If this is "taking liberties," then other artists should do the same more often. Driven by some kind of compulsion to lay down as many songs on vinyl as possible before the world ends, Costello should be content to include ten or twelve tracks on this single disc (a good number by today's standards) but no: he hits us with no less than twenty!
Okay, they are short songs, but still, that's some deal. Now you're probably saying, "So he threw twenty songs on an album. They probably took twenty seconds to write." Costello wouldn't do that. Though he writes in the new wave mode, he carefully designs his songs so that they don't melt under the heat of the music itself.
And believe me, the going often gets hot during this collection of previously-released B-sides, (some of which were not widely distributed in North America) and unreleased material.