Anglo For Your Ear: Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Lipstick Vogue”

The sheer musicianship of this song frightens me. Elvis and his Attractions were virtuoso machines; they played fast and tight like a jazz ensemble or a speed-metal band. Bruce Thomas‘ bass is walking all over the place but remains right in line with the rest of the rhythm section. The song also seems like it will veer out of control, yet everything is held miraculously into place. At the end, you’re left truly exhausted and amazed. (Even the band has to take a short breather midway through the song.) You may find “Lipstick Vogue” exhilarating on the This Year’s Model album, but it’s even more impressive to see it done live, which you can witness above.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

See more posts by Kevin Wicks