Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

by David Sheppard
     
 

Any man who is prepared to take on the first name of the King of Rock 'n' Roll has to have enough confidence in his own talent not to care what the critics think of him, and this is certainly the case with Mrs. McManus' little boy. From the sneering 'psychotic bank clerk' look and short, sharp, splenetic singles of his early days with the Attractions, through the

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Overview

Any man who is prepared to take on the first name of the King of Rock 'n' Roll has to have enough confidence in his own talent not to care what the critics think of him, and this is certainly the case with Mrs. McManus' little boy. From the sneering 'psychotic bank clerk' look and short, sharp, splenetic singles of his early days with the Attractions, through the period when he wore a beard and made serious music with the Brodsky Quartet, to his mellow, tuneful songs written with Burt Bacharach, Costello has always been a musical chameleon. Commercial success has been sporadic, but Costello's refusal to follow fashion or bow in the face of often vitriolic criticism has marked him out as uncompromising, determined, and focused on exploring the boundaries of his craft. His influence on the next generation of artists remains unquestioned, and his acceptance as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the last twenty years is assured. The book includes a chronology and complete discography.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
As the series title attests, these books want to be hip. They're handsome to look at (with a full page b/w photo on each front cover) and a nice size to hold. If you want a series on pop musicians in your collection, these have some virtues. They're well written, have a workable index, and include a small collection of good pictures. I don't quite get the organization, though. Each has: one, the story; two, the music; and three, the legacy. Nice in theory, but in practice the story is too long and undifferentiated by segment, the music is just a list of works with quick annotations, and the legacy section more or less repeats material from section one. The books are billed as a series of "opinionated biographies." The writers appear to care a great deal about their subjects, though the writing has that breathless quality of much rock criticism. (Avalon Kill Your Idols Series) KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Publishers Group West, Thunder's Mouth, 138p. illus. index. 19cm., $13.95 each. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Daniel J. Levinson; History & English Teacher, Thayer Acad., Braintree , July 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 4)
Booknews
A brief biography of this UK musical chameleon who has pushed the stylistic envelope of pop since 1977 and has refused to bow in the face of criticism. Includes a song-by-song description of every Elvis Costello album, and a list of all UK singles and major US singles unreleased in the UK, plus b&w photos. Sheppard writes for leading music magazines and . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560253037
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Series:
Kill Your Idols Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.37(d)

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