Artist: Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Date Released: October 25, 1994

Label: Rykodisc

Produced By:


  1. Alison
  2. Watching the Detectives
  3. (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea
  4. Pump It Up
  5. Radio, Radio
  6. (What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
  7. Oliver's Army
  8. Accidents Will Happen
  9. I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down
  10. New Amsterdam
  11. High Fidelity
  12. Clubland
  13. Watch Your Step
  14. A Good Year for the Roses
  15. Beyond Belief
  16. Man Out of Time
  17. Everyday I Write the Book
  18. Shipbuilding
  19. Love Field
  20. Brilliant Mistake
  21. Indoor Fireworks
  22. I Want You


Singer/Songwriters have always been a staple in modern music. No matter what style you may be into, some flexible singer/songwriter always manages to sweet talk his way into your regular CD rotation. A long line of these clever lyricists have grown from rebellious youth to matured songwriter, starting with Bob Dylan and concluding with the inevitable induction of Ted Leo. Somewhere between Van Morrison and Joe Strummer sits the bespectacled Elvis Costello, renowned pop-rock songwriter and genre-jumping composer. The obvious Buddy Holly reincarnation appeared on the British music scene in 1977 with the urgent My Aim is True, which initially associated with the bustling punk and new wave takeover. While certainly a good starting point, Costello and the Attractions, his backing band consisting of Bruce Thomas, Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, would never be able to settle down with a particular sound, enlisting many other genres to team with their pop-rock foundation including punk, new wave, reggae, tin pan alley, R&B, country and even a stint with classical composing. This compilation includes 22 tracks apparently hand-picked by Costello himself spanning 11 albums released between ’77’s My Aim is True and ’86’s Blood and Chocolate. It is definitely a worthwhile selection and is a very good introduction for someone unfamiliar with Costello’s career. Highlights include the longing but spiteful Alison, Costello’s first and probably most well known hit single, the rebellious and catchy Radio, Radio, and even Everyday I Write the Book, his successful ode to classic ‘60s soul. Costello has enjoyed a lengthy and fruitful career thanks to his tenacious songwriting and musically adventuresome attitude, and he is certainly a sturdy stepping-stone in the exclusive path of renowned singer/songwriters. Mpardaiolo

Further readingEdit

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