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Charted: March 22, 1980

Rating: 4.175 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: rock > new wave

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Love for Tender
  2. Opportunity
  3. The Imposter
  4. Secondary Modern
  5. King Horse
  6. Possession
  7. Men Called Uncle
  8. Clowntime Is Over
  9. New Amsterdam
  10. High Fidelity
  11. I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down
  12. Black and White World
  13. Five Gears in Reverse
  14. B Movie
  15. Motel Matches
  16. Human Touch
  17. Beaten to the Punch
  18. Temptation
  19. I Stand Accused
  20. Riot Act


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 11
peak on U.K. album chart 2

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (2/16/80) #4 UK
  • High Fidelity (4/12/80) #30 UK
  • New Amsterdam (7/6/80) #36 UK

Notes: “The Ryko/Demon reissue contains no less than ten bonus tracks, including such Costello essentials as ‘Girls Talk,’ ‘So Young,’ ‘Getting Mighty Crowded,’ ‘Hoover Factory,’ ‘Dr. Luther’s Assistant,’ and ‘Just a Memory,’ written for Dusty Springfield” (Erlewine).

The 2003 Rhino double-disc edition upped the total of songs to a whopping 50, including the album’s original 20, the aforementioned bonus tracks, and some demos and alternate takes.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

Get Happy!!
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Get Happy!! was born as much from sincere love for soul as it was for Elvis Costello’s desire to distance himself from an unfortunate verbal faux pas where he insulted Ray Charles in an attempt to get Stephen Stills’ goat. Either way, it resulted in a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour de force, where Costello doesn’t just want to prove his love, he wants to prove his knowledge. So, he tries everything, starting with Motown and Northern soul, then touching on smooth uptown ballads and gritty Southern soul, even finding common ground between the two by recasting Sam & Dave’s I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down as a careening stomper” (Erlewine).

“What’s remarkable is that this approach dovetails with the pop carnival essayed by Armed Forces, standing as a full-fledged Costello record instead of a genre exercise. As it furiously flits through 20 songs, Costello's cynicisms, rage, humor, and misanthropic sensibility gel remarkably well. Some songs may not quite hit their targets, but that’s part of the album’s charm – it moves so fast that its lesser songs rush by on the way to such full-fledged masterpieces as New Amsterdam, High Fidelity, and Riot Act” (Erlewine).

Get Happy!! bursts with energy and invention, standing as a testament to how Costello, the pop encyclopedia, can reinvent the past in his own image” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: Armed Forces (1979)

Last updated March 28, 2008.