Entertainment Weekly, Winter 1999

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Entertainment Weekly


The 100 Greatest Entertainers

94. Elvis Costello

Chris Willman

For Best Musical Transformation By A Pop Star: Angriest Young Man Turns Elegant Crooner

Pigeon-toed and pissed off, Elvis Costello announced himself as rock's most passionate singer upon arrival: Bob Dylan reincarnated as a virtuosic, pun-spewing punk, angry at the radio, the world, and, most of all, his model girlfriend. That was 1977; 22 years later, he's less the thoughtful rageaholic and more the graceful balladeer, at least to a generation more familiar with his Burt Bacharach collaborations, his Austin Powers cameo, and his Notting Hill-generated hit, the Charles Aznavour cover "She." There are drawbacks, of course, to virtuosity "I would've expected more criticism for trying to peddle the same record 15 times," says Costello, 45, of fans who preferred his earlier, crankier work to diversions into country and classical. "But it's only if you want people to love you all the time that you should worry about these things." Some things, thankfully, never change.


Entertainment Weekly, No. 510, Winter 1999

Chris Willman profiles EC for EW's "100 Greatest Entertainers."


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Photo by Anton Corbijn.
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1999-11-00 Entertainment Weekly cover.jpg


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