Album #499 – Imperial Bedroom

Album #499

For Imperial Bedroom, Elvis Costello decided to go a different route. Prior to it’s release, Costello used Nick Lowe as his producer for all but one album: Almost Blue, a country covers album. Costello wanted to experiment in the studio and knew that Lowe’s style would only take him so far. He enlisted Beatles’ engineer Geoff Emerick as his producer to help create the new sounds. What he came up with was mostly baroque-influenced classical pop complete with strings and horns. Some critics found this too pompous but, to me it augments the songs. Costello’s lyrics are amazing and detailed. He really shows that he is a master with words. His backing band, The Attractions, seem to be getting better with experience and also add to this new, experimental sound. Costello would continue to change and experiment throughout the rest of his career and he continues to come up with new sounds on each album. Imperial Bedroom was the beginning of that. It marks the change of Costello from singer-songwriter to artist and visionary. The album cover reflects this as well. I can’t wait to add Imperial Bedroom to my collection. I was an enjoyable listen and is among Costello’s best. Highlights include: Beyond Belief, Tears Before Bedtime, Shabby Doll, Man Out of Time, Almost Blue, …And In Every Home, Kid About It, Pidgin English, You Little Fool and Town Crier. Overall, I give Imperial Bedroom, 5 out of 5.

Next: Pornography by The Cure

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