

 
Agreed...and can you get Oliver's Army up and going here?
Not much love for Elvis C. on RP is there? Don't understand why.
'My Aim Is True', 'This Years Model', 'Armed Forces', - bought them all as they came out & they were great albums for me, & still are.
Some of his songs are extremely cleverly written, both lyrically & musically. I'm not trying to change minds, i'm just saying.
.
But i guess one mans' Elvis Costello is another mans' Smiths.
It'd be rubbish if we were all the same, wouldn't it.
Yuck.
lol. yep.

 
lososs wrote:
more like "Waiting for the end of the SONG"

haven't managed yet though - that PSD is too tempting every time  :D

 


more like "Waiting for the end of the SONG"

haven't managed yet though - that PSD is too tempting every time  :D
 ppopp wrote:
Crudely performed. Repetetive nonsense. Annoying voice.

 
Crudely performed? As a musician, I'd say they did a good job there. Repetitive nonsense? Let's face it, most of life is repetitive nonsense. And his voice, well that's just preference.
Louie Louie with intelligent (and semi-intelligible) lyrics.
Crudely performed. Repetetive nonsense. Annoying voice.
I think that THIS man and his Fender Jaguar had a lot to do with the rocking transformation of the world music scene in the late 1970s! 
 unclehud wrote:

Takes one to know one.

 
That means that you...., don't you think?
Think again - then try again! 
 Stingray wrote:
I insist Elvis is an asshole and his music....not that good neither!
 
Takes one to know one.
I insist Elvis is an arrogant prick and his music....not that good neither!
loving this 'apocalyptic' set of tunes !!
Never noticed how much this song reminds me of my Bob Dylan, both lyrically and in the delivery.  And that's a good thing.
The best Elvis.
Rocking!!!{#Roflol}
 PopKombo wrote:
elvis is king

 
.... oh yes 
 {#Clap}
such a terrific collection of tunes right out the starting gate....too bad he didn't quit while he was ahead
elvis is king
This guy does not cut the cake with me. His voice instantly transports me to Apocalypse Now:
"The Horror. The Horror."

But admittedly this song is not his worst. Still it requires a new rating:

2.50 Barely Bearable

 

First time ever I did not PSD or just STOP on EC. So maybe - just maybe - Bill is slowly getting to me : )


Bought the CD last Saturday to replace the worn out vinyl....
ELVISISKING
Not my favorite EC, but a great sound. 
Got me jumping {#Bananajumprope}
This song has one of the funkiest back-beats to it. LOVE IT!
{#Dancingbanana_2} 
Love that guitar!
 
First year of art school! The music! NYC!  Those were the daze!  {#Bananajam}
He listened to a lot of Randy Newman evidently.
 teleskialaska wrote:
Listening to this reminds me why my high school years were so fun. 

 
My high school years were seldom fun at all, but this was one album which made them more bearable.
Sounds a lot like Adrian Belew on guitar.
A classic that I haven't heard enough.
 gemtag wrote:
I hear a little Jeff Tweedy in here.
 
That's funny...
A rare, well deserved 10.
Listening to this reminds me why my high school years were so fun. 
 crazyossi wrote:
Seems this guy has never made one good song !!! Correct me if i`m wrong - but then tell me the title of the song you mean ...
  HUH? Name a bad one.  He makes fun albums. 


Louie Louie 
Giving up productivity, and commencing dancing now! 
Just saw this come across the wire from Australia:

 
Hasn't come yet,,,,,
Bahahahaaaaaaaahahaaaaa.
 crazyossi wrote:
Seems this guy has never made one good song !!! Correct me if i`m wrong - but then tell me the title of the song you mean ...
 
I would argue he's written more 'good' songs than anybody else alive or dead, but I guess we just have polar opposite ideas of what constitutes 'good'.

