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Elvis Costello — American Gangster Time
Album: Momofuku
Avg rating:
5.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 605









Released: 2008
Length: 3:45
Plays (last 30 days): 1
One, two, three, four

Somewhere downtown a pretty girl kneels
Offers her soft lips and a handful of pills
Peels off her dress and then the rest of her skills
Buys what she wants and the rest she just steals

He speaks between deep swallows of rum
While her head is beating like a big bass drum
And she wishes he were mute and not just dumb
When the trick asked her quick, "Did you come?"

It's a drag, saluting that starry rag
I'd rather go blind for speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger, just let it hang
American gangster time

He sits back and starts to invent
All about some Saigon correspondent
'Til the carbine fell silent and spent
I never knew it could be so eloquent

Next week there'll be some fashionable new sin
For each harlot and each Puritan
Pull off their wings, stick 'em on a pin
And just watch the money roll in

It's a drag, saluting that starry rag
I'd rather go blind for speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger, just let it hang
American gangster time

What you got hidden up your sleeve?
The tracks of the train that were bidding you to leave
When they say that you should flatter to deceive
Don't count on any reprieve

The hands of the helpless are raised
Your dead little secrets are praised
The people stand dumbstruck and dazed
By the inches that you have erased

It's a drag, saluting that starry rag
I'd rather go blind for speaking my mind
Or use it just like a gag
So raise it in anger, just let it hang
American gangster time
Committing the perfect crime
In American gangster time

Here we go
Bye, bye
American gangster time
Comments (89)add comment
 sfyi2001 wrote:
Your review is many times more compelling than this, . . 'song', which is horrid, like just about every damb thing the guy ever did.
 
I'm sure you can find some Justin Bieber to soothe your troubled soul.
Bill’s song choices during this Trump kakistocracy/global pandemic are nothing short of sublime.
 sfyi2001 wrote:



Your review is many times more compelling than this, . . 'song', which is horrid, like just about every damb thing the guy ever did.






.
 Wrong.

 JBoy wrote:
A fine late period track from the finest of the New Wave lyricists. The urgency of attack is rare, and the organ is a device Costello has used to provide texture since his early days with The Attractions.
 


Your review is many times more compelling than this, . . 'song', which is horrid, like just about every damb thing the guy ever did.






.
A fine late period track from the finest of the New Wave lyricists. The urgency of attack is rare, and the organ is a device Costello has used to provide texture since his early days with The Attractions.
What Elvis? Is that a circus organ? Please make it stop!!!!!
 wtango wrote:
I LIKE
 

Me too!
I LIKE
Except for a few songs, listening to Costello is just too much work.   They all sound the same anyway.
last song James McMurty "We Can't Make It Here" and now this,...
what's up Bill?
but it has been a rough week 
The best Elvis.
 tfioreze wrote:
It is hard for me to like any of Elvis Costello's songs.

 
Can't agree more. 
Nice transition from We Can't Make It Here Anymore.
Follow this with ? and the Mysterians.
I think they deserve a nod from Elvis Costello.
 
It is hard for me to like any of Elvis Costello's songs.
You'd have seen pretty girl kneeling, offering her soft lips and a handful of pills.It's a scream.If you let the californication slip away, nothing could bring here.
 Ptijoc wrote:
Yeah a great song from a great artist, with incredible organ and drums.

 
He is playing Eugene in April, and I have tickets! {#Whistle}
Yeah a great song from a great artist, with incredible organ and drums.
 midnightoil wrote:
Sorry but I can't see anything to like in EC. Horrible nasal voice, tuneless songs. Don't own a single song and never will. I can do a passable imitation of the guy if I screw up my face like I'm smelling something obnoxious and sing through my nose. Maybe that's his secret. The internet was breaking up while this was playing so it's not all bad news.

 
Your loss dude.  One of the 10 greatest songwriters in the history of rock and roll.  It ain't opera my friend its rock and roll. Its called emotion.  The band is ridiculously talented.  The range of his work is mind blowing.  But yeah, his voice is a little nasal.  OK.
Sorry but I can't see anything to like in EC. Horrible nasal voice, tuneless songs. Don't own a single song and never will. I can do a passable imitation of the guy if I screw up my face like I'm smelling something obnoxious and sing through my nose. Maybe that's his secret. The internet was breaking up while this was playing so it's not all bad news.
 ROSSinDETROIT wrote:

I think he falls flat when he gets angry. 
 

?

Hey guys, it is just a pop song...albeit with fangs.  Maybe that is his genius.
really a very nice popsong!
love the organ!
whats wrong with it?
elvis is king!
5.4 is far to low....
{#Stupid}


I never really realized how much I hate Farfisa organ until I heard this.  Too bad, because it's a good song.  {#Headache}
WTF dudes?  I made a narrow and specific criticism in a comment, then came back here MUCH later to find that I'd been in a big fight without even contributing anything.

For the record, I own everything EC has ever recorded.  I've seen him live twice and consider him one of the most important and influential artists to come out of the late 70s.

I think he falls flat when he gets angry.  It doesn't work for me.
As far as criticizing the USA, I do it daily and I totally support his right to say what he thinks in any form he chooses.  I just don't find it to be entertaining music to my ear.

 Excelsior wrote:
Guys, guys - enough political bickering.  Let's all find some common ground.  No matter what your political leanings, I'm sure we can all agree that this is a wretched and overplayed song, regardless of its "message."
 
I'm with you Excelsior, on everything you just said, except for "wretched and overplayed song", have to agree to disagree with ya there. Regardless of that, your comment was classy and cool, maybe that's where we can all be raised to a common "higher ground". Stew showed a lot of class in his last comment as well, I was able to feel like we did find a common ground there as a result.


Guys, guys - enough political bickering.  Let's all find some common ground.  No matter what your political leanings, I'm sure we can all agree that this is a wretched and overplayed song, regardless of its "message."
Sly to Elvis..?!. that killed my mojo
 stewliscious wrote:
 

Ok, let me try again with civil discourse.


Thanks, stew, I really appreciate that you replied civilly and thoughtfully.

Where I disagree with you and probably Ross is that I don't see EC as assuming a role of superiority to criticize the U.S. I think he's simply using his free speech rights as an artist, and I think EC kind of nailed it as to what has been going on in the US when he called it 'gangster time' because we have a govt. that does behave completely outside our laws for their own enrichment, like a gangster outfit. And I do think that has been very true for the past 8 years, and not prior to that, though crimes occurred before GWB they weren't on the scale we have to live under now.

As to the rest of your comment, you certainly make many valid points that I don't disagree with. I think where you and presumably Ross and I part on this, if I read you right, is that you perceive EC as attacking the US to sell records, and making money off the country he's attacking. I don't see it that way at all. I see it that he's making a creative artistic statement about the state of our country's govt. And criticizing our govt. or something our country does does not mean you hate the country and its people or any of that. They are entirely different things. That was kind of the point I was getting at in my brief original reply to Ross' comment. As to whether EC is being exploitative or heartfelt, neither of us can know for sure, so we're free to agree to disagree on that and your view on that is just as valid as mine. I think it's cool that you feel musicians should express their dissent against injustice, so we agree wholeheartedly there.

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. It makes the comment board more interesting to read, and advances the discussion, and is a lot more enjoyable when there is civil discourse instead of hangin' out in the gutter.


 ROSSinDETROIT wrote: I love EC but I can't rate this higher than middling. He's at his worst on his high horse taking a swipe at the USA.
andrewimft wrote:

Really, so the US is squeaky clean and has no crime in its govt.? And no one should be allowed to say anything about that? And you think artistic critique of that is the same as knocking the whole country? On that you'd be extremely wrong, and wrong headed.
 
Ok, let me try again with civil discourse.

How is Ross coming anywhere close to saying that the US is squeaky clean etc.?  To me it sounds as though he is disgusted by EC using his position to assume a role of superiority and criticizing the US.  No where does he remotely imply that no one is allowed to critique the government.  EC has sold a hell of a lot of records in the USA, he has been on Saturday Night Live, and I assume he has cashed all the checks he has earned off the back of Americans.

Now, this is me talking not Ross:  Why is America such a target for non-American musicians to criticize?  Is our government full of corruption, liars and incompetent people?  Hell yes, and at every level, federal, state and local.  Do the ills of society that exist in America not exist anywhere else on planet earth?  Yes, they exist everywhere and have for all of humanity.  I would find it refreshing to hear Bono sing a song criticizing the government of North Korea, or Spain, or Madagascar.  But that won't sell records or get him cutting an exclusive record distribution deal at K-Mart.

Musicians have every right and probably the obligation to bring light to things that are not right in this world.  If it is sincere and heartfelt, more power to them.  If it is simply jumping on the bandwagon to throw mud at one of the most successful and free countries history has produced, join the club of people American and otherwise that resent success and want the rest of the world to view us in a negative light.


+ stewliscious wrote:

I love EC but I can't rate this higher than middling. He's at his worst on his high horse taking a swipe at the USA.

Note:  ROSSinDETROIT:  Don't even go here dude.  This andrewimft character has only just begun, I told him one time New Order sucks just because they suck and somehow he turned it into an Orwellian plot on my part to overthrow the world.  I have never met anyone from Michigan that I didn't get along with in a big way, I hear ya and I know where you're coming from.  Just tellin ya:  he is a little wack.


