Rhino Investigates Elvis' Attractions
Rhino is readying the second batch of Elvis Costello reissues for release next month. Due Feb. 19 are expanded editions of three albums from three different eras of the artist's work with his longtimeRhino is readying the second batch of Elvis Costello reissues for release next month. Due Feb. 19 are expanded editions of three albums from three different eras of the artist's work with his longtime backing band, the Attractions -- "This Year's Model" (1978), "Blood and Chocolate" (1986), and "Brutal Youth." (1994). Each one features the album in its originally issued form plus a bonus disc of rarities, as well as a 28-page booklet with new liner notes by Costello, song lyrics, rare photos, and reproductions of memorabilia from the era.
"They're the beginning, middle, and end of the Attractions as a rock'n'roll band," Costello explained to Billboard last May. "They all sort of relate to the band blueprint. It's a sound we checked in with about every eight or nine years."
Costello's second album, "This Year's Model," marked the debut of the Attractions -- keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas, and drummer Pete Thomas. The Rhino edition features 13 bonus tracks, eight of which are previously unreleased. Among the goodies is an early demo recording of "Radio, Radio," an alternate version of "(I Don't Want To Go to) Chelsea," and a live recording of the Everly Brothers' "Price of Love."
The new version of "Blood & Chocolate" is bolstered by 15 bonus tracks, 11 of which are previously unreleased, including "Leave My Kitten Alone," as well as alternate versions of such songs as "Battered Old Bird" and "Blue Chair." "Brutal Youth" contains 15 bonus cuts, many available for the first time in the U.S., including "Life Shrinks" and "Abandon Words."
The trio of albums, which were originally due for release last October, follow Rhino's initial volley of Costello reissues, exclusively revealed last spring by Billboard. The series began in August with his 1977 debut, "My Aim Is True," his Warner Bros. debut, "Spike" (1989), and his final Warner studio album, "All This Useless Beauty" (1996). Other groups of albums from Costello's catalog will be issued every few months through next year, with 1979's "Armed Forces," 1982's "Imperial Bedroom," and 1991's "Mighty Like a Rose" set for the third batch.
The releases are arranged not in chronological order, but by themes, which Costello said should help to expose some of his music that may have been missed by audiences when it was originally issued. "If you're really going to entice people, then you've got to try to tell a tale," Costello said. "I think telling it chronologically just invites the historical judgment, which you can read about in the 9,000 list anthologies that you can buy in any bookstore, 'The Boy's Book of Pop Records' or whatever it is. Placing them in groupings as we have done, I think, is only going to invite a less chronological, a less historical view."
As previously reported, Costello's next studio album, "When I Was Cruel," is due out April 23 via Island. Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve both appear on the set, as do Cracker bassist Davey Faragher and Jazz Passengers/Lounge Lizards saxophonist Roy Nathanson.
In other news, Costello recently teamed with Lucinda Williams for the inaugural edition of the Country Music Television series "CMT Crossroads." The hour-long music and conversation program, hosted by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, premiered last night (Jan. 13) on the cable channel, and will be rebroadcast tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT.