ORIGINAL ALBUM (48:21)
BONUS DISC (79:35)
- Love For Tender (1:57)
- Opportunity (3:11)
- The Imposter (1:57)
- Secondary Modern (1:56)
- King Horse (2:59)
- Possession (2:02)
- Men Called Uncle (2:16)
- Clowntime Is Over (2:57)
- New Amsterdam (2:10)
- High Fidelity (2:26)
- I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down (2:05)
- Black & White World (1:55)
- 5ive Gears In Reverse (2:37)
- B Movie (2:01)
- Motel Matches (2:28)
- Human Touch (2:27)
- Beaten To The Punch (1:47)
- Temptation (2:31)
- I Stand Accused (2:18)
- Riot Act (3:35)
Certainly one of the most ambitious of the Rhino reissues, the Get Happy!! bonus disc sports a
mind-boggling 30 tracks, 18 of them previously unreleased (11 studio
outtakes, 4 demos, and 3 live recordings), mostly of very high quality,
and with only one song ("Girls Talk") making two appearances on the
- I Stand Accused (alternate version) (3:09)
- So Young (3:26)
- Girls Talk (1:55)
- Human Touch (alternate version) (2:19)
- Temptation (alternate version) (2:27)
- Motel Matches (alternate take) (2:26)
- Clowntime Is Over No. 2 (3:43)
- B Movie (alternate version) (2:26)
- Girls Talk (alternate version) (2:03)
- Getting Mighty Crowded (2:07)
- From A Whisper To A Scream (alternate version) (2:29)
- Watch Your Step (alternate version) (2:01)
- Dr. Luther's Assistant (3:26)
- Ghost Train (3:05)
- New Lace Sleeves (alternate version) (3:45)
- Hoover Factory (1:44)
- Just A Memory (2:15)
- I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down (alternate version) (2:43)
- New Amsterdam (alternate version) (2:29)
- Black & White World (demo) (1:49)
- Riot Act (demo) (2:48)
- 5ive Gears In Reverse (demo) (2:31)
- Love For Tender (demo) (2:05)
- Men Called Uncle (demo) (2:04)
- King Horse (demo) (2:43)
- Seven O'Clock (demo) (1:58)
- High Fidelity (live) (3:17)
- Opportunity (live) (2:33)
- The Imposter (live) (2:11)
- Don't Look Back (live) (3:01) / CBS Radio Commercial (1:30)
Quality aside, one of the selling points of Get Happy!! has always been quantity.
This began with its initial release in 1980 as a 20-track single LP and
continued in 1994 with Ryko's 30-track CD. This 50-track two-disc set is
certainly keeping with that spirit, and it is even recognized with a "50
GREAT HITS" graphic which has been added to the cover art.
Get Happy!! was largely recorded
at Wisseloord Studios in October 1979, with the final sessions taking
place at Eden Studios.
I STAND ACCUSED (ALTERNATE
Oddly, the UK Get Happy!!
reissue (from July 2003) and the US version (from September 2003) give
different information about this track. The UK version says it was
recorded May 28, 1979 at Abbey Road Studios (at the same time as "So
Young," suggesting it might have been intended as the B-side for the
planned single), while the US version says it was July 18, 1979 at
Ramport Studios. Elvis' liner notes (for both releases) indicate it was
Abbey Road, but it is unclear whether he says that based on his own
recollection or because he was provided with that information. Since the
track notes are otherwise identical, my guess is that the US release is
the accurate one, its later release date offering time to correct the
HUMAN TOUCH (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Elvis' liner notes mention that "'Human Touch' was clearly made
under the spell of my recent work with The Specials." That influence is
especially obvious in this alternate arrangement. Although Rhino's track
notes may be a bit presumptuous in identifying all of the Get Happy!! alternates as coming from
Wisseloord Studios when the October 1979 sessions for the album were
split between Wisseloord and
Eden Studios (see the discussion of "Girls Talk" and "Clowntime Is Over
No. 2" below), the alternates of "Human Touch," "Temptation," "Motel
Matches," and "B Movie" all seem to present the songs in early
arrangements, and it seems reasonably safe to assume that they come from
the initial sessions at Wisseloord.
