The new "Deluxe Edition" version of Elvis Costello's debut album, My Aim is True (Hip-O) commemorates the set's 30th anniversary. But Costello isn't waiting around to blow out any celebratory candles.
"I've never thought about it, really," Costello says. "I'm not a great one on anniversaries or dates. I don't know why 30 is more important than 29 or 31, really. But it flags a certain time. It seems to be a time people reconsider things, so we have to accept the fact that's what the process is."
The new My Aim is True is a two-CD set that fills out the original 13-song album — which featured the hits "Alison" and "Watching the Detectives" — with four outtakes, eight demos, a 1977 concert from Nashville and the sound check to that show. Costello, however, says that the way the album was made renders any anniversary date a bit specious.
"The record was recorded over a six-month period and little sessions when Stiff [his label at the time] could afford it and I could get time off work," he recalls. "I think the idea was eventually that Stiff said, 'You have enough songs. You've done enough sessions. There's an album's worth of material, so we're gonna [release] it.'
"But then they said to me, 'Now you've got to go professional. You've got to quit your day job.' I had family responsibilities, so I had to say, 'Well, you can pay me the same...' We worked it out, so that's where it all started for me, really."
The My Aim is True (Deluxe Edition) is part of an extensive series of reissues and new compilations from Costello's catalog that will be rolling out over the next few years.