So, no, you are not wrong, and I can't correct you. I can however hold the opinion that either you have never listened to any of his albums, or your taste sucks.
Louie Louie
Seems this guy has never made one good song !!! Correct me if i`m wrong - but then tell me the title of the song you mean ...
 MaryAndrea wrote:
I have to admit a bad thing: I don't know Elvis Costello music! I have to remedy!
 

ciao singnorina

let me help you with a little elvis education - as one who has all of his catalogue.

As Elvis has had a 35 year career and has recorded songs and records in nearly all genres and sub-genres of music you have quite an exploration ahead  - have fun.

Start with The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years - a recent compilation that has lots of the best and most popular songs from his first handful of albums.
 MaryAndrea wrote:
I have to admit a bad thing: I don't know Elvis Costello music! I have to remedy!
 
Well, this is the BEST album to start with....it is, IMHO, the BEST he ever did!!  One of those albums where you know the words to every song once you get hooked
I have to admit a bad thing: I don't know Elvis Costello music! I have to remedy!
I wish I had a dollar for every beer I've drunk to this song.

Or just enough to buy a six-pack and the CD!

Rock it, E! {#Cheers}
 Byronape wrote:

I don't know what this has to do with the song...  but I found myself watching it repeat several times just waiting for something more to show.  Yeah, I'm a perv.

 
Works for me!
9 > 10
 oldslabsides wrote:

Jeff was still in elementary school when Elvis recorded this.... methinks you hear a little Elvis in your Jeff.
 
Yeah, I meant the sound as a whole as well as echoes of Jeff in Elvis' voice. I could see Wilco doing this tune.
 gemtag wrote:
I hear a little Jeff Tweedy in here.
 
Jeff was still in elementary school when Elvis recorded this.... methinks you hear a little Elvis in your Jeff.
I hear a little Jeff Tweedy in here.
Great Album -I still have mine (the original not the re-release) and you can truly hear the hunger in Elvis' voice back then.
still waitin'...
almost every track on his first 2 albums is memorable...simply excellent and..above all pop in its best form.
top 10 fave albums of all times!  With one of my fave lines "dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're comin, cuz you really started somethin' "
 a_genuine_find wrote:
sneeze
 
I don't know what this has to do with the song...  but I found myself watching it repeat several times just waiting for something more to show.  Yeah, I'm a perv.

 Randomax wrote:
my absolute favorite album of the early 80's!!!!!!!   Still in my top 10!

 
1977 folks

Great kick as rock and roll from EC at the beginning of his illustrious and varied career.
sneeze
or better!
Turning on RP and hearing EC 1st thing.  It can't get any worse.
 Randomax wrote:
my absolute favorite album of the early 80's!!!!!!!   Still in my top 10!

 

As the post below mentioned, this record came out in 1977.
my absolute favorite album of the early 80's!!!!!!!   Still in my top 10!

 NeilBlanchard wrote:

This song is THIRTY years old!  {#Eek}  {#Tongue-out}

Neil
 
Yeah, this album came out in 1977 or '78; not 1988.


At first, I thought it was Tom Petty.

(That's a good thing.)
 Stingray wrote:
Costello with PIXIES' riffs...?
Another overrated Brit!
Very much so!

I do not know more than a handful of good C-songs!
You...?
 

1. Check your timeline Jr.  EC has been around a much longer time than the Pixies who I love by the way.

2. Yes, I know hundreds of good Elvis C - songs, own every album, seen him a dozen times, watch his TV show, love to read what he writes about music, so, I'm probably not the guy you want to ask. :-)

3. My top 3 of all time - Beatles, Bowie & Elvis - all Brits
 BKardon wrote:
Sounded like Adrian Belew on guitar.
 

Adrian will turn in his grave-to-come, if he hears that!
Are you kidding...?

Costello with PIXIES' riffs...?
Another overrated Brit!
Very much so!

I do not know more than a handful of good C-songs!
You...?


