Tag: elvis costello

Listen to the Voice of Reason – Part 1

Listen to the Voice of Reason – Part 1

Through a series of blogs I will share with you the voices and lyrics that have had an impact on me and have shaped my musical history. I’ll be talking about sounds and resonance of singers plying their trade. I’ll introduce you to the men and women who have captivated me, moved me to tears, scared the life out of me and made me smile. Over the years, my taste in music has definitely changed, but it’s usually the voice that’s the hook that caught this fish. Don’t just take my word for it though. Click on the song title to find out for yourself.


Elvis Costello’s voice was the first voice that attracted me musically. There was something about the depth, tone and sarcastic pronunciation of the lyrics that made me pay attention. Whether he was singing about Watching the Detectives, Angels wanting to wear his red shoes or not wanting to go to Chelsea, I was hooked.

Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives

This was one of the first records I bought more years ago than I care to remember. The opening base line a perfect scene setter before ‘that’ voice sang ‘those’ lyrics.

 “Nice Girls not one with a defect, cellophane, shrink-wrapped, so correct.”

What an opening line – the mood of the song captured in an instant. I heard the song before I’d seen the man performing it and I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a skinny dude in a black suit with huge glasses!  It was 1977 and I was thirteen years old, I didn’t fit in anywhere and I wanted to be Elvis, he was geeky, unattractive and a bit angry, just like me…….except I couldn’t sing.

“You think your alone until you realise you are in it now, fear is here to stay love is here for a visit.”

Sung with a threat and a promise, it conjures up an image of desperation and loneliness. Would you ever get away from this situation? Who would come to save you? Elvis’ voice gave you no hint of hope of a happy ending, just a sense of impending doom.  It sounded perfect to me then and it still sounds as good today.