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Posted: 2006 11-28


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If You Never "Got" New Wave before . . .

This is some epic shit. Elvis had finally formed a band that lasted longer than a gig –– The Attractions –– and they'd been together less than a year at this point. This is just blazing spirited what-it's-all-about music. If you missed it, or never “got it” –– here’s New Wave at its best.

Chelsea was from Elvis’s second consecutive masterpiece album, This Year’s Model –– the guy hadn’t recorded a bad song yet. And in 1978 he was never more on his game than this year’s model.

His flurry of early material reveals all sorts of spirited songwriting skills, and this particular gem is all about the guitar hook and melody. The lyrics are almost throwaway (especially for this poet) –– about not wanting to visit phony trendy neighborhoods –– but “Chelsea” is all about how he plays with the couplets and solos on the riff-thick merry-go-round this song spins from.

Dig Bruce Thomas's phat & funky bass, and the early naive sounds of skilled keyboardist Steve Nieve. And check the nimble, playful rock n roll guitar by King Elvis himself as he dances along his B.B. King neck. Not to mention his wholly unique vocal delivery on vivid display. This is quintessential Elvis being Elvis.

I don’t know who his parent’s were, but Chuck Berry and Gene Vincent were clearly his grandparents, Bob Dylan his uncle, The Clash his cousins, Devo his nephews, and Green Day his offspring. 

Enjoy the patriarch playing at the peak of his passion.


Guest's picture

Yeah, Elvis was coming into his own in these years, like he woke up one day and said, "Hey I 'm a genius, better get to it then!" This footage is very cool. I saw him live in Winnipeg around this time, and then again summer of '09 and he still has it..., the what of it is here in this video.
Good review.

YouTube Uploader: sham64andahalf

The 12' version : - ) live 1978

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea on Wikipedia
"(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
Single by Elvis Costello & The Attractions
from the album This Year's Model
B-side"You Belong to Me"
Released1978 (1978)
Writer(s)Elvis Costello
Producer(s)Nick Lowe
Elvis Costello singles chronology

"(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" is a 1978 song by Elvis Costello. Released as a single from his album This Year's Model, it reached No. 16 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] In his album notes for Girls Girls Girls, Costello wrote that the song "ight have been just a poor relation to 'All of the Day (and All of the Night)', 'I Can't Explain' or even 'Clash City Rockers' had it not been for Bruce Thomas' great bassline. Meanwhile I was trying to fit in this lick from an old Pioneers record, though which one I can't recall."[2]


The video features the band performing in an unfurnished, light-drenched, wholly white set, and uses a simple shrinking square zoom effect. It was directed by Paul Flattery for Jon Roseman Productions. After a photo-montage effect with still photographs of Costello, the video opens with him playing the opening guitar riff in close-up. The video then alternates between the band playing together and shots of Costello singing in an increasingly contorted pose.[3]

The video for "Pump It Up" was shot the same day in London, and all the musicians can be seen wearing the same clothes, although drummer Pete Thomas sports a distinctive Union Jack tracksuit top. Bassist Bruce Thomas had cut his right hand on a bottle a few weeks previously and had needed eight stitches. His bandage can be seen clearly in both of the videos.[4]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 122/3.
  2. ^ Costello, Elvis (1989). Girls Girls Girls [CD booklet]. Brentford: Demon Records.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "The Greatest Movie Never Made". / Retrieved 11 November 2014. 

External links

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