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My Aim Is True (Deluxe Edition)

Elvis Costello

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iTunes Review

Looking like Buddy Holly on methamphetamine and sounding like a pub-punk rocker capable of reading novels and newspapers, Elvis Costello displayed immense talent from inception. My Aim Is True, his 1977 debut album, sounds every bit as smart and vibrant thirty years later. With the inspired if not spectacular backing of Clover (Huey Lewis’ backing group), Costello tears through angry, pointed material. The opening cut, in less than a minute and a half, delivers a sneering, celebratory look at the daily grind (“Welcome to the Working Week”). He then belittles the impossible standards of others (“Miracle Man”), accepts a shot at immortality with a delicious chiming guitar lick (“(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes”) and slightly mellows for the signature ballad that’s tough, tender, ambivalent and eventually sincere (“Alison”). Costello’s lyrics are pure virtuoso, while his encyclopedic musical knowledge is only partly displayed. He was still saving aces up his sleeves. But the gunshot rim shots that punctuate the silences of “Watching the Detectives,” the manic psychobilly charge of “Mystery Dance” and the political anger behind “Less Than Zero” show an artist with much to say and many ways to say it. The repeated deluxe bonus editions of this album include generous samplings of demos and outtakes. This Deluxe Edition includes the August 7, 1977 concert and soundcheck at the Nashville Rooms. And five Pathway demos including four previously unreleased cuts — "Blue Minute," "Call on Me," "I Don't Want to Go Home," and "I Hear a Melody" — add to seemingly bottomless reserve of rare Costello.

Customer Reviews


This 48 track set includes 29 demos and live performances that are previously unreleased or new to iTunes. It's got entire original album along with four out-takes and eight Pathway Studio demos. The complete August 7, 1977 performance and soundcheck from London’s Nashville Rooms featuring 22 performances, 19 of them never before issued! This performance is one of the band’s earliest known shows professionally recorded.

A classic with new extras

"My Aim Is True" was the openning salvo of an eclectic career. Elvis hinted at the passion, bitterness, wordplay and melodic inventiveness that still characterize his career thirty years later. The studio album was recorded with the Clovers - an American cover band that Nick Lowe hired to accompany Elvis. The Attractions were put together to accompany Elvis when he toured. Thus, the live material added to this edition demonstrates that Elvis really hit his stride when joined by the Attractions.

With this new re-re-rerelease I have just discovered my favorite artist.

I am 17 years old and heard Watching the Detectives on the radio and immediatly looked on itunes to download it. I saw that you could get this 48 song collection for $15 and decided possibly waste some money. It turned out to be the best music purchase ever. Every single song on here is excellent from well know songs such as Alison and Watching the Detectives and the albums kicks off with a great little number titled Welcome to the working week. Even the Early Versions and Out-takes that were not on My Aim Is True are excellent. One of them, Stranger in The House is old country stuff and really great. Also included are many demo versions of songs featuring just Elvis singing and playing a guitar. They show off his voice and also make it easier for those learning how to play the songs on the guitar. It gets even better though. Also included is a full concert with Elvis and his band tearing through most of the My Aim Is True album and a few other songs. An essential verison of and essential album. Get it and become a fan!


Born: August 25, 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...
Full Bio

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