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My Aim Is True [Rhino Bonus Disc]
     

My Aim Is True [Rhino Bonus Disc]

by Elvis Costello
 

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When he burst onto the rock scene in 1977 with this album, Elvis Costello proved that skinny guys in glasses could be every bit as scary as anyone else. The intensity remains undimmed after a quarter century, but what's even more telling is how well the songs on this classic disc have held up: From the country-tinged "Alison" to the fast-'n'-furious "Mystery Dance

Overview

When he burst onto the rock scene in 1977 with this album, Elvis Costello proved that skinny guys in glasses could be every bit as scary as anyone else. The intensity remains undimmed after a quarter century, but what's even more telling is how well the songs on this classic disc have held up: From the country-tinged "Alison" to the fast-'n'-furious "Mystery Dance" to the pure pop "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes," every tune retains its punch. The same can be said for the full disc of bonus tunes added to this reissue -- which, like all of the discs in this series, features detailed, often hilarious liner notes penned by Costello himself. Besides a few singles and B-sides (including the eerie, pedal-steel-driven "Stranger in the House"), the disc boasts a passel of alternate takes that, for a change, really do sound radically different than the well-known versions. The best of these are a "Dallas Version" of "Less than Zero" that morphs into a tale of the Kennedy assassination and a very early demo of "Mystery Dance." Much of the material predates My Aim Is True by a good while -- "Imagination Is a Powerful Deceiver" was actually recorded clear back in 1974 -- but the songs and performances are all startlingly mature and as vivid as anything Costello has done since.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's hard not to be a little disappointed that Rhino's 2001 double-disc expanded edition of Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True doesn't contain all that much different material from Rykodisc/Demon's 1993 reissue, which contained nine bonus tracks, all included on the second bonus disc of this set. That means there are only four tracks not on that collection, two of which any die-hard fan certainly has -- the version of "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" from the Live Stiffs record, and "Less Than Zero (Dallas Version)" from Live at the El Mocambo. Though these are nice to have along with the rest of the previously released nine bonus tracks, it's hard not to believe that the album could have had more rarities included, especially since there are such gems as a version of "Third Rate Romance" and other Flip City demos floating around on bootleg. However, the two other discoveries are absolutely terrific -- early versions of "Living in Paradise" and a shambling, distorted "No Action" previously thought lost (Costello said as much in his liners to the 1993 disc). Then there's the package itself, which illustrates how shoddy the first reissue was. Costello contributes extensive, entertaining liner notes, filled with little-heard stories and asides; there are full lyrics for every song, including the demos; there are plenty of delightful, rare photos and memorabilia, including the advertisements and the classic promotional dartboard with Costello's face. On top of that, the sequencing of the bonus material here flows better than on the Rykodisc/Demon issue, so the choice is clear -- despite the initial disappointment, this is clearly the best version of My Aim Is True.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/21/2001
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227428525
catalogNumber:
74285

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Costello   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Stick,Vocals,Background Vocals,Drum Sticks
Alex Call   Guitar,Vocals
Steve Nieve   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Andrew Bodnar   Bass
John Ciambotti   Bass,Background Vocals
Steve Goulding   Drums
Sean Hopper   Organ,Piano,Background Vocals
Huey Lewis   Harmonica,Vocals
Nick Lowe   Bass,Piano,Stick,Background Vocals,Drum Sticks
John McFee   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Vocals
Stan Shaw   Organ
Micky Shine   Drums,Vocals
Bruce Thomas   Bass
Pete Thomas   Drums
Steve Hazelhurst   Guitar
Mich Kent   Bass,Electric Bass
Dickie Faulkner   Percussion
Malcolm Dennis   Drums
Ian Powling   Drums

Technical Credits

Elvis Costello   Liner Notes
Steve Nieve   Piano Overdubs
Roger Bechirian   Engineer
Bill Inglot   Producer
Nick Lowe   Producer
Andrew Sandoval   Producer
Bazza   Engineer
Wendy Sherman   Art Direction
Art Slave   Art Direction
Shawn Amos   Liner Note Coordination
Malia Doss   Licensing
Val Jennings   Reissue Producer
Mike Whelan   Contributor
Ken Smith   Contributor

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