Elvis Costello ¦ This Year's Model

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This Year's Model
A young man wearing glasses and a suit-and-tie behind a camera on a tripod against a brown background
Original UK cover.[a] The original US cover uses a slightly different shot.
Studio album by
Released17 March 1978 (1978-03-17)
StudioEden, London
ProducerNick Lowe
Elvis Costello chronology
My Aim Is True
This Year's Model
Armed Forces
Singles from This Year's Model
  1. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
    Released: 3 March 1978
  2. "Pump It Up"
    Released: 10 June 1978

This Year's Model is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, released on 17 March 1978 through Radar Records. After being backed by Clover for his debut album My Aim Is True (1977), Costello formed the Attractions—keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Pete Thomas (no relation)—as a permanent backing band. Recording sessions for This Year's Model took place at London's Eden Studios in about eleven days from late 1977 to early 1978. Nick Lowe returned as producer, while Roger Béchirian acted as engineer. Most of the material was written prior to the sessions and debuted live throughout the latter half of 1977.

Embracing new wave, power pop and punk rock, the songs on This Year's Model are primarily driven by the Attractions, with influences including works by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Meanwhile, the cynical lyrics reference subjects from technologies of mass control to failing relationships, which some reviewers found misogynistic. Like some of the tracks, the cover artwork, featuring Costello behind a camera on a tripod, emphasised observation. Designed by Barney Bubbles, the initial sleeves were off-centre and exposed a printer colour bar on the right, which was corrected for later releases.

Accompanied by the successful singles "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Pump It Up", This Year's Model was a commercial success, peaking at number four on the UK Albums Chart. The American LP, released in May 1978 through Columbia Records, substituted "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" for "Radio Radio" and peaked at number 30 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart. This Year's Model also received critical acclaim, with many highlighting the songwriting, artist and band performances; it appeared on several year-end lists.

In later decades, This Year's Model has continued to receive critical acclaim, with many praising the addition and performances of the Attractions, while some have commented on its influence on punk. It is regarded as one of Costello's best works and has appeared on several lists of the greatest albums of all time. It has since been reissued multiple times with bonus tracks. In 2021, Costello spearheaded a new version of the album titled Spanish Model, which featured songs from This Year's Model sung in Spanish by Latin artists over the Attractions' original backing tracks. It received favourable reviews and was packaged with a 2021 remaster of This Year's Model.


After using the California-based country rock act Clover for the recording of his debut album My Aim Is True,[5] Elvis Costello decided to form a permanent backing band that would better fit his aspiring image compared to the laid-back approach of Clover.[6] Wanting only himself on guitar,[5] the first person hired was Pete Thomas, former drummer of Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers; the second hired was Bruce Thomas, a bassist whose previous involvements included several folk rock albums earlier in the decade;[c] and last Steve Nieve, who had no prior band experience and had trained at the Royal College of Music.[7][8][9] Costello and the band, the Attractions, made their live debut on 14 July 1977.[5][10] Shortly after the release of My Aim Is True on 22 July,[11] the group performed an unauthorised show outside a Columbia Records convention, which led to Costello's arrest. The stunt attracted the attention of executive Greg Geller, who was integral in signing Costello to Columbia in the United States months later.[5][6][10]

Costello and the Attractions conducted a five-week tour starting from July to September 1977 to promote My Aim Is True.[6] On 3 October, the group embarked on another tour with other Stiff artists, including My Aim Is True producer Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric and Ian Dury, dubbed the Greatest Stiffs Live Tour, which was plagued with disorder and chaos.[6][12] Stiff Records co-founder Jake Riviera departed Stiff around this time due to disputes with label co-founder Dave Robinson. Per Costello's management contract, Costello followed Riviera and departed Stiff for Radar Records but retained his American deal with Columbia;[d] his final release for Stiff was "Watching the Detectives" in October, which became Costello's first single to reach the top 20 in the United Kingdom. In the meantime, Costello had amassed a large amount of new material that would appear on This Year's Model.[5][6][12]

Costello embarked on his first tour of America from 15 November to 16 December 1977. According to author Graeme Thomson, Costello's fame in the United States grew faster than in the UK. He was earning acclaim in publications such as Time and Newsweek and was also approached to appear on NBC's Saturday Night Live as a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols, which took place the day after the tour's end.[6] During the appearance, Costello and the Attractions played "Watching the Detectives" and began "Less Than Zero" before Costello abruptly cut the band off and counted them into the then-unreleased "Radio Radio", a critique of the commercialisation of broadcasting. The impromptu stunt angered producer Lorne Michaels and resulted in Costello's being banned from Saturday Night Live until 1989.[13][14]

Writing and recording

An older man with glasses and gray hair
This Year's Model was the second of five consecutively produced Costello albums by musician Nick Lowe (pictured in 2017).[7]

This Year's Model was recorded during Costello's break in his touring schedule.[6] Recording took place at Eden Studios, a 24-track studio in Acton, London,[15] beginning towards the end of 1977 and completing in early 1978. According to Costello, the entire album was recorded in about eleven days.[16][17] The band briefly paused to play a three-night residency at London's Nashville Rooms, which concluded on Christmas Eve 1977.[1] Lowe returned from My Aim Is True as producer, and, in Thomson's words, was the "mad professor", pushing the band's energy further to attain the best performance.[6] Like the debut, Lowe primarily wanted to capture the songs live with few overdubs.[15] Acting as a foil to Lowe was engineer Roger Béchirian, whom Costello recalled was tasked with interpreting Lowe's commands, such as "turn the drums into one big maraca" or "make it sound like a dinosaur eating cars".[e]

Costello resided at Bruce Thomas's flat during the sessions. According to Thomson, Costello excluded himself from his wife Mary during this time, which eventually led to their separation. He remained focused and the album was completed without difficulty.[6] Most of the songs had been written and performed live with the Attractions prior to the recording of the album.[3][7] One of the final tracks written was "Pump It Up", which Costello began writing outside a hotel fire escape during the Live Stiffs tour, debuting the song two days later and properly recording it in the studio a week after that.[6][18] Having frequently played the tracks live, the band were able to complete them with few overdubs; some of Costello's live guide vocals ended up in the final mix. Bruce Thomas recalled: "We literally did the best tracks on the album – 'Pump It Up', 'Chelsea' – in one afternoon. It was like Motown. We'd just go in, play them, and that was it."[6] Despite the fast-paced nature of the sessions, Béchirian recalled Costello coming off the tour with "radiating energy":