classics period. Now, here is where myself and A LOT of people will part ways on this, I really never liked a damn thing he did after "Armed Forces"....I don't know why, it, to me, is similar to how I felt about several other early 1980's acts.....The Pretenders, Joe Jackson, The Boomtown Rats.....who just took a direction that, for whatever reason, did not get it done for me......Elvis has released a mountain of stuff since, and I know a lot of people out there LOVE it......just not for me.
However, thanks to a sort-of collaboration between myself and John N, I THINK that I have most of his stuff here, many in deluxe editions with bonus tracks......that, and the fact that I personally have at least 20 boots from (what I consider) his golden era (ie first three albums) means that I can put up a fairly comprehensive Costello series......
For today, allow me to present the first three classic albums, all in deluxe editions with fantastic extra material......first was "My Aim Is True", which was done with the backing band Clover and not the incredible Attractions, but still when it was first released, it was like a wakeup call......the musical world was to now be the playground of Elvis, and of the Pistols, the Clash......as I said before I LOVE all of the first three albums, of them I'd call this the "weakest", however, I would still bestow the coveted five star rating on it. Simply remarkable songs-"Welcome To the Working Week" ("I know it don't thrill ya, I hope it don't kill ya"), the beautiful single "Allison", "Red Shoes" ("I said 'I'm so happy I could die', she said 'drop dead' then left with another guy"), the tour de force "Watching The Detectives". No home should be without one, and with a ful disc of bonus material? Run don't walk......what could be better?
Easy answer: "This Years' Model" (always wondered if The Cars were furious that he swiped such an
obvious title for their album, out about the same time)......simply stated, this is one of mt 20 favorite albums of all. Brilliant from the whispered intro of "No Action" to the final rave up of "Radio Radio" ("I want to bite the hand that feeds me") it's all 100% perfect. The new band, the absolutely amazing Attractions, crank out a unique and glorious piece of work, this would rate at least FOUR stars if there were no lyrics or vocals at all....it's that good. Running down the whole thing would be tantamount to a track listing, DAMN...."The Beat", "This Years Girl" ("Those disco synthesizers, those daily tranquilizers"), "Lip Service". Incredible album, also with a discs worth of bonus tracks.
"Armed Forces" is nearly as good. A conceptual affair with lots of Nazi imagery, ("But you'll never get to make a lampshade out of me" from "Goon Squad", "Two Little Hitlers", "Are you ready for the final solution" from "Chemistry Class") it works brilliantly and sounds every bit as good today as it did at the time of release...."Oliver's Army" may be my favorite Costello tune, unless you ask me again in an hour, and I may give you a different answer. And, yep, this is a deluxe bonus edition as well.
Thanks to John N for providing this portion of this multi-part post, and, remember, we'll maybe do one of these a week until we are all-Costello'd out.....and again, just WAIT until you hear the fab bootlegs that I will save for last. Cruel huh?
NOTE: The version of "My Aim Is True" presented here is a 2 disc set, however both discs are contained in one link
MY AIM IS TRUE DISC 1-01 Welcome to the Working Week/02 Miracle Man/03 No Dancing/04 Blame it on Cain/05 Allison/06 Sneaky Feelings/07 (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes/08 Less Than Zero/09 Mystery Dance/10 Pay It Back/11 I'm Not Angry/12 Waiting For the End of the World/13 Watching the Detectives
MY AIM IS TRUE DISC 2-01 No Action (Early Version)/02 Living In paradise (Early Version)/03 Radio
Sweetheart/04 Stranger in the House/05 I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (live)/06 Less Than Zero (Live at the El Mocambo)/07 Imagination (Is a Powerful Deceiver)/08 Mystery Dance (demo)/09 Cheap Reward (demo)/10 Jump Up (demo)/11 Wave a White Flag (demo)/12 Blame It on Cain (demo)/13 Poison Moon (demo)
THIS YEARS MODEL- 01 No Action/02 This Year's Girl/03 The Beat/04 Pump It Up/05 Little Triggers/06 You Belong to Me/07 Hand In Hand/08 (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea/09 Lip Service/10 Living In Paradise/11 Lipstick Vogue/12 Night Rally/13 Radio, Radio/14 Big Tears/15 Crawling to the USA/16 Running Out of Angels (demo)/17 Green Shirt (demo)/18 Big Boys (demo)
We'll resume with "Get Happy", also a deluxe edition sometime next week......meantime, if' you've heard only the originals, the bonus material is nearly as good, in particular the live "I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea" from "This Year's Model".