Elvis Costello gave Dave Edmunds this song in "a moment of drunken bravado" as he put it in the liner notes of Rhino's reissue of Get Happy!! In 1979 Edmunds scored a UK#4 hit with the hard charging song which he recorded with Nick Lowe ( whom you can hear chanting "girls talk" at the end) and Rockpile. (The same bunch of pub crawlers who recorded Lowe's Jesus Of Cool that year). The result is power pop perfection. Costello was at the very height of his snarky word-playing powers:
There are some things you can't cover up with lipstick and powder I thought I heard you mention my name, can't you talk any louder?
It was far too late for EC to take back the song by the time he recorded his own version later that year with The Attractions. The two minute version is more herky jerky, sounds a bit like a throw-away, and got stuck to the B-side of the 1980 Get Happy!! single "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down".
Even an alternate version Costello recorded can't match Edmunds's straight ahead approach.
Linda Ronstadt has always known a good song when she heard one. She covered "Girls Talk" and two other Elvis Costello tunes for her new wave album Mad Love. An almost instant million seller, that 1980 album is out of print.
And yet Billy Joel's new wave recording Glass Houses is not. I know I've run off topic but really!! Is this justice? Discuss below.
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