Declan McManus toiled away in his pub rock band Flip City and part of the duo Rusty during the mid 70′s. Then punk hit and it gave him the impetus to become Elvis Costello and he hit the ground running releasing an album a year from 1977 to 79. I have outlined the releases from this era below. Please note what I deem to be the ESSENTIAL releases.
|1977 – Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True: Elvis’s debut, originally released on Stiff Records. First appearance of the production team of Roger Bechirian and Nick Lowe. Elvis was not backed up by The Attractions right out of the gate. On his debut he is backed up by the Stiff Records Rock Band in residence – American band Clover which was later known as Huey Lewis & The News. How bizarre! Contains some of Costello’s most loved songs including “Allison”, “Watching The Detectives”, and “Mystery Dance”. ESSENTIAL|
|1978 – Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model: His first record with The Attractions and their signature keyboard driven sound. Written and recorded after their first UK and US tours. As you can tell from the record it is fuelled by a generous helpings of sex, drug, and Rock & Roll debauchery. Released on Radar Records. The great songs just don’t stop on this record which makes it my all time favorite Costello record. ESSENTIAL|
|1979 – Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Armed Forces: A more sophisticated album, but still with a little edge. This release dwells on military imagery, originally titled “Emotional Facism”. A mixture of material dealing with both his failing marriage and his affair with American model Bebe Buell. ESSENTIAL|
Here is a playlist I have put together featuring my favorites from this era. If you can not see the playlist below, please follow this link.