 
Really? I don't go around the boards here telling people you're whacked, just because we disagreed on something. By the way, it's spelled whack. I let your posts speak for themselves as they should and let people make up their own minds. People here are adults and don't need your advice about me to decide who's whacked or not. Of course, you could intellectually defend Ross' argument that EC is taking a swipe at the USA, instead of calling me a name. Then we could all have an intelligent and respectful discussion while disagreeing. That's called civil discourse in case you never learned it in the working world or in high school or college.

And you're a little loose with the truth too, fact is on the True Faith song comment page, you didn't say New Order's True Faith song sucked because they sucked, you said New Order sucked because they were sensitive guy music for guys with manicures who get on your case about eating tuna. A bunch of people corrected you not just me. Maybe you could go around the boards here and point them out too and call them whacked. And everyone who looks on that comment board can see I never "turned it into an Orwellian plot on your part to overthrow the world" except in your bizarre imagination.

You're building quite a record here, stew, with your fudging the truth about what you and others say, your exaggerations, your name calling and your bad mouthing other people for no reason. I don't much care anymore what you say about other topics, but my patience with your borderline stalking of me is wearing thin. My last post to you was in agreement with you on the Pearl Jam song Black comment page, and I gave you a positive response. As I said there, I am sure there are some things we agree on and RP has a lot of great music, isn't that cool. If your topic is about me, I very strongly suggest you should leave it at that.




 andrewimft wrote:

Really, so the US is squeaky clean and has no crime in its govt.? And no one should be allowed to say anything about that? And you think artistic critique of that is the same as knocking the whole country? On that you'd be extremely wrong, and wrong headed.
 
I love EC but I can't rate this higher than middling. He's at his worst on his high horse taking a swipe at the USA.

Note:  ROSSinDETROIT:  Don't even go here dude.  This andrewimft character has only just begun, I told him one time New Order sucks just because they suck and somehow he turned it into an Orwellian plot on my part to overthrow the world.  I have never met anyone from Michigan that I didn't get along with in a big way, I hear ya and I know where you're coming from.  Just tellin ya:  he is a little wack.


 megaadam wrote:
Hey Bill dude,
you really need to add a new rating below "Sucko-Barfo" for Elvis Costello, and especially for this song.

Please, Please, Please
{#Frustrated}
 
I agree. 1/10 just doesn't describe it well enough.
This is pretty much the most annoying thing that I've heard since that rushed live version of Burning Down the House that gets played every day.
I was happily working away, but then Bill had to play this song and I had to stop what I was doing to do this:

wtmecorp
5

Why all the hate?  Every time I hear this one, I turn up the volume and the bass and start chair dancing.  Different strokes, I guess.
Hi,

For me, this is the first time I have ever heard this song — and I like it a lot.  Reminds me of his first (masterpiece) album; with a good crunchy rock sound.

Neil
megaadam wrote:
Hey Bill dude,
you really need to add a new rating below "Sucko-Barfo" for Elvis Costello, and especially for this song.

Please, Please, Please
{#Frustrated}



EXACTLY what I was just thinking.  I can't rate this song a zero unfortunately.  I don't think I have a single song by Costello rated above 2.

jagdriver wrote:
This is third time I've heard this track in a week. Surely RP has a much larger library from which to pick. I guess it must be in Biill's "Hot Rotation"? If yes, I'll be happy when it's unrotated. Not that it's a bad track, mind you, it's just that I'd listen to a Clear Channel station if I wanted to repeatedly hear the same track, ad nauseum. Layla, anyone? Stairway To Heaven?

See Hanna's July 30 comment, saying much the same thing.


This, times a thousand.


enough already!
Hey Bill dude,
you really need to add a new rating below "Sucko-Barfo" for Elvis Costello, and especially for this song.

Please, Please, Please
{#Frustrated}

I am so damn sick of hearing this song on RP.
This is third time I've heard this track in a week. Surely RP has a much larger library from which to pick. I guess it must be in Biill's "Hot Rotation"? If yes, I'll be happy when it's unrotated. Not that it's a bad track, mind you, it's just that I'd listen to a Clear Channel station if I wanted to repeatedly hear the same track, ad nauseum. Layla, anyone? Stairway To Heaven?

See Hanna's July 30 comment, saying much the same thing.

This guy should just find a hammock on a beach with a bucket of Coronas and hang it up already.


This song rocks!! Now I need to hear 96 tears.
Well, I think this Person Elvis Costello is a fine family man. He, Diana and the boys are our neighbors here in WV. They had the kids dressed up as Tigger and Eyore last halloween. it was quite cute.
Love the new tunes EC

lazylemming wrote:
i can't figure out why this song is not well liked. steve nieve's crazy work on the organ alone makes this track enjoyable for me.

yeah, the EC haters make no sense at all. I get that some don't like his singing, that I can understand, it can be an acquired taste. But this song rocks— and the lyrics are nifty, it has a lot of energy and excitement. And EC always has innovative riffs that are very melodic and draw from infinite inspirations, incredible musical vocabulary.


