This Year's Model (1993) liner notes

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Liner notes


This Year's Model

Elvis Costello

This Year's Model was begun at Eden Studios, London at the end of 1977, just after the single release of "Watching the Detectives", and completed at the beginning of 1978. The Sessions, which had to be scheduled at either end of our first American tour, took about eleven days. Most of the songs had been played "live" since our first appearances in July '77. Others, such as "Pump It Up", were written in the last days of the infamous "Live Stiffs" package tour which ended shortly before the recording."

Around this time Jake Riviera parted company with Stiff Records taking Nick Lowe and Elvis with him. "This Year's Model" was therefore the first release on the new Radar label. Elvis and The attractions continued what would become an unbroken run of eight top thirty singles in Britain with "Chelsea" and "Pump It Up". These were issued in March and June '78.

"By this point I had lost track of time as we completed our first headlining tour of Britain and Europe and two further tours of America, plus a visit to Toronto, where our date at "El Mocambo" was broadcast live on the radio and later issued as a Canada-Only promotional album. By the time "Radio Radio" was released in October '78 we had already recorded our next album Armed Forces" In America, Columbia Records had released "My Aim is True" with the addition of "Watching The Detectives", but when it came time to issue "This Year's Model" they requested bizarre changes in the running order. These included the omission of "Night Rally" and "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea" (Despite it's success as a British single) and the inclusion of "Radio Radio". The original sequence is restored for this edition.

Extended Play

Radio Radio -- "This track was either recorded at the This Year's Model sessions or shortly afterwards, but intended as a "stand alone" single, a phenomenon common in the vinyl era".

Big Tears -- "My favourite Out-take by some distance, featuring guest guitarist Mick Jones of the Clash."

Issued first as the B-side to "Pump It Up" and included on the "10 Bloody Marys And 10 How's your Fathers" and "Taking Liberties" compilations.

Crawling To The U.S.A. -- Having featured in the early club shows, this version was actually recorded at Waterloo Studios, Sydney, during Elvis and The Attractions' first, literally, riotous Australian tour. Elvis was later seen performing it in the "smash-hit" film "Americathon", in which he made his motion picture debut as "Earl Manchester".

Running Out of Angels, Greenshirt, and Big Boys -- "These Songs, two of which later appeared on Armed Forces, must have been recorded some time after This Year's Model. They are rare in the sense that most songs from this time were written in hotel rooms, rehearsed on tour buses or at soundchecks and then recorded. There was hardly ever any any time to make demo tapes. However this is the exception; "Greenshirt" contains a verse that I later dropped while "Big Boys" was my attempt to write a song on one chord. "Running Out of Angels", which includes a false start, sounds as if I was making it up as I went along. I probably was."

-- Elvis Costello


This Year's Model (Rykodisc/Demon) liner notes

Liner notes for the 1993 Rykodisc/Demon reissue of This Year's Model.


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