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Audio Beat Rated 5/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sound!
Numbered, Limited Edition! High Fidelity: Half-Speed Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Spread Over Two 45RPM LPs for Unprecedented Sound!
Elvis Costello Get Happy!! on Numbered Limited Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP Set from Mobile Fidelity. Costello and the Attractions’ 1980 Masterpiece Expands Rock Palette and Touches on Every Aspect of Classic Soul and R&B. Energetic, Inventive, Ironic, and Yes, Happy: Costello and Company Continue Creative Winning Streak.
Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ masterful Get Happy!! is largely believed
born of national scandal. While in a Holiday Inn bar, the English singer
attempted to end an annoying conversation by baiting Stephen Stills with
outrageous, offensive racial remarks about Ray Charles and James Brown. With
everyone involved inebriated, the details are unclear, but the fallout—death
threats, radio embargos, protests—is infamous. The upshot? Costello and company
retreated, scrapped a planned record, and created the soulful genius that is Get
Happy!!, the band’s fourth consecutive five-star effort.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, and pressed on two 45RPM LPs
to replicate the very first promotional pressing in the UK, the 1980 LP has
never sounded better on any format. Rather than cram nearly 50 minutes of music
and 20 songs onto a single record, Mobile Fidelity has gone the extra mile and
back to the album's UK roots with two 45RPM discs. For the first time, listeners
can home in on the record’s signature sound that relates to the decision to
record the vocals in a studio’s glass strings room. In addition, the dimensions
and images associated with Steve Nieve’s penetrating organ, Pete Thomas’ punchy
drumming, and Costello’s bounding vocals know no limits. The music simply leaps
off the proverbial page, the up-tempo rhythms jumping and nimble bass lines
Clearly, the group is motivated, and the leader brings some of his very finest
songs to the table, including “High Fidelity,” “Riot Act,” “Motel Matches,” and
“The Imposter.” While some believe the drunken incident caused Costello to
shelve a planned new-wave-leaning effort for the soul-stoked Get Happy!!, the
vocalist claims that his ability to find so many great soul records in America
from 1977 through 1979 inspired the group to change course. Whatever the cause,
Get Happy!! is a start-to-finish wonder.
Paying homage to Northern soul, Motown, Stax, and Southern soul strains, and
infused with smooth and gritty arrangements, Get Happy!! runs on an efficient
R&B motor. Subtle tributes abound. “High Fidelity” quotes a Supremes song; “Love
for Tender” borrows a Supremes riff; “Opportunity” tips its hat to Al Green;
“Clowntime Is Over” bows to Curtis Mayfield. And two covers, of Sam & Dave’s “I
Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” and the Merseybeats’ “I Stand Accused,” are
recast as quick, R&B rave-ups. There’s not a misplaced note or bad step on this
record. And for history buffs, the closing, searing ballad “Riot Act” is
Costello’s response to his hypocritical critics and finger-pointers.
As essential as anything in Costello’s catalog, and one of the truly great
records of the 1980s, you owe it to yourself to experience Get Happy!! in the
supreme sonic fidelity that this numbered limited edition Mobile Fidelity
double-LP pressing affords. For those intimately familiar with its contents,
listening will be a revelation. And for fans that have never heard the record,
prepare to be wowed.
Part of Mobile Fidelity’s Costello catalog restoration series, Get Happy!!
“Get Happy!! will never be considered audiophile-demo fare. In its best digital form, its chalky tonality, squashed dynamics and flat perspective display all the fidelity of AM radio. Here, however, the product of Mobile Fidelity's half-speed mastering and cut at 45rpm, the music displays heretofore unknown rhythmic pop and instrumental layering, and it has the semblance of dynamic range.” – Marc Mickelson, www.theaudiobeat.com,.5/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sound!
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• 45rpm Speed Edition
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Gatefold Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
1. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
2. Black & White World
3. 5ive Gears in Reverse
4. B Movie
5. Motel Matches
6. Human Touch
7. Beaten to the Punch
9. I Stand Accused
10. Riot Act
1. Love for Tender
3. The Imposter
4. Secondary Modern
5. King Horse
7. Men Called Uncle
8. Clowntime Is Over
9. New Amsterdam
10. High Fidelity