TEMPTATION (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Although the overall sound is very similar to the album version,
this alternate uses the "I see you lying so wide awake..." bridge of the
album version as a chorus instead and lacks a bridge of its own.
MOTEL MATCHES (ALTERNATE TAKE)
This is listed as an "alternate take" rather than the usual
"alternate version," perhaps because the differences in the overall
arrangement are relatively subtle. This features a different vocal
approach and lacks the somewhat washed-out sound of the album version.
B MOVIE (ALTERNATE VERSION)
This completely different arrangement sounds like a finished
recording. The song may have been re-recorded later for no other reason
than to match the overall sound of the album.
GIRLS TALK (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Elvis had hinted at the existence of an alternate "Girls Talk" in
the liner notes for both the cassette edition of Girls + £ ÷ Girls = $ &
Girls ("sadly no final mix exists of our spectacular
'Glitterband' arrangement") and the Ryko Get Happy!!, but this "weird thrash"
(as Elvis describes it in the Rhino notes) was unreleased until now (or
as Elvis puts it, "has been sensibly buried in the vaults until this
edition"). Just to keep things confusing, Rhino's track notes identify
both versions of "Girls Talk" as being recorded at Wisseloord Studios,
while Elvis' liner notes specifically identify both as coming from Eden
FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM
WATCH YOUR STEP (ALTERNATE VERSION)
These early versions of two songs which would end up on Trust
were recorded in November 1979 at U.K. Pro Studios (Nick Lowe's home
studio, soon to be renamed Am-Pro). Elvis does not specifically address
these recordings in his liner notes, speaking only in general terms
about "demos" and "recording experiments" from this period, some
featuring Elvis playing all the instruments and others utilizing the
rhythm section of Pete Thomas and Paul "Bassman" Riley. No indication is
given of who plays on these two tracks. Both are considerably rougher
than their finished counterparts, with "Watch Your Step" taken at a much
faster tempo and "From A Whisper To A Scream" being sung by Elvis alone
in contrast to the later duet with Glenn Tilbrook. Different "alternate
versions" of both songs can be found on the Trust bonus disc.
NEW LACE SLEEVES (ALTERNATE
Recorded in March 1980 at Am-Pro Studios (along with "Dr.
Luther's Assistant," "Ghost Train," and "Hoover Factory"), this very
different arrangement of "New Lace Sleeves" has Elvis backed by Pete
Thomas and Paul "Bassman" Riley.
I CAN'T STAND UP FOR FALLING DOWN
It is hard to imagine why Elvis and the Attractions would be
revisiting this song during the Imperial Bedroom sessions, two
years after recording Get Happy!!, but that is
exactly what they do on this November 16, 1981 recording from AIR
Studios which is far more faithful to Sam & Dave's original slow
rendition. Despite being out of place chronologically, it fits the
overall mood of the Get Happy!! bonus
NEW AMSTERDAM (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Elvis has said that he included his demo version of "New
Amsterdam" on Get Happy!! after
band attempts proved unsatisfactory. This full band version is a bit of
a mystery, as it is credited as a 1980 recording from Olympic Studios.
Elvis is otherwise unknown to have recorded at Olympic prior to the 1986
sessions for Blood
& Chocolate, and all other songs intended for Get Happy!! were recorded in 1979. If
the recording information is accurate, this must have been attempted
after the album was completed. My entirely speculative explanation is
that Elvis attempted to re-record the song for its June 1980 release as
a single but once again ultimately went with the demo.
5IVE GEARS IN REVERSE (DEMO)
MEN CALLED UNCLE (DEMO)
KING HORSE (DEMO)
These 1979 demos from
Archipelago Studios (also the source for the previously released demos
of "Black & White World," "Riot Act," "Love For Tender," and the
album version of "New Amsterdam") receive their first official release
here, but they had previously circulated among collectors for years.
