Record Collector, Christmas 2009

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Record Collector

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Live At The El Mocambo

Elvis Costello
Concert classic finally in an unlimited edition

Terry Staunton

Originally pressed as a promotional vinyl album for North American radio stations, Costello’s 1978 live show at a small Toronto club has become a legendary artefact among fans. Though briefly available on a box set in the 90s, this represents its first official standalone release.

Despite not warranting a mention on the sleeve, it’s as much The Attractions’ album as it is the singer’s, with keyboard player Steve Nieve dextrously fleshing out the songs from My Aim Is True; "Waiting For The End Of The World" and "Miracle Man" are especially beefier, having sounded sparse and undercooked on the studio versions with country-rockers Clover.

"Less Than Zero" appears in its rewritten "Dallas version", Elvis substituting the original lyrical references to British fascist Oswald Mosley with a pulp noir narrative that touches on Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination. Tracks from This Year’s Model – "Lipstick Vogue" in particular – also get a shot in the arm, heralding the arrival of The Attractions as one of the most thrilling live bands for the decade to come.

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Record Collector, No. 370, Christmas 2009


Terry Staunton reviews Live At The El Mocambo.

Images

2009-12-25 Record Collector clipping 01.jpg
Clipping composite.


2009-12-25 Record Collector cover.jpg
Cover.

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