Why did you travel far abroad so you could sleep with strangers?

Declan's going back to his roots today with one of the last albums I have in the letter D. It's Cruel Smile by Elvis Costello and the Imposters and it's really one for the fans.

Cruel Smile is full of live tracks, outtakes and remixes. Those are usually the albums I buy out of a sense of obligation, listen to once and never touch again. This one has stuck with me, though. I'm not a huge fan of the live tracks (if you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm generally not a fan of live albums) but the remixes and outtakes are great to have if you're a Costello fan.

The album starts and end with different (and suitably cheeky) versions of a song written by Charlie Chaplin called "Smile." It's perhaps the most bizarre Costello recording since he wrote "Dip Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness" for a Disney movie. The alternate version of "When I Was Cruel" and "Peroxide Side," a great remix of "Episode of Blonde," are a couple highlights. Overall, it's nothing I would recommend to the casual listener but there are some treats in there for the avid fan.

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