Richard Groothuizen and Kees den Heyer's book Going Through The Motions (Elvis Costello
1982/1985) identifies these demos as coming from September 1979,
although that date may just be an approximation based on the album
sessions beginning in October.
SEVEN O'CLOCK (DEMO)
The recording date and location for this demo are unknown, but it
is unlikely to have been recorded any later than August 1979, the
concert debut of "Secondary Modern," which included some lyrics which
originally appeared in this song. Most of the other lyrics turned up in
"Luxembourg" on Trust. "Seven
O'Clock" was originally written for Dr. Feelgood.
HIGH FIDELITY (LIVE, GELEEN, JUN.
OPPORTUNITY (LIVE, NORTH HOLLYWOOD,
FEB 16, 1979)
These early live performances of Get
Happy!! songs present them in their original arrangements.
DON'T LOOK BACK (LIVE, CANVEY
ISLAND, APR. 2, 1980)
We may never know if The Temptations' original version of "Don't
Look Back" was among the stack of old R&B records that inspired the
sound of Get Happy!!. Elvis was
presumably also aware of Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger's 1978 cover
version. This comes from a concert from shortly after the release of Get Happy!!.
CBS RADIO COMMERCIAL
The bonus disc closes with an unlisted radio commercial promoting Get Happy!!.
WHAT'S OLD (BUT NOT ON THE RYKO CD)
THE IMPOSTER (LIVE, LONDON, DEC.
Elvis' track from the various artists album Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea
makes its CD debut.
A May 28, 1979 session at EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 2 was
scheduled for the specific purpose of recording "So Young" for a summer
single. Instead, the recording was shelved until its appearance on Out Of Our Idiot in 1987. The credit
"produced at gunpoint by Nick Lowe" hints at the mood of the session.
Dave Edmunds' version of "Girls Talk" had already been a UK hit
by the time Elvis attempted his own version(s) in October 1979. And he
apparently never recorded it to his satisfaction, since he writes in the
liner notes, "Neither of the Attractions' versions were really
completed." Nevertheless, this version was used as the B-side of "I
Can't Stand Up For Falling Down" and later included on Taking Liberties and Ten Bloody Marys as well as the
cassette version of Girls + £
÷ Girls = $ & Girls. According to Elvis' memory, this
was recorded at Eden Studios, although Rhino's track notes list it as
coming from Wisseloord Studios.
CLOWNTIME IS OVER NO. 2
In these days of Rhino bonus discs, Costello fans have grown
accustomed to the same song being released in multiple arrangements. But
in April 1980, when "Clowntime Is Over No. 2" (sometimes known as the
"slow version") was released on the "High Fidelity" 12-inch single, just
two months after the "fast version" had been released on Get Happy!!, this was unusual. Like
"Girls Talk," Elvis' memory places this as an Eden Studios recording,
while Rhino's track notes say it is from Wisseloord Studios.
GETTING MIGHTY CROWDED
Recorded at Eden Studios during the Get Happy!! sessions, "Getting Mighty
Crowded" did not make the album and instead turned up first on the
B-side of "High Fidelity" in the UK and later on Taking Liberties and Ten Bloody Marys. In the US, it was
also the A-side of a single released at the time of Taking Liberties.
DR. LUTHER'S ASSISTANT
"Dr. Luther's Assistant" was written in 1977 and was at one point
considered a contender for This Years Model, although it
apparently went unrecorded until March 1980, when this version
(surprisingly similar to the band's live arrangement from 1977) was
recorded at Am-Pro Studios with Elvis playing all the instruments except
the drums which Pete Thomas overdubbed later. It was first issued on the
B-side of "New Amsterdam" and later included on Taking Liberties and Ten Bloody Marys.
Coming from the same session as "Dr. Luther's Assistant," "Ghost
Train" features Elvis playing all the instruments, which he identifies
as Spanish guitar, marimba, and fretless bass. Although Elvis finished
writing it in the late '70s, "Ghost Train" is based on a much older
song, "Maureen And Dan," which Elvis had co-written with Allan Mayes
when the duo performed together under the name Rusty in 1972 and 1973.
