Elvis Costello and the Attractions: I Wanna Be Loved / Turning the Town Red


Format: 7″

Label: F-Beat Records (XX 35)

Country: UK

Year: 1984

Price paid: $1

Purchased at: private sale


I guess I’m a victim of loneliness… but why should this be my destiny?

‘I Wanna Be Loved’ is the first single off of his tenth album, 1984’s ‘Goodbye Cruel World.’ It was the highest charting single from the LP, reaching #25 in the UK and #11 in Ireland.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a Elvis Costello fan. I find his voice whiny and just generally unpleasant. I’ve never understood why he’s considered a lyrical genius; perhaps I lack the ability to comprehend some subtle meaning hiding in the subtext somewhere? As a child of the New Wave I can recognize his importance… or at least his popularity. I feel bad that, even after giving him repeated goes over the years, he just doesn’t ‘speak’ to me. My failing in this regard gnaws at my soul, and is responsible for many a sleepless night.

That being said, when life gives you lemons you clone those lemons and make super-lemons.* A bunch of 7″ singles fell into my lap recently, primarily Kate Bush, but a good helping of Costello as well. I contemplated flipping them (the Elvis vinyl, anyway), but at the end of the day decided to hold on to them. I rationalized that ‘they’re good for me’ (aka- they make for a well-rounded collection) and at the price I paid for them I doubted I’d be able to score the same records down the road so cheaply, if I ever had the desire to search them out. I’ll throw very few records out of my bed for eating crackers…

The primary draw with this single is the sleeve itself. The New Wave-iness of the music itself is- to my ear, anyway- debatable, but I have no reservation in saying that the funky design and pink/blue/green color palette shrieks ‘1984’ as loudly as a valley girl screaming with delight at finding a sale on leg warmers at the galleria.


*Yes, that was a ‘Clone High’ reference. Good show.


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