By 1979, Elvis Costello and the Attractions had successfully penetrated the US rock audience, having scored several radio hits and shocking the rock audience watching Saturday Night Live by switching songs in mid-performance. Of all the British punk/new wave artists that debuted in the late 70s, Elvis Costello was not just one of the most revolutionary, he was also one of the most popular with America’s massive rock audience.
With the release of the third album, Armed Forces, in 1979, Costello continued his assault on America’s airwaves, with the Abba-inspired “Oliver’s Army” leading the way. Fans were treated to a much more elaborate package – extensive color photos and liner notes, and a free 7″ single that included two songs recorded “Live at Hollywood High.” The version of “Accidents Will Happen” on the a-side was probably the first time his fans heard Elvis’ amazing singing voice in a totally stripped-down arrangement.
Today, Universal Music Enterprises is releasing the entire 1978 concert on cd and download, as the second installment of “The Costello Show,”Elvis’ version of Bob Dylan’s excellent “Bootleg Series.”
Although I couldn’t find my copy of the 7″ to do a whole “BoogieWoogieFlu” – style picture to accompany the file, I’m happy to share my old version of the song from the deluxe edition of Armed Forces below. Of course, the Sundance Channel is in its second season of airing Elvis’ interview program “Spectacle,” and has been marketing heavily in New York City. It’s a good time to be Elvis!
Elvis Costello/Spectacle – Ad campaign in the Times Square Subway Station after the jump…