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Elvis Costello’s 12th studio album is a stylistic buffet boasting stellar guests—Roger McGuinn, Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde—and songs confronting both the personal and the political. The death-row screed of “Let Him Dangle”, the deceptive anti-Thatcher beauty “Tramp the Dirt Down” and the poppy “Veronica” (about Costello’s Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother) all show remarkable songwriterly empathy and depth. Elsewhere, New Orleans ensemble The Dirty Dozen Brass Band enlivens the soul-deep “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror”, and traditional Irish instrumentation lifts “Miss MacBeth”. Costello’s plaintive vocal on “Baby Plays Around” is absolutely gorgeous.


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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Spike, Elvis Costello
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