Every week, we give away a voucher worth TWENTY FIVE Euro to spend at any of the many Golden Discs stores nationawide.

All we ask from is a tune we can play at an unspecified time next week.

This week’s theme: Elvis Costello

What song from the the vast and varied Declan McManus canon never fails to ‘Attract’ your attention?

To enter, please complete this sentence.

‘The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be____________________owing to its________________________’

Lines MUST close at 9.15pm MIDNIGHT

No ‘She‘, sorry.

Golden Discs

Thanks Bertie

53 thoughts on “Pump It Up

  1. Bertie Blenkinsop


    Watching the Detectives…..

    Close-up of the sign that says “We never close”
    He snatches at you and you match his cigarette
    She pulls the eyes out with a face like a magnet
    I don’t know how much more of this I can take
    She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake

    1. Alf S. Perez-Lee

      We used to sing along “watching the defectives” when attending any country “Discho” on a weekend away. If you were there you’d know why.

    2. Pip

      First time I ever heard of/saw EC was doing this song live and solo on Pebble Mill at One, in my granny’s house – she had BBC/UTV. Marvellous. 1977 or 78, I think.

  2. Dermbob

    The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be PUMP IT UP owing to its still fresh sound today

  3. scottser

    ‘The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be Oliver’s Army owing to its relentlessly catchy chorus, it’s infectious motown-inspired backbeat and it’s edgy use of the term ‘white n1gger’. it was also the stand out track on 10 year old scottser’s first hits compliation tape.

  4. Alf S. Perez-Lee

    ‘The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be I can’t stand up for falling down owing to its accurate reflection of my condition most Saturday nights when I was a jung fella’

    1. Walter Ego

      I have the rare original 2-Tone copy of this single. And got it signed by 2-Tone and Specials founder Jerry Dammers who produced it. When he signed it he said that he didn’t even have a copy of it himself. Never gonna part with it.

    1. Pat & Mike

      If this doesn’t win…
      I swear… if this doesn’t win…

      There are no other contenders.
      I feel invigorated because it didn’t take too long before someone proposed it.

      Thank you tartonflex.

    2. retroboy

      You win, probably the most brutal, honest song ever. I know Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve & “Almost Eivis ” regard “I Want You” as one of their most sacred recordings. True

  5. rotide

    I’m all for diversity of taste but how anyone anywhere finds Elvis Costelloe in any way entertaining is beyond me.

    Blander than coldplay eating vanilla icecream

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      I have actually never listened to him before tonight, I won’t be repeating the experience

  6. Cool_Hand_Lucan

    The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea owing to its sinister baseline, sneering vocals, street poet lyrics and the fact that it’s a damn sexy track in spite of the fact that it’s sung by a fella named Declan McManus.

  7. Ouch

    It has to be ‘Shipbuilding’.. owing to its sheer beauty while examining the troubling dilemma of the economic benefits of war for a worker in an economically deprived area. First heard it on the Help War Child Compilation in 1995 when Brett Anderson covered it. Didn’t realise it was and Elvis Costello composition till later. Robert Wyatt also does a lovely version, as does Elvis himself ..

    1. Walter Ego

      Was going to say Shipbuilding myself. Such a beautifully written song. A worthy winner in my book.

  8. Ian Paisley Park

    ‘The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be NO LIMITS owing to its BANGING’

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      I like it particularly because of a documentary filmed at the time when he went to Nashville to record his first country album and he was trying to secure the reluctant services of the then ace producer of sure-fire country hits.
      This old boy wasn’t too enamoured with the rock upstart but they bonded and produced this gem
      It’s when the backing chorus comes in at 0.52″ and the steel guitar kicks in that you know it’s a classic country track.
      He made No 6 in the UK charts at the time – unheard of for a country song.

  9. Friscondo

    Shipbuilding, owing to its innate, subtle, bitter sadness, about the futile ordinariness of war. The shambles that Britain finds itself in today, could arguably be traced back to the resurgence of English nationalism that the Malvinas war evoked. The last gasp of an already dead empire. “A new winter coat and shoes for the wife, and a bicycle on the boys birthday,” is a beautiful line in a beautiful song. It’s Costello’s masterpiece, and as if to emphasise that, you only have to listen to Robert Wyatt’s hauntingly magnificent cover of it, to hear the reverence other artists treat his work with. It’s theme is universal, yet its expression is on a deeply human scale. The sons and daughters of those who take their countries to war, almost never die in these conflicts. As relevant today, as the day it was written. https://youtu.be/fprYfInkErg

    1. Brother Barnabas

      great comment, friscondo

      when you think of it, a lot of his political songs are just as relevant today – tramp the dirt down on thatcher’s betrayal of her own could be applied now to johnson, farage, rees mogg

  10. ScaryLady

    Veronica – because it reminds me of my grandmother and it’s a really moving reminder that behind the facade of old age still lies a carefree, cheeky young woman.

    It’s about the only portrayal of dementia in song and the combination of the lyrics and music make you like and admire, rather than pity, the subject. It’s perhaps not his greatest work (Imperial Bedroom is) but it’s the song that means the most to me.

