Columbia has released two singles from Elvis Costello's remarkable My Aim Is True, "Alison" b/w "Miracle Man" and "Watching the Detectives" b/w "Blame It On Caine" and "Mystery Dance."
The single version of "Alison" is slightly different from the LP version: it's shorter, strings and back-up vocals have been added, and Costellos's voice has been mixed down somewhat. The end result is considerably softer than the original; though interesting, it lacks the devastating anger and impact of the LP cut.
The B-side, a live version of "Miracle Man," is a real treat however. Instead of the studio version's sparse instrumentation, there's gutsy guitar riffs and roller-rink keyboard exuberance Costello sings it faster, but again his voice seems more subdued than the original take. Nevertheless, it's still lots of fun.
"Watching The Detectives" is the same one on the LP, so it's not worth much unless you happened to buy the English version of the LP, which doesn't include it. On the flip side, however, are live versions of 'Blame It On Cain" and "Mystery Dance." The first has the same colorful keyboard/guitar instrumentation as the live "Miracle Man," making it worth quite a few spins, but Costello sings "Mystery Dance" a little too fast for its own good. His timing is off, leaving the tune not quite as danceable as the LP version. Still, the excitement of the live performance comes through.