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Live At Hollywood High

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Album Review

Originally released as a four-song bonus EP with the U.K. edition of Armed Forces, then excerpted with an additional six songs on Rhino’s double-disc expansion of said album in 2002, Live at Hollywood High received a full-blown reissue in 2010, almost 32 years after the June 4, 1978 concert from Elvis Costello & the Attractions. As the second installment of the Costello Show archival series, Live at Hollywood High isn’t as legendary as Live at the El Mocambo, which had the benefit of once being one of Elvis Costello’s rarest records, but it’s a better show, or at least a better indication of the Attractions at their absolute peak. Apart from the dramatic opening reading of “Accidents Will Happen,” featuring only Elvis and pianist Steve Nieve, every performance here is significantly revved up from the album versions, a change evident on all the My Aim Is True material — including a reworked arrangement of “Stranger in the House” stripped of its country influence — and the entire set has the momentum of a locomotive, twitchily pausing at “Alison” before crashing to a conclusion with a tremendous sequence of “You Belong to Me,” “Radio, Radio,” “Pump It Up,” “Waiting for the End of the World,” and “Miracle Man.” Moreso than This Year’s Model, this is the purest rock & roll record in Costello’s catalog: there’s passion and abandon in the Attractions' noisy revelry, not to mention some seriously heated fun.

Customer Reviews

live attraction!!

1979, not expecting great recording quality - HOWEVER - this is SUPERB!! it testifies to the fact that Elvis had surrounded himself with the most 'kicking' band of the age. They prove it here, live, and in a most 'get happy' mood for the peroid (punn intended) - all the band including elvis are on top form here - But it has to be said that Steve is one of the few musicians i've ever heard who turn in a better performance live than they do in the studio, and that's saying something, since he's so talented in the studio... This album holds up well against anything out to date & is a must for any collection... Enough Said

Fantastic show.

Elvis Costello is so underated these day's and here's the proof.the attractions were a brilliant backing band and complimented him perfectly. classic after classic on here.

Great gig

This is a wonderful recording of the band in full flight. I saw them on the UK tour and this feels like it tops even my much treasured memory of the tightest band of the era. Check the drums, the use of pause and drama. Brilliant.


Born: 25 August 1954 in Paddington, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Elvis Costello's first record was released in 1977, his bristling cynicism and anger linked him with the punk and new wave explosion. A cursory listen to My Aim Is True proves that the main connection that Costello had with the punks was his unbridled passion; he tore through rock's back pages taking whatever he wanted, as well as borrowing from country, Tin Pan Alley pop, reggae, and many other musical genres. Over his career, that musical eclecticism distinguished his records as much as his...
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