SONG TITLE: HURRY DOWN DOOMSDAY
PERFORMER: ELVIS COSTELLO
SONGWRITER: ELVIS COSTELLO
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1991
COMMENTS: The best way to start explaining this little piece of wax from some evil nether region of Elvis Costello's psyche is to cast it as approximately equal measures apocalyptic horror and humor. "Dr Strangelove" being my favorite movie, I'm probably a particularly good audience for this record's ambitions.
The basic lyrical conceit is that the world has become so decadent that the narrator is BEGGING for the end of the world. "Hurry down doomsday - the bugs are taking over!" The funniest part is admittedly partly an in-joke for Elvis fans: the first example of the irredeemable corruption of the planet is some jerk "planting a trashy paperback book for accidental purchase containing all the secrets of life and other useless things." Besides the more universal junky tabloid level books, Elvis' once and future bass player had recently published a tawdry little cash-in book about his time with Elvis.
If you really had a sense of humor, you might call this concoction a "country" song. The surrealistic twangy throb of this song somehow puts me in mind of country music of some old order, but damned if I can find anything specific to really pin it on. Extremely overeducated rockabilly, perhaps. You could think of this as an extreme bastardization of the basic Johnny Cash "I Walk the Line" beat. Maybe it is "science fiction country," a new genre. Elvis should have give them THIS for the X-Files album.
This recording represents one of Elvis' greatest achievements specifically as a record maker. This recording is especially busy, to great effect. Which is to say that all the clutter works. The clattering percussion, the insistent little circular lead guitar riff, the most kickass backwards guitar solo since Hendrix, the mad scientist organ all add up to one overall noteworthy freaky groove.
Elvis Costello Is King
Music Sustains the Soul
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