Elvis Costello's new single "Pills And Soap" is rush released this week on Demon Records in a limited edition of 15,000 copies with the record credited to 'The Imposter'.
"I wanted it out quickly and the record company lawyers are still arguing," Costello told NME this week, referring to legal complications which had already delayed the release of his forthcoming LP and the UK tour planned for July.
F-Beat's licensing deal with WEA Records has apparently expired and a fresh deal is still under negotiation. Demon is an F-Beat subsidiary specialising in one-off releases.
The singer had personally delivered a freshly minted acetate of "Pills And Soap" to the editor's desk, sliding it from his slimline matt black metal briefcase with the comment, "It's a new song that will appear on the next album, although that will be a different version.
"I wanted the song to be heard at this particular time, it couldn't wait the month or two that it will take to finalise legal matters."
The song is a stark, eloquent and uncompromising outburst, evidently describing contempary Britain in lines like:
- The king is in his counting house, some folks have all the luck
- And all we get is pictures of Lord and Lady Muck
- They come from lovely people with a hard line in hypocrisy
- There are ashtrays of emotion for the fag ends of aristocracy...
- "Give us our daily bread in individual slices
- And something in the daily rag to cancel all the crises..."
The single will be released in a plain wrapper, the B side being an extended version of the song with a slightly different mix.
Besides acting as his own plugger — the singer also delivered The Imposter's debut to Radio One amongst other places — Costello also took part in the video shoot of Robert Wyatt's top twenty hit "Shipbuilding," the song Costello wrote last May in response to the Falklands War. He appears in a sequence filmed at London's Whisky A Go Go club.