(Mayes released his own reworking of the original song, retitled
"Maureen And Sam," on his 1986 album Stumbling
In The Aisle.) "Ghost Train" was first issued on the "New
Amsterdam" EP and later served as the closing track on both Taking Liberties
and Ten Bloody Marys.
Another March 1980 solo recording from Am-Pro Studios, "Hoover
Factory" had been written in 1976 but, aside from a 1977 performance on
Capital Radio, had previously gone unrecorded. It was first issued on Taking Liberties
and Ten Bloody Marys in November
1980 and included on the B-side of "Clubland" a month later.
JUST A MEMORY
Recorded with Steve Nieve in early 1980 at T.W. Studios, where
Costello had recently produced The Specials' debut album, "Just A
Memory" was famously written with Dusty Springfield in mind, and she
ended up recording it two years later. Elvis' version was first issued
on the "New Amsterdam" EP and later included on Taking Liberties and Ten Bloody Marys.
BLACK & WHITE WORLD (DEMO)
RIOT ACT (DEMO)
LOVE FOR TENDER (DEMO)
Like the other Get Happy!!
demos, these were recorded at Archipelago Studios in 1979. "Black &
White World" was first issued on Taking Liberties and Ten Bloody Marys (the first official
release of a demo for a Costello song which had previously been released
as a "finished" recording), while "Riot Act" and "Love For Tender" first
surfaced officially on the Ryko Get
Happy!!, although both had circulated among collectors for years
before that. In the case of "Love For Tender," the Ryko CD presented it
as an unlisted bonus track which perversely and abruptly cut off about
25 seconds before the song's conclusion. It is complete on the Rhino CD.
MISSING (RELEASED RECORDINGS)
With the arguable exceptions of the B-side version of "Psycho" and the
George Jones version of "Stranger In The House" (both found on the Almost Blue
bonus disc), all previously released recordings from this period are
included in this collection.
WHAT'S MISSING (UNRELEASED & UNRECORDED)
HUMAN TOUCH (DEMO)
This is the one song from the bootlegged
collection of Get Happy!! demos
that is not included on this release. It may have been excluded in favor
of the studio alternate which does appear.
Elvis performed "Idle Hands" in concert several times in March
and April of 1979, but by the time he got around to recording it in
October, it had been substantially reworked and retitled "Temptation."
It seems possible that it was never recorded outside of audience tapes.
MOTEL MATCHES (LIVE, NORTH
HOLLYWOOD, FEB. 16, 1979)
HIGH FIDELITY (LIVE, BETHLEHEM, APR.
An early track listing for the Get
Happy!! bonus disc included these performances, but ultimately
"High Fidelity" was replaced with a different live version of the same
song, and "Motel Matches" was replaced with a different song
("Opportunity") from the same show. It should be noted that both of
these performances have long been available on bootlegs.
MIGHTY MAN (HOME DEMO)
TRUE LOVE (HOME DEMO)
Krista Reese's 1981 biography of Elvis told the story of his
brief association with American singer Jo Marshall, for whom he wrote
these two songs. Bootlegs include what purport to be Marshall's demos
for these songs, recorded in May 1979 with Elvis, Nick Lowe, Steve
Nieve, and Pete Thomas as her backing musicians. In Reese's book,
Marshall describes Elvis playing her the tape of own demo versions,
recorded in his kitchen with an acoustic guitar. Whether that tape still exists is unknown.
Two songs which have long been rumored to have been recorded during the Get Happy!! sessions are "Slow Down"
and "First I Look At The Purse." In the case of "Slow Down," the only
known recording by Elvis actually dates from the Trust sessions, and it can be
found on that bonus disc. "First I Look At The Purse" (a song originally
recorded by The Contours and also covered by J. Geils Band), however,
failed to turn up during Rhino's search for Get Happy!! outtakes and may never
have been recorded at all.