Available here on import, Taking Liberties is an American compilation featuring 20 Elvis Costello songs culled from a variety of flip sides, plastic free singles, and tracks that didn't make it onto the U.S. versions of his albums. It also includes three previously unreleased cuts — "Clean Money," an alternative take of "Black And White World" and "Hoover Factory."
The familiar material includes oddities like "My Funny Valentine," "Crawling To The USA," which appeared on the soundtrack of the Americathon movie and the original version of "Girls Talk," "Radio Sweetheart," the flip of his debut 45, "Less Than Zero." The Yanks also get "Night Rally," which was replaced on the US version of This Year's Model by "Radio, Radio," and "Sunday's Best," which was dropped from their version of Armed Forces in favour of "What's So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding" (which appeared here as the B side of Nick Lowe's "American Squirm."
The unreleased material constitutes the principal reason for getting this album (though it's inevitably convenient to have all these tracks on one piece of plastic). "Clean Money" is an early incarnation of "Love For Tender," with Dave Edmunds on backing vocals.
"Black And White World" is presumably a demo. Produced by EC it's mostly acoustic with multi-tracked hacking vocals. "Hoover Factory" is 1 min. 30 secs. of distilled genius. It's not the best version of the song, though. The solo demo treatment that opens the 50,000,000 Elvis Fans bootleg is the definitive performance.
Taking Liberties will be released in an altered form in Blighty; but only on cassette. Perhaps that'll include the original "Hoover Factory" and maybe even "Jump Up" from the Honky Tonk demos. What d'you say, Jake?