    Veronica sits in her favorite chair
    And she sits very quiet and still
    And they call her a name that they never get right
    And if they don’t then nobody else will
    But she used to have a carefree mind of her own
    With devilish look in her eye
    Saying “You can call me anything you like,
    But my name is Veronica”.

  11. Pat & Mike

    That was a cover-version, written by and originally released by Robert Wyatt.
    – fair play to Declan, giving it the spotlight it deserved. It’s a brilliant song.
    – if I remember correctly he did it in a very timely fashion, during the ‘Falklands War’…

    But he didn’t write it…
    … I won’t be upset if you win Walter Ego, but have you even listened to Tarftonclax’s entry?

    – Just close your eyes. The video is dreadful. The song is a killer… it gets better, then it gets better, then it gets better… You get my jist!

    Where was I?
    – oh yeah, if Tarftonclax doesn’t win this competition, outrightly and unanimously, because he/she was correct first…

    I could’ve won this competition if I wanted to.
    Just couldn’t be bothered.

    There’s a NEW GoldenDiscs in The Square, Tallaght.
    I passed by it the other day. I was late for work, taking a shortcut, like in a Disney Movie…

    They sell record-players.
    You can see them from the escalator.

    NOW will you please give the voucher to Tarftonclax?

    1. Otis Blue

      Wrong, I’m afraid. It’s just a rumour that was spread around town.

      Wyatt’s was a cover; great and all as that was. The original is credited to Costello (lyrics) and Clive Langer (music). Legend has it that it was initially written for Wyatt, but in fact he recorded Costello’s unreleased version. Wyatt’s version was produced by Costello himself.

      Langer, though not from Cork, had a decent run of form having produced Costello, Madness, Dexys, Teardrop Explodes, Morrissey and the, eh, Hot House Flowers amongst many others.

  12. fortycoats

    The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be New Lace Sleeves, owing to its acidic analysis of British Tory self-regard, still intensely relevant in these Brexit days:

    Oh I know they’ve got their problems
    How I wish I was one of them
    They say daddy’s coming home soon
    With his sergeant stripes and his Empire mug and spoon
    No more fast buck
    When are they going to learn their lesson
    When are they going to stop all of these victory processions

  13. Pat & Mike

    Co-written with Sir Paul McCartney if my memory is correct.
    (Not John Lennon, the other one ;-)

    I know me stuff.
    This time I think my memory is correct

    There is only ONE winner.
    I can’t remember their name.

    That’s the one.

    Anything else would be criminal, in my opinion, but I also gave up when the blanescu quartet arrived and Declan grew a beard. I know nothing.

  14. Dub Spot

    ‘The stand out track from the Elvis Costello songbook would have to be “Watching the Detectives” owing to its super wry lyrics and dry delivery over a killer rhythm track.’


    Lyrics so good even the Duran Duran cover was awesome!

    “I don’t know how much more of this I can take
    She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake
    She is watching the detectives
    “Ooh, he’s so cute”

  15. Brother Barnabas

    you won’t ever hear it on the radio* and it won’t make it onto any greatest hits compilation but the stand out elvis costello track, for me, is ‘battered old bird’ [https://youtu.be/G-VotthlR88]. it’s probably not the best song on blood & chocolate, but it holds its own (and more) – no small feat when you’re talking about one of the most sublimely beautiful albums ever made. what makes it stand out, though, is that with zero fuss it announced macmanus as a master storyteller-songwriter; he’d already shown that he could do punk, rock, folk, 3-minute pop, new wave, whatever else, but never that kind of linear-sequence story-song thing. that was more associated with bob dylan, tom waits, nick cave. but, with this one song, he showed he could do the structure, progression, lyricism, tempo and gradual unraveling as well as anyone. actually*, dylan played it fairly regularly when he had his radio show on sirius. introducing it once, he compared the span of characters in it to his own ‘desolation row’ and the sense of despair and absurdity in it to tom waits’s ‘murder in the red barn’. it’s the story of the boarding house in birkenhead where macmanus lived as a child with his mother. it’s worth a few listens.

    it’s a pity he’s a liverpool fan

      1. Bertie Blenkinsop

        Isn’t there a famous story about Lowe living in a semi d and then getting a surprise royalty cheque for £1 million because the song featured on the soundtrack of The Bodyguard…..

  16. Pat & Mike

    I remember when that song was released as a single.. (remember then?)
    I worked in a record shop at the time, (remember then?)

    – there was no distributor in Ireland.
    -if you weren’t Stiff you didn’t have a deal with Polygram.

    – We couldn’t buy it because they needed to protect their market.
    Then they bought the small labels and now it’s all cool again.

  17. Liam

    Maybe not his greatest work, but I just wanted to draw attention to the demos that he did with Macca for the latter’s “Flowers in the Dirt’.

    Just the 2 of them sitting around with acoustics like a latterday Everly Brothers, they are streets better than the overproduced final versions that appeared on the original album (some of the tracks also ended up on Pauls following record “Off the ground” and a couple of Costello’s albums)

    The demos are on the special edition of FITD: https://open.spotify.com/album/6fDc2sZ3kFdR3T39xPZke5?si=N3oOJjYwQV-1jJMAngNFHQ


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