Goldmine, December 7, 2007

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My Aim Is True

Deluxe Edition

Joseph Tortelli

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The initial artist from the British punk scene to gain commercial acceptance in America, Elvis Costello debuted on Columbia Records in 1977 with My Aim Is True, notching the radio airplay hits "Alison" and "Watching The Detectives." The third label to issue an expanded edition of Costello's influential first release, Hip-O's two-CD Deluxe Edition shines a new light on this seminal period by adding two dozen previously unreleased tracks.

Disc One comprises the original My Aim Is True LP, which transcended its punk attitude with subtle arrangements and exceptional songwriting. Four out-takes supplement the LP, including the country-tinged "Radio Sweetheart" and "Stranger In The House." The disc also unveils seven remarkable demos Costello recorded at Pathway Studios in 1976. Accompanied only by his rhythm guitar, he demonstrates youthful versatility on the rockabilly "Blue Minute," the soulful "Call On Me" and the popular ballad "I Hear A Melody."

The second disc contains an intense 17-song concert subtitled Live At The Nashville Rooms, along with a five-track sound check from that August 1977 London appearance. Crackling with the coiled energy of the punk scene, Costello's backing band. The Attractions, gives an aggressive musical edge that differs from the studio LP, which had been recorded with the San Francisco-based band Clover. In addition to My Aim Is True materal, Costello works up fresh, powerful new stuff destined for his masterful follow-up This Year's Model. An impressive elaboration on an essential debut album, this collection richly deserves the title Deluxe Edition,

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Goldmine, December 7, 2007

Joseph Tortelli reviews the Hip-O deluxe edition of My Aim Is True.


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