ROSSinDETROIT wrote:
I love EC but I can't rate this higher than middling. He's at his worst on his high horse taking a swipe at the USA.

Really, so the US is squeaky clean and has no crime in its govt.? And no one should be allowed to say anything about that? And you think artistic critique of that is the same as knocking the whole country? On that you'd be extremely wrong, and wrong headed.


 lemmoth wrote:
Interested to hear your rationale being as how you classify EC as a great artist in your other post.  Which EC do you like? A particular era or style?
 
That's Eric Clapton...


papaman wrote:
wtmecorp
5
Normally I like Elvis Costello but I'm going to have to agree with you, as far as this song is concerned.  {#Frustrated}


i can't figure out why this song is not well liked.  steve nieve's crazy work on the organ alone makes this track enjoyable for me.
I love EC but I can't rate this higher than middling.  He's at his worst on his high horse taking a swipe at the USA.
wtmecorp
5
the first time i heard this song, i really didn't like it.  but now that it's grown on me a bit, i can't help but jam out to it.  fun! 

also, i just learned yesterday that Elvis is married to Diana Krall.  i had to read it three times to be sure i had it right.  O_o  but now that i've had a couple of days to digest that, it seems so perfect. 
Excelsior wrote:


Ditto




I double dog ditto you.


I obviously don't like this as well as Bill and Rebecca.   I've heard it three times in as many days, and it's really starting to grate at my nerves.  I normally don't rate something unless I like it.  But I had to rate this one down.

(Yes, I listen to a *lot* of RP.  Hurray for Bill and Rebecca!)
I saw EC with the Police a few weeks ago.  I really like both bands and would consider an equal fan of both.  That said Elvis Costello did not seem that into his performance, and their was no raw emotion behind it.  After a couple of songs I just want the Police to come on...the Police surpassed my wildest expectations.  They ROCKED
 Excelsior wrote:

Ditto


 
6 TO 7


westslope wrote:
2 -> 1


Ditto

2 -> 1
lemmoth wrote:


Interested to hear your rationale being as how you classify EC as a great artist in your other post. Which EC do you like? A particular era or style?



*Shrug* I can honestly say I don't like anything off this new album.  Some of the songs are passable, but this is nowhere near "This Year's Model" or "My Aim is True."  Maybe it just needs time to grow on me, but I feel like I'm being overexposed to it and that's just making it more annoying at the moment.

 Excelsior wrote:

This song needs to die a quick death, very soon.


 

Interested to hear your rationale being as how you classify EC as a great artist in your other post.  Which EC do you like? A particular era or style?

This song needs to die a quick death, very soon.
copymonkey wrote:
It's so cool to hear ol' Steve's Neive's trusty Farfisa! Just like the old days!
I love EC, but it's Steve Nieve who really makes this song.
God, this station is becoming the Elvis Costello/REM station. :headache: :eh:
muting.
Stellar show last night For Elvis before the POlice in Clark County, WA
Great artist, horrible song.
garthwb wrote:
Disagree. You just don't like his music.
Agreed. I don't. :puke:
speakerman wrote:
AGREED. He just is not very good.
Disagree. You just don't like his music.
:dance: LOVE this one!!!
papaman wrote:
WTMECORP (way too much EC on RP) 5
AGREED. He just is not very good.
WTMECORP (way too much EC on RP) 5
diazo wrote:
Nice to hear Elvis playing rock and roll again!
check out The Delivery Man for other recent vintage Elvis rock
could it be THIS YEAR'S model?
Govi wrote:
He reproduces via mitosis.
:ask: Yeah, what could he see in that dull-ass Canadian Broad? :ask:
hey wiseking was typing the same thing I was--at the same time. Great minds.
It's so cool to hear ol' Steve's Neive's trusty Farfisa! Just like the old days!
so good to hear EC back in fine form!
still great. still rockin and sharp as ever. love that cheesy Farfisa organ. reminds me of the old stuff.
Govi wrote:
He reproduces via mitosis.
So there are two, uh, Elvi? Which one would be the Imposter? Let's keep the one that rocks.
Saw EC open for the Police at the Hollywood Bowl 5 days ago. Oh man what a show!
JohnBauer wrote:
Hard to imagine this fellow making babies with Diana Krall!
He reproduces via mitosis.
I rated this as a 5 then I saw the release date in the comments and bumped it to an 8. Elvis Costello gets some serious props for keeping the feeling.
Nice to hear Elvis playing rock and roll again!
Good pop song :dance:
Yikes, that keyboard sounds like my 7 year old playing in the basement.
mongoose01ca wrote:
Not bad at all - is this new? If so Elvis has aged well.
Title: Momofuku Artist: Elvis Costello & the Imposters Label: Lost Highway Original Release Date: 05/06/2008
Not bad at all - is this new? If so Elvis has aged well.