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Elvis Costello|Punch The Clock

Punch The Clock

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

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Perhaps frustrated by the lack of commercial success Imperial Bedroom encountered, Elvis Costello enlisted British hitmakers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley to produce its follow-up, Punch the Clock. The difference between the two records is immediately noticeable. Punch the Clock has a slick, glossy surface, complete with layered synthesizers, horns, studio effects, and the backup vocals of Afrodiziak. The approach isn't necessarily a misguided one, since Costello is as much a pop musician as he is a singer/songwriter and many of the best moments on the record -- "Everyday I Write the Book," "Let Them All Talk" -- work well as shiny pop singles. However, the problem with Punch the Clock is that Costello is entering a fallow songwriting period; it is his least consistent set of original songs to date. The best moments, the antiwar ballad "Shipbuilding" and the eerie pseudo-rap "Pills and Soap," are as articulate and effective as any of his past work, but frequently Costello falls short of meeting his standards, particularly when he's trying to write a song in the style of his older songs. Nevertheless, the sheen of the Langer and Winstanley production makes Punch the Clock a pleasurable listen. Costello's uneven writing means that only portions of the album are memorable.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Punch The Clock

Elvis Costello

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1
Let Them All Talk (Album Version)
00:03:06

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

2
Everyday I Write The Book (Album Version)
00:03:54

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

3
The Greatest Thing (Album Version)
00:03:03

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

4
The Element Within Her (Album Version)
00:02:52

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

5
Love Went Mad (Album Version)
00:03:12

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

6
Shipbuilding (Album Version)
00:04:52

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chet Baker, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Wistanley, Producer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

7
TKO (Boxing Day) (Album Version)
00:03:28

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

8
Charm School (Album Version)
00:03:54

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

9
The Invisible Man (Album Version)
00:03:04

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

10
Mouth Almighty (Album Version)
00:03:04

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

11
King Of Thieves (Album Version)
00:03:45

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

12
Pills & Soap (Album Version)
00:03:42

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

13
The World And His Wife (Album Version)
00:03:23

David Bedford, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - CLIVE LANGER, Producer - Pete Thomas, Cymbals, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Claudia Fontaine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Winstanley, Producer - Jeff Blythe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Paterson, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nieve, Organ, Hammond Organ, Piano, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Vocals, Synclavier, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - COLIN FAIRLEY, Producer, Assistant Producer - Gavin Greenaway, Producer, Assistant Producer - Bruce Thomas, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Caron Wheeler, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Morris Pert, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Russell, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elvis Costello & The Attractions, MainArtist - Paul Speare, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Plews, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Stuart Robson, Flugelhorn, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1983 Elvis Costello

Descriptif de l'album

Perhaps frustrated by the lack of commercial success Imperial Bedroom encountered, Elvis Costello enlisted British hitmakers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley to produce its follow-up, Punch the Clock. The difference between the two records is immediately noticeable. Punch the Clock has a slick, glossy surface, complete with layered synthesizers, horns, studio effects, and the backup vocals of Afrodiziak. The approach isn't necessarily a misguided one, since Costello is as much a pop musician as he is a singer/songwriter and many of the best moments on the record -- "Everyday I Write the Book," "Let Them All Talk" -- work well as shiny pop singles. However, the problem with Punch the Clock is that Costello is entering a fallow songwriting period; it is his least consistent set of original songs to date. The best moments, the antiwar ballad "Shipbuilding" and the eerie pseudo-rap "Pills and Soap," are as articulate and effective as any of his past work, but frequently Costello falls short of meeting his standards, particularly when he's trying to write a song in the style of his older songs. Nevertheless, the sheen of the Langer and Winstanley production makes Punch the Clock a pleasurable listen. Costello's uneven writing means that only portions of the album are memorable.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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