last week’s cornflakes

In 1983 1982, Elvis Costello was asked to write the title track for a movie called Party Party (one critic on IMDB calls it sort of a British Animal House; here’s the tracklisting for an import soundtrack CD). Costello rounded up a couple of horn players to accompany the Attractions, rambled on about drunkenness and bad behavior (something he’d had quite some experience with in those years, by his own admission), and came up with the eponymous song. And he doesn’t want you to hear it anymore. It hasn’t been on any of his reissues, and he seems rather embarrassed by it, in fact.

Certainly, it isn’t the greatest song Elvis ever wrote – but it’s certainly better than about half the material on Goodbye Cruel World, and if pressed I could probably think of a few more EC songs that easily outdo it in badness.

It’s certainly catchy, and even if it does seem a bit forced (Costello’s own tales of drunkenness and cruelty usually had more of a point to them than merely retelling the tale) it deserves better than oblivion.

Elvis Costello (with the Royal Guard Horns) “Party Party”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “last week’s cornflakes

  1. Anonymous

    Despite what imdb says, I’m pretty sure that PARTY PARTY came out before 1983, because I remember seeing it in the summer of 1982.
    And the song “Party Party” would have been from the TRUST/IMPERIAL BEDROOM era..

    –Anonymous bad 80s movie fan

  2. 2fs

    Aha! You are correct, eagle-eyed anonymous bad ’80s movie fan person. I dug up my old copy of the single, and it bears a 1982 copyright date. (Incidentally, the b-side was the song “Imperial Bedroom,” which wasn’t on the album of that name.)

  3. Torque Spost

    I remember pickup up the soundtrack on cassette around then and hoping that it’d be possible to see it on this side of the Atlantic. No such luck.

    I thought I heard about an Elvis Costello box set that was going to have Party Party on it. Or set of box sets, actually. Still, he’s not exactly waving it on a mountaintop.

    Thinking of this movie reminds me of another movie & soundtrack from around then. Get Crazy. Silly spoof of Fillmore East type rock shows. Had Malcolm McDowell, Lou Reed, Lee Ving (from Fear), and a bunch of others in it. Soundtrack had Lou Reed, Ramones, Marshall Crenshaw, Sparks and Fear. Was on cable a lot.

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