Ever since his Haitian divorce from the Stiff Records roster ex-computer operator Elvis Costello has been keeping a deceptively low profile. Fans needn't worry though — our hero has been busy in the studios laying down a host of new meisterwerks for his imminent first Radar release.
Tracks definitely for inclusion on this album will include "The Beat," "Lipstick Vogue," "Lipstick Vogue," "Lipservice," "Pump It Up," "No Action" and "Little Triggers" — already tried-and-true faves from consistent live performance these last six months. Choosing the perfect single from this plethora of gems has been a real wrench for Messrs. Lauder, Riviera and Costello — though this dilemma has been finally resolved with the democratic choice of "(t Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea," which just tipped the scales over that other incendiary Costello evergreen, "Radio Radio."
Look for "Chelsea" to appear soonest alongside Nick Lowe's first Radar single, "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass" (wherein "powerpop" and Bowie's Lowe-styled cold music allusions are mated in truly extraordinary fashion).
Fans of Mr. Lowe will also be pleased to know that along with production credits on Elvis' up-and-comer, the irrepressible Basher's first solo album, entitled Jesus Of Cool, is all tied up and ready to be shipped. The finished cover slick is even now hanging grandly over Andrew Lauder's temporary Radar location in the United Artists complex.
Costello, meanwhile, was due last Saturday — weather permitting — to fly out with his Attractions for a second stab at the Americas (where My Aim is True has now gashed its way proudly into the halcyon realms of the Top 50 album charts).
The day before, fresh from that quirky Today interview on't telly where Mavis Nicholson's favourite rock star was quizzed blankly about the Sex Pistols break-up, Costello performed an impromptu free gig at the Roundhouse — more yer warm-up dress rehearsal job for the E.C. collective after those months ensconced in the studios than any kind of major gig.
Even so, the gig was splendid, with Costello getting wilder than ever, tossing his guitar aside and confronting a rabid 300 or so directly in front of the stage towards the end of the show. Starting with "Radio Radio" and spitfiring through a mixture of all the aforementioned new album sections plus Aim works like "Waiting For The End Of The World" and "Red Shoes," Elvis finished with a totally-deranged "Detectives" and returned for one encore of "Pump It Up."
A second encore was dramatically called off after Costello, having faced a torrent of gobbing throughout the set, found a specimen of said mucous in the glass he was drinking out of to quench his thirst on stage and stormed off in disgust. Still, all in all it was a magnificent set with special nods of approval to organist Steve "Naive," whose keyboard work was truly superb in the Garth Hudson epic-proficiency sweepstakes.
With "Chelsea," the new album and a British tour straight after those through to March U.S. dates, world domination surely cannot be far away for Whitton's favourite son.