Well, been looking for an excuse to go to bed.  Found one.  Not a big fan of Elivs Costello.
When this track came on I was frantically trying to find another online radio station with less abrasive, distracting, and monotonous sounds... took me longer to find a new station online than to let the song finish...

PS I love RP 99.9% of the time - I'll be sure to rate bad songs down to reduce the chance of having to listen again.

PPS Elvis, if you are reading, I'm sure you will agree the song is hard to listen too... ; )

 Valley_Boy wrote:


My Aim is True has always been a great album and it has aged well.

I look at Imperial Bedroom like a fine wine. It gets better with time. About 3 years ago, Imperial Bedroom passed up My Aim is True as my favorite Costello album.
 

That's because you have become a Valley "Man"
 iscoot4peace wrote:

Believe it or not...it was huey Lewis' band.  Elvis moved so fast to get this recorded he didn't have time to assemble his own band.  He has mentioned in print a couple times how good this band was and how gracious they were to him in the studio.

 

Band was Clover.  Huey was their lead singer at the time.  John McFee on steel guitar.  John was later a Doobie Brother.

Elviis stayed friendly with and worked with John occassionaly.


Listening to Elvis Costello remind of my college freshman days. I played on a rugby club and the opposing team of older guys "invited" us over to their house for some post-party. These guys had graduated and had gigs as engineers, lawyers and lived in a hipper part of town than mine. I thought to myself "hey....I can be like them and live here if I graduate" LOL. Elvis Costello playing on the stereos as their girlfrends and wives hung out. Felt like an adult

 Darlington wrote:


I think This Year's Model is just as good (I also am a big fan of Imperial Bedroom)....
 

My Aim is True has always been a great album and it has aged well.

I look at Imperial Bedroom like a fine wine. It gets better with time. About 3 years ago, Imperial Bedroom passed up My Aim is True as my favorite Costello album.
 BKardon wrote:
Sounded like Adrian Belew on guitar.
 
Believe it or not...it was huey Lewis' band.  Elvis moved so fast to get this recorded he didn't have time to assemble his own band.  He has mentioned in print a couple times how good this band was and how gracious they were to him in the studio.



Awesome!!!!!!!
Sounded like Adrian Belew on guitar.
 jedley wrote:
One of the top 5 greatest debut albums of all time.
 

Yep, its still great and always will be.
 Shimmer wrote:

Yep, I think they called themselves Clover at the time - and they're way better than the Attractions, at least in my book.

  LMAO LMAO - Way better than the Attractions..... Please stop....You're killing me........{#Nyah}

Of course, I will have to say that John McFee was awesome on the slide, which is why EC continued to work with him on occasion over the years.


One of the top 5 greatest debut albums of all time.
 Shimmer wrote:

Yep, I think they called themselves Clover at the time - and they're way better than the Attractions, at least in my book.

 

Umm...no....no....they're not.
 rocco1207 wrote:
Huey Lewis' band backing up Elvis
 
Yep, I think they called themselves Clover at the time - and they're way better than the Attractions, at least in my book.

 ClaireWild wrote:
20 years old and still sounds fresh.  I have the original vinyl, bought at the time.  Wow, showing my age!
 
This song is THIRTY years old!  {#Eek}  {#Tongue-out}

Neil


 cherinoel wrote:

This was by FAR the best album he did!!!  In fact it's one of the best albums ever!


 

I think This Year's Model is just as good (I also am a big fan of Imperial Bedroom)....
 ClaireWild wrote:
20 years old and still sounds fresh.  I have the original vinyl, bought at the time.  Wow, showing my age!
 

Me too!!!!!! Bought it in High School...

This was by FAR the best album he did!!!  In fact it's one of the best albums ever!


This album was very influential in my formative years....{#Bananajam}
 ClaireWild wrote:
20 years old and still sounds fresh.  I have the original vinyl, bought at the time.  Wow, showing my age!
 
Closer to 30 years.  Sorry! {#Tongue-out}