Star Monthly, December 1977

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Star Monthly
  • 1977 December


The new, new, wave

Hal E. Tosis

Elvis Costello is already on the verge of becoming a legend – a 22-year-old former computer operator from Hounslow, whose real first-name is Declan, he has been on the cover of all the music weeklies, featured in the ‘serious’ Sunday papers and the subject of endless rave reviews in punk and new-wave rags up and down the country. Elvis doesn’t think of himself as a punk, but his music has that same raw excitement that marks the best of the new wave. He looks and sounds like a cross between Graham Parker and Buddy Holly – and that’s no bad thing. . He looks ordinary enough to be one of us, he sounds special enough to be a star.

It’s just over a year since Elvis walked into the offices of Stiff Records with a bundle of songs and a proposition. A year before that Elvis was playing guitar in a West London band known as the Swankers. At that time he called himself Wally and his partners were Glen Matlock, Paul Cook and Steve Jones. Wally’s departure marked the birth of the Sex Pistols and Elvis Costello – truly an event worth remembering. In between the Swankers and his introduction to Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson of Stiff, Elvis wrote his songs on the train to work.

To date he is supposed to have come up with some 400 numbers – the best of them, in the true tradition of rock legend, written in ten minutes or less. However long they actually took and however many of them there are, Elvis’s songs can certainly whip up a storm. “Punchy” and “aggressive” are words that are often used, surprisingly, to describe even Elvis’s tender songs. There’s something hard and angry about Elvis’s softest songs and something powerful and moving about his performances. He comes across as shy and retiring – a timid office-worker with glasses and turned up jeans. But with his band, the Attractions, behind him he comes alive to the tune of ‘(The Angels are Gonna Wear My) Red Shoes’. It’s something we can all understand.

Elvis’s songs can be heard on his album, ‘My Aim Is True’, released on Stiff Records.


Star Monthly, No. 12, December 1977

Hal E. Tosis profiles Elvis Costello, the Boomtown Rats, and the Tom Robinson Band.

EC is featured on a fold-out poster.


1977-12-00 Star Monthly cover.jpg 1977-12-00 Star Monthly poster.jpg
Cover and poster.

1977-12-00 Star Monthly pages.jpg
Page scans.

1977-12-00 Star Monthly photo 01 ab.jpg
Photo by Adrian Boot.


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