Goodbye Cruel World (album)

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Goodbye Cruel World
Studio album by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Released 18 June 1984
Recorded February 1984
Sarm West Studios, London
Genre Power pop, new wave
Length 44:08
Label F-Beat (UK)
Columbia (US)
Rykodisc (28 February 1995 Reissue)
Rhino (3 August 2004 Reissue)
Hip-O (1 May 2007 Reissue)
Producer Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
Elvis Costello and the Attractions chronology
Punch the Clock
(1983)
Goodbye Cruel World
(1984)
The Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions
(1985)

Goodbye Cruel World was Elvis Costello's ninth album overall and the eighth with his backing band The Attractions. It was released in 1984 by F-Beat Records in the UK and Columbia in the US.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B+)[2]

The album's production (by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, who also produced the previous Punch the Clock), was not in line with Costello's other works, relying heavily on electronics and an overall slick, trendy feel. Thus, the record is not regarded among his better works; Costello's liner notes to the 1995 reissue on Rykodisc open with the statement, "Congratulations! You just bought the worst album of my career."

The album is represented on Elvis Costello compilation The Very Best of Elvis Costello, by the cover song 'I Wanna Be Loved'.

Track listing[edit]

"I Wanna Be Loved" is a cover of a Hi Records single by Teacher's Edition and features backing vocals by Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. "The Only Flame in Town" features vocals by Daryl Hall.

All songs written by Elvis Costello, except as indicated.

Side one[edit]

  1. "The Only Flame in Town" – 4:01
  2. "Home Truth" – 3:12
  3. "Room with No Number" – 4:13
  4. "Inch By Inch" – 2:29
  5. "Worthless Thing" – 3:04
  6. "Love Field" – 3:26

Side two[edit]

  1. "I Wanna Be Loved" (Farnell Jenkins) – 4:47
  2. "The Comedians" – 2:36
  3. "Joe Porterhouse" – 3:29
  4. "Sour Milk-Cow Blues" – 2:50
  5. "The Great Unknown" (Costello, Clive Langer) – 3:00
  6. "The Deportees Club" – 2:54
  7. "Peace in Our Time" – 4:06

Bonus tracks (1995 Rykodisc)[edit]

  1. "Turning the Town Red" – 3:14
  2. "Baby It's You" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) – 3:11
  3. "Get Yourself Another Fool" (Ernest Forrest, Frank Heywood) – 4:01
  4. "I Hope You're Happy Now" – 2:51
  5. "The Only Flame in Town" (Live) – 4:16
  6. "Worthless Thing" (Live) – 3:11
  7. "Motel Matches" (Live) – 2:39
  8. "Sleepless Nights" (Live) (Felice Bryant, Boudleaux Bryant) – 2:39
  9. "Deportee" – 3:22
  10. "Withered and Died" (Richard Thompson) – 3:14

Note: The Rykodisc version has the original tracks and bonus tracks on one CD. The Rhino version has two CDs with the original tracks on the first CD.

Bonus disc (2004 Rhino)[edit]

  1. "The Only Flame in Town" (Alternate version) – 4:05
  2. "Young Boy Blues" (Doc Pomus, Phil Spector) – 3:27
  3. "Turning the Town Red" – 3:14
  4. "I Hope You're Happy Now" – 2:51
  5. "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)" (Mike Barson, Carl Smyth) – 2:54
  6. "Get Yourself Another Fool" (Forrest, Heywood) – 4:03
  7. "Baby It's You (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) – 3:11
  8. "I Wanna Be Loved" (Demo version) (Jenkins) – 3:22
  9. "The Great Unknown" (Demo version) (Costello, Langer) – 2:35
  10. "She Loves the Jerk" (Demo version) (John Hiatt) – 3:10
  11. "Turning the Town Red" (Demo version) – 3:37
  12. "Peace in Our Time" (Demo version) – 3:30
  13. "Withered and Died" (Thompson) – 3:14
  14. "The Comedians" (Demo version) – 2:25
  15. "Inch By Inch" (Demo Version) – 2.11
  16. "Mystery Voice" (Demo version) – 2:23
  17. "Joe Porterhouse" (Demo version) – 3:19
  18. "The Town Where Time Stood Still" (Demo version) – 2:15
  19. "Blue Murder on Union Avenue" (Demo version) – 2:30
  20. "Home Truth" (Demo version) – 3:05
  21. "The Only Flame in Town" (Live) – 4:12
  22. "Worthless Thing" (Live) – 3:10
  23. "Sleepless Nights" (Live) (F. Bryant, B. Bryant) – 2:39
  24. "What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend" (Live) (Jerry Dammers) – 2:10
  25. "Motel Matches" (Live) – 2:39
  26. "Love Field" (Live) – 3:21

Personnel[edit]

The album credits keyboard player Steve Nieve with providing "random racket" under the name, "Maurice Worm".

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1984 Billboard 200 35

Single

Year Single Chart Position
1984 "The Only Flame in Town" Billboard Hot 100 56

Cultural references[edit]

The graphic novel, Watchmen, quotes from the chorus of the song "The Comedians" at the end of chapter two: "And I'm up while the dawn is breaking, even though my heart is aching. I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians."

References[edit]

External links[edit]