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Rock’s Death Songs

Cynthia Rose, History of Rock, The, 1982

ON 16 FEBRUARY 1979, Elvis Costello and the Attractions performed Leon Payne’s 1974 country anomaly ‘Psycho’ at Hollywood’s Palomino Club and, late in 1981, the live recording appeared as an ironic B-side on Costello’s UK release of the C&W classic ‘Sweet Dreams’. Like Paul Evans’ 1979 novelty single ‘Hello This is Joanie’, it represented a resurrection for one of rock’s hardiest forms: the morbid death song.

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