BRUTAL YOUTH

ORIGINAL ALBUM (57:22)
  1. Pony St. (3:20)
  2. Kinder Murder (3:24)
  3. 13 Steps Lead Down (3:16)
  4. This Is Hell (4:26)
  5. Clown Strike (4:01)
  6. You Tripped At Every Step (4:07)
  7. Still Too Soon To Know (2:19)
  8. 20% Amnesia (3:24)
  9. Sulky Girl (5:01)
  10. London's Brilliant Parade (4:22)
  11. My Science Fiction Twin (4:09)
  12. Rocking Horse Road (4:02)
  13. Just About Glad (3:13)
  14. All The Rage (3:51)
  15. Favourite Hour (3:31)
BONUS DISC (49:49)
  1. Life Shrinks (3:27)
  2. Favourite Hour (Church Studios version) (3:32)
  3. This Is Hell (Church Studios version) (4:10)
  4. Idiophone (1:56)
  5. Abandon Words (2:54)
  6. Poisoned Letter (3:46)
  7. A Drunken Man's Praise Of Sobriety (1:06)
  8. Pony St. (Bonaparte Rooms version) (3:34)
  9. Just About Glad (Bonaparte Rooms version) (3:39)
  10. Clown Strike (Bonaparte Rooms version) (4:17)
  11. Rocking Horse Road (demo) (3:15)
  12. 13 Steps Lead Down (demo) (2:04)
  13. All The Rage (demo) (3:36)
  14. Sulky Girl (demo) (4:29)
  15. You Tripped At Every Step (Church Studios version) (3:25)
Brutal Youth began under the working title Idiophone at Pathway Studios in December 1992, with Elvis planning to record an album accompanied only by Pete Thomas. That plan was quickly abandoned as sessions moved to the Church Studios, and Steve Nieve was brought in. Before long the entire project was put on hold while Elvis wrote new material. Work on the album recommenced at Olympic Studios in mid-1993, with Mitchell Froom now co-producing and Nick Lowe handling the bass. Nick eventually bowed out and was replaced by Bruce Thomas, completing the reunion of Elvis Costello and the Attractions. The fact that the album was credited to Elvis as a solo artist and only featured the full Attractions lineup on one-third of the album was largely overlooked in the hype surrounding "the first Elvis Costello and the Attractions album in eight years."

Bruce Thomas does not appear at all on Rhino's bonus disc, which offers a generous selection of demos, rehearsals, and outtakes from the period while curiously omitting anything recorded at Olympic Studios, where almost all of the original album was recorded.

WHAT'S NEW

FAVOURITE HOUR (CHURCH STUDIOS VERSION)
This early version featuring Elvis (singing but not playing an instrument), Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas was recorded December 9, 1992 at the Church Studios. The version that made the album was recorded the following year by Elvis alone.

THIS IS HELL (CHURCH STUDIOS VERSION)
YOU TRIPPED AT EVERY STEP (CHURCH STUDIOS VERSION)
Two more early renditions from the Church Studios sessions, these were recorded December 11, 1992 by Elvis (now on bass), Steve, and Pete. The finished versions were recorded with the full Attractions lineup the following summer.

ABANDON WORDS
This song was completely unheard in any form prior to this release. Pete Thomas' drum loop and Matt MacManus' bass were recorded at the Church Studios in December 1992. Elvis' vocal was recorded at home, but it is unclear when.

POISONED LETTER
This song which combines compositional elements ultimately used in "All The Rage" and "My Science Fiction Twin" was described in Musician magazine in March 1994, but it was unheard before it was released here. Rhino's track notes credit it as being recorded December 7, 1992 at the Church Studios by Elvis, Nick Lowe, and Pete Thomas, although the accuracy of these details is questionable, since Elvis' liner notes describe the song as being recorded at Pathway Studios (although he does not specify that this is that version) and imply that Nick's involvement with the album did not begin until 1993.

