Forgotten Albums: The Juliet Letters
I'm going to start a new series of articles about "albums that no-one bought and very few people like but I think are good", in short, "forgotten albums". To start us off, I've selected "The Juliet Letters" by Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet which was released in 1993. It is a concept album with each song being about or containing the content of a letter e.g. a suicide note or a "dear John" letter.
The album is recorded in single takes in the studio with no post-production or effects being added. Only Costello's voice and the stringed instruments of the Brodsky quartet are used. The songs are complicated and contain intricate melodies that require many listens to get used to. The album lasts a staggering 62 minutes and extends to 20 tracks.
Not every track is a winner but many of them are and it is this album's ability to be listened to repeatedly that makes it stand out. I have had this album for 14 years and it still sounds fresh and brings a smile to my face. I only know one person who has admitted to independently liking this album and when I found this out, I nearly fell off my stool.
A local footnote: Jaqueline Thomas, the cellist, was born in Middlesbrough and the song "Jackson Monk and Rowe" is named after a firm of Middlesbrough solicitors.