In an August 2, 2006 press release, Universal Music announced the acquisition of Elvis Costello's 1977-1986 catalog and plans for "definitive reissues, box sets, live albums, multiple CD sets, compilations for the company's highly successful branded series and rarities discs as well as limited editions via the award-winning Hip-O Select imprint. DVD collections of music videos and concert/TV performances are also anticipated."
Elvis Costello Originals
Costello's first 11 albums — My Aim Is True, This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!, Trust, Imperial Bedroom, Almost Blue, Punch The Clock, Goodbye Cruel World, King Of America, and Blood & Chocolate — were released in the US May 1, 2007.
The new CDs do not include bonus tracks, although the first three albums have the same combined UK/US tracklists as the Rykodisc and Rhino CDs — meaning My Aim Is True includes Watching The Detectives, This Year's Model includes (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea, Night Rally, and Radio, Radio, and Armed Forces includes Sunday's Best and (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?.)
They come in digipak packaging. The booklets feature lyrics (including songs not written by Elvis) but, unlike the Ryko and Rhino CDs, no additional liner notes. The CDs have not been newly remastered. They use the same masters prepared by Dan Hersch for Rhino's reissue program.
Hip-O refers to these CDs as the "Elvis Costello Originals" series.
Also released May 1 were two compilation CDs.
The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years tracklist:
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes / Alison / Watching The Detectives / (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea / Pump It Up / Radio, Radio / Accidents Will Happen / Oliver's Army / (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? / I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down / High Fidelity / Clubland / New Lace Sleeves / Good Year For The Roses / Beyond Belief / Man Out Of Time / Almost Blue / Everyday I Write The Book / Shipbuilding / Brilliant Mistake / Indoor Fireworks / I Want You
Rock And Roll Music tracklist:
Lipstick Vogue / No Action / Big Tears / (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea / This Year's Girl / Miracle Man / Pump It Up / Clean Money / Tiny Steps / Wednesday Week / Mystery Dance (Live) / You Belong To Me (Live) / (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? / Girls Talk / King Horse / Lovers Walk / Uncomplicated / Honey, Are You Straight Or Are You Blind? (Alternate Version, previously unreleased) / Baby's Got A Brand New Hairdo / I Hope You're Happy Now / Tokyo Storm Warning / Welcome To The Working Week (Demo Version, previously unreleased)
The demo version of Welcome To The Working Week later appeared on the 30th anniversary edition of My Aim Is True. A sticker on the Rock And Roll Music package calls it "the first in a series of themed releases compiled by Elvis Costello." A second title in this series has not appeared as of 2009.
A 7-inch vinyl single pairing the demo version of Welcome To The Working Week and album version of Lovers Walk was released to "independent" record stores in May 2007 for promotional purposes. (Typically, the single was given as a freebie to customers purchasing one of the new CDs.)
The 11-track Visa Sampler CD was given to Visa Signature cardholders during the May 2007 tour. It includes one track from each of the "Elvis Costello Originals" CDs.
Hip-O released two-disc "deluxe editions" of Costello's first two albums, My Aim Is True and This Year's Model, coinciding with each album's 30th anniversary in September 2007 and March 2008, respectively. The second disc of My Aim Is True included a complete concert recorded 1977-08-07 at London's Nashville Rooms, while This Year's Model had the 1978-02-28 concert at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. My Aim Is True also included several unreleased demos.
The Costello Show series
In 2009 Hip-O announced a series of archival live releases called The Costello Show, beginning with the September 29 reissue of Live At The El Mocambo. The only other show announced as part of this series is the 1978-06-04 performance at Hollywood High School.
Richard Groothuizen of the long-running Elvis Costello Information Service fanzine reported in 2007 that Hip-O Europe had a different release schedule, in which the "Elvis Costello Originals" would be released in two batches, with the first five albums scheduled for May 2007 and the remaining six planned for September 2007. Additionally, May would see a reissue of Live At The El Mocambo and a unique Best Of 1977-1981 compilation (described as "10-11 tracks limited edition). Another compilation, Taking Liberties Volume 1, was planned for June/July, and Taking Liberties Volume 2 and Best Of 1981-1986 (another "10-11 tracks limited edition") were to follow in September. In fact, all 11 of the "Originals" were released June 18, 2007 in Europe, Live At The El Mocambo did not emerge until 2009, and the four compilations have never appeared.
Richard Groothuizen also reported these future releases, none of which has emerged as of 2009:
- Fall 2007:
- Elvis Costello: Gold (2CD compilation covering EC's entire career)
- BBC/TV Appearances DVD
- Press release: Universal Music Enterprises Acquires Early Elvis Costello Catalog; Plans Include Reissues, Deluxe Editions, Compilations, Box Sets and More
- Billboard: Costello Revisits Back Catalog With Reissues
- Press release: The Best of Elvis Costello: 'The First Ten Years' And 'Roll And Roll Music'
- Elvis Costello Reissues