Rhino’s upgrade of Elvis Costello’s back catalog will continue with a staggering expansion of three early 1980s albums. Due Sept. 9 are two-disc versions of 1980’s “Get Happy,” 1981’s “Trust” and 1983’s “Punch the Clock.”
A total of 73 additional tracks have been added across the three titles, which only comprised 47 songs in their original incarnation. All were recorded with the Attractions — keyboardist Steve Nieve, drummer Pete Thomas and bassist Bruce Thomas — as Costello’s core backing band.
Each disc substantially grows from the mid-1990s Rykodisc reissues of the same albums. Those were part of a program to internationalize the titles in Costello’s catalog, making U.S. and European versions the same. Rhino’s distinguish themselves not only with additional bonus material, but keep the remastered original album on one disc, while adding a second to house outtakes, demos and live tracks.
The new incarnation of “Get Happy” grows the most, bolstering the original 20-track album with 30 added tracks for the reissue. The set keeps the 10 cuts that were added to the Ryko reissue and tacks on 19 more, including live versions of “High Fidelity” and “The Imposter.”
Also new are alternate versions of “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down,” “From a Whisper to a Scream” (which features Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook) and “Girls Talk.” In the liner notes, Costello remembers, “The last song had been given away to Dave Edmunds in a moment of drunken bravado and went on to reach No. 2 in the U.K. charts for him.” In the U.S., the song reached No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.
“Trust” gains 18 tracks over the original and nine of which did not appear on the Ryko reissue, including yet another alternate version of “From a Whisper to a Scream.” Alternate takes of “Clubland” and “You’ll Never Be a Man” are also added, as is an instrumental piano demo of “The Long Honeymoon.” Not making the shift from the Ryko reissue to the Rhino version is the outtake “Seconds of Pleasure.”
In its expansion, “Punch the Clock” also loses one from the first reissue, a live version of “Everyday I Write the Book.” But the set gains plenty, roping in six new rarities plus the 20 additional tracks from the Ryko version. These include BBC sessions of “Big Sister’s Clothes/Stand Down Margaret” and “Danger Zone,” and live versions of “The Bells” and “Back Stabbers/King Horse.”
Ten demo recordings also surface, most of which “were the product of a challenge from [co-producer] Clive Langer to provide more up-tempo material for the album,” according to Costello. Among the additions are demos of “Love Went Mad,” “Mouth Almighty,” “Let Them All Talk” and “The Element Within Her.”
Costello’s liner notes attempt to frame the time and mood of each album. For example, he recalls “Trust” as “easily the most drug-influenced record of my career,” and the U.K. politics behind several of the songs on “Punch the Clock.”