PONY ST. (BONAPARTE ROOMS VERSION)
JUST ABOUT GLAD (BONAPARTE ROOMS VERSION)
CLOWN STRIKE (BONAPARTE ROOMS VERSION)
These rehearsal takes by Elvis, Nick, and Pete were recorded at Pete's home studio (called the Bonaparte Rooms in the track titles but the Napoleon Rooms in Elvis' liner notes) in the spring or early summer of 1993.

ROCKING HORSE ROAD (DEMO)
13 STEPS LEAD DOWN (DEMO)
ALL THE RAGE (DEMO)
SULKY GIRL (DEMO)
All four of these songs were written after the Church Studios sessions and before the Bonaparte rooms rehearsals, so these home demos must have been recorded sometime between the last days of 1992 and mid-1993. "Rocking Horse Road" and "13 Steps Lead Down" were both written the same day as four other Brutal Youth tunes, and "All The Rage" and "Sulky Girl" were written "soon" after, according to Elvis' liner notes.

WHAT'S OLD

LIFE SHRINKS
The only song on the bonus disc that was never intended for the Brutal Youth/Idiophone project, this was written for (but not used in) the film The War Of The Buttons and recorded February 7, 1994 at Westside Recording Studios with Steve Nieve, Steve Donnelly, Trevor Barry, Pete Thomas, and Andy Findon. It was first released on the UK CD single for "It's Time."

IDIOPHONE
The instrumental title song for the Idiophone project was recorded at the initial sessions at Pathway Studios in November or early December 1992 and first released on the "Sulky Girl" CD single in the UK. Curiously, that initial release was credited as featuring both Elvis and Pete Thomas, but the Rhino booklet credits the performance to Elvis alone.

A DRUNKEN MAN'S PRAISE OF SOBRIETY
Also recorded at Pathway Studios in late 1992, this adaptation of a W.B. Yeats poem was presumably performed at the W.B. Yeats festival in Dublin that same year. It was previously available as the B-side of "Sulky Girl" in the UK and the B-side of "13 Steps Lead Down" in the US. Like "Idiophone," it was credited as an Elvis & Pete performance on the "Sulky Girl" single and as Elvis solo in the Rhino booklet.

WHAT'S MISSING (RELEASED RECORDINGS)

BASEMENT KISS (LIVE, DUBLIN, DEC. 1, 1994)
    ["The Other End Of The Telescope" CD single]
This live reading of one of the songs Elvis wrote for Wendy James comes from the last night of the Brutal Youth tour. It could also be a potential bonus track on the rumored separate release of The Gwendolen Letters.


WHAT'S MISSING (UNRELEASED RECORDINGS)

DISTORTED ANGEL (ALTERNATE VERSION)
The first song attempted by the reunited Attractions went unused on Brutal Youth and was re-recorded for All This Useless Beauty. The March 1994 Musician article gives a fair amount of detail about the multiple attempts at the song during the August 2, 1993 session at Olympic Studios, but the demo on the All This Useless Beauty bonus disc remains the only available version from this period.

LONDON'S BRILLIANT PARADE (CHURCH STUDIOS VERSION)
This is mentioned in Elvis' liner notes as among the "good exploratory versions" of Brutal Youth songs recorded in December 1992 with Steve and Pete.

CLOWN STRIKE (DEMO)
STILL TOO SOON TO KNOW (DEMO)
JUST ABOUT GLAD (DEMO)
An early list of possibilities for the bonus disc included these demos which failed to make the final cut.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Perhaps the most notable tracks missing from the Brutal Youth bonus disc are the Wendy James demos, which are discussed on the Gwendolyn page.

Several previously released cover songs – "My Resistance Is Low," "Congratulations," "Brilliant Disguise," "Step Inside Love," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," "Sally Sue Brown," "Sticks And Stones," "But Not For Me," and "Full Force Gale" – were recorded around the time of Brutal Youth but appear instead on the Kojak Variety bonus disc. "They Can't Take That Away From Me" does not appear on the Kojak Variety bonus disc but will continue to be discussed on that page at least for now.

"She Moved Through The Fair" and "Lost In The Stars" also date from this period but are discussed with The Juliet Letters.


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