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Charted: July 24, 1982

Rating: 4.375 (average of 8 ratings)

Genre: rock > new wave

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Beyond Belief
  2. Tears Before Bedtime
  3. Shabby Doll
  4. The Long Honeymoon
  5. Man Out of Time
  6. Almost Blue
  7. …and in Every Home
  8. The Loved Ones
  9. Human Hands
  10. Kid about It
  11. Little Savage
  12. Boy with a Problem
  13. Pidgin English
  14. You Little Fool
  15. Town Cryer


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 30
peak on U.K. album chart 6

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • You Little Fool (6/19/82) #52 UK
  • Man Out of Time (7/31/82) #58 UK

Notes: The Rykodisc reissue added nine bonus tracks – “From Head to Toe,” “The World of Broken Hearts,” “Night Time,” “Really Mystified,” “I Turn Around,” “Seconds of Pleasure,” “The Stamping Ground,” “Imperial Bedroom,” and an alternate version of “Shabby Doll.”

The 2002 Rhino reissue expands the track selection to a total of 38 tracks spread over 2 discs.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. NME Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

Imperial Bedroom
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
“Having gotten country out of his system with Almost Blue, Elvis Costello returned to pop music with Imperial Bedroom – and it was pop in the classic, Tin Pan Alley sense. Costello chose to hire Geoff Emerick, who engineered all of the Beatles’ most ambitious records, to produce Imperial Bedroom, which indicates what it sounds like – it’s traditional pop with a post-Sgt. Pepper production.” STE

“Essentially, the songs on Imperial Bedroom are an extension of Costello’s jazz and pop infatuations on Trust. Costello’s music is complex and intricate, yet it flows so smoothly, it’s easy to miss the bitter, brutal lyrics. The interweaving layers of Beyond Belief and the whirlwind intro are the most overtly dark sounds on the record, with most of the album given over to the orchestrated, melancholy torch songs and pop singles.” STE

“Never once do Costello & the Attractions deliver a rock & roll song – the album is all about sonic detail, from the accordion on The Long Honeymoon to the lilting strings on Town Cryer.” STE

“Of course, the detail and the ornate arrangements immediately peg Imperial Bedroom as Costello’s most ambitious album, but that doesn’t mean it’s his absolute masterpiece. Imperial Bedroom remains one of Costello’s essential records because it is the culmination of his ambitions and desires – it’s where he proves that he can play with the big boys, both as a songwriter and a record-maker. It may not have been a commercial blockbuster, but it certainly earned the respect of legions of musicians and critics who would have previously disdained such a punk rocker. And, perhaps, that’s also the reason that he abandoned this immaculately crafted style of work on his next album, Punch the Clock.” STE

Review Source(s):

Last updated February 12, 2010.