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When I Was Cruel: Wikis


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When I Was Cruel
Studio album by Elvis Costello
Released April 23, 2002
Recorded 2001–2002
Genre Rock
Length 62:53
Label Island (USA)
Mercury (UK)
Producer Elvis Costello, Ciaran Cahill, Leo Pearson and Kieran Lynch
Professional reviews
Elvis Costello chronology
The Very Best of Elvis Costello
When I Was Cruel
Cruel Smile

When I Was Cruel is Elvis Costello's 20th album, recorded in 2001 and 2002 and released in the US by Island Records on 23 April 2002. Although officially a solo Costello album, this was the first album to feature Elvis' new band, The Imposters, whose only difference from his previous band, the Attractions, was the replacement of bassist Bruce Thomas, with whom Costello has feuded, with Davey Faragher (formerly of Cracker).


Track listing

All songs written by Elvis Costello.

  1. "45" – 3:33
  2. "Spooky Girlfriend" – 4:22
  3. "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)" – 3:31
  4. "When I Was Cruel No. 2" – 7:06 (featuring a sample from Mina's "Un bacio è troppo poco", also heard on The Herbaliser's 1997 release "Take London" on the track "Song For Mary")
  5. "Soul for Hire" – 3:55
  6. "15 Petals" – 4:01
  7. "Tart" – 4:03
  8. "Dust 2..." – 3:21
  9. "Dissolve" – 2:22
  10. "Alibi" – 6:42
  11. "...Dust" – 3:03
  12. "Daddy Can I Turn This?" – 3:41
  13. "Little Blue Window" – 3:10
  14. "Episode of Blonde" – 5:01
  15. "Radio Silence" – 4:58



Additional personnel


  • The song "45" is about being 45 years of age, which was Elvis' age at the time it was written. (The song also features Costello's penchant for multiple meanings, referencing the year 1945, .45 caliber pistols, and 45 rpm records.)
  • The idea and title of "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution)" came from a set of Engrish-laden dolls in Japan. The song was covered by The Bangles as the title track on their 2003 album, Doll Revolution.
  • When the album was released, promotional materials billed it as Costello's "FIRST LOUD ALBUM SINCE 199?".
  • The Song "When I was Cruel (No.2)" features much lyrical continuity with the "Kill Bill" series of films.



Year Chart Position
2002 The Billboard 200 20
2002 Billboard Top Internet Albums 50

External links


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