Smash Hits, June 9, 1983

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Smash Hits


Who's Who

The 48 most famous faces in British pop

Smash Hits

Elvis Costello

Singer/songwriter/occasional producer. Born Declan McManus, 25/8/54. London, son of dance band singer Ross. Record collector and Beatles fan club member from an early age. Played in pub group Flip City in mid-'70s while supporting wife and child as a computer operator. Rejected by most record companies, found a home at Stiff in 1976. Manager Jake Riviera suggested change of name; launched on a punk-drunk London, swiftly gained a reputation for combining the fervour of the times with classic songwriting craft, as demonstrated on numbers like "Watching The Detectives" and "Oliver's Army." Seven years later his standing has increased but the hits are harder to come by, particularly in the USA where his lack of diplomacy (and refusal to do interviews) has won him all sorts of enemies. A master of the unexpected, he made a country album in Nashville in 1981. His mainstream records are still more furious and memorable than almost anybody's, but signs are he's mellowed in the years since 1977 when he told an interviewer: "the only emotions I really understand are guilt and revenge."

What would you do if you were Prime Minister?

Smash Hits

Imagine it. Election day rolls around and YOU get voted in. What changes would you make to This Great Nation Of Ours? That's what we asked a few famous faces and got some surprising answers.

Elvis Costello:
"It Maggie wins again, I think I'd just take all the programmes off the air and just play Stevie Wonder's 'Heaven Help Us All' for the next 24 hours."

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Tags: Declan MacManusRoss MacManusThe BeatlesFlip CityStiff RecordsJake RivieraWatching The DetectivesOliver's ArmyAlmost BluePills And SoapThe ImposterParty PartyMargaret ThatcherTracieRoddy Frame

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Smash Hits, June 9 - 22, 1983

The Who's Who supplement includes a profile of EC.

Bitz holds a contest to win a signed copy of "Pills And Soap."

Smash Hits asks pop stars what they would do if they were Prime Minister.


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Page scans and clipping.

Pills And Soap

Smash Hits

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One day, about four weeks ago. Elvis Costello decided he wanted one of his new songs released. Immediately. A week later "Pills And Soap" appeared, credited to The Imposter, in a limited edition of 15,000 available through Independent shops.

As Elvis explained when he dropped in with a copy, "the track will be included on our next album but, as there's no firm release date set for either the album or the next official single, I wanted this particular song out now and I'll leave it to the listener to work out why."

Elvis has signed six copies of the record to give away to Bitz readers. If you want to try and win one just write the answer to this question on a postcard or the back of an envelope.

The Question: For which recent film did Elvis Costello write and record the title song? a) Party Party; b) Blade Runner; or c) Tootsie.

Send your answer, to arrive no later than June 23, to Smash Hits Elvis Costello Competition, 52-55 Carnaby Street. London WIV 1PF.

Photo 1 by Keith Morris. Photo 2 photographer unidentified.
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Cover and page scan.
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