...guides us through his albums
“WITH stupefying arrogance, we set about showing our contemporaries what could be done with their winning formulas,” Elvis Costello tells Uncut, discussing his 1981 LP Trust. The newwave upstart turned renaissance man could almost be describing any of his albums, though; from the audacious mix of fury and classicism on 1977 debut My Aim Is True, and the extravagant, Beatles-esque Imperial Bedroom (1982), to the sombre torch songs of 2003’s North and his eclectic, impressive latest, Look Now, Costello has aimed high and invariably succeeded.
When Uncut invited the songwriter to discuss nine of his finest albums, Costello suggested that he instead write his own reflections on some of his personal favourites with the Attractions, the Imposters, The Roots and solo – plus a fond look back at the demos he recorded with Paul McCartney, only released in 2017. Here, then, is Costello’s own personal history.
On completing his ‘classic’, he says he left the NYC studio at 1am “thinking this was a movie that will probably never get made again”. TOM PINNOCK
If it ain’t… Elvis outside Stiff Records at 32 Alexander Street in London’s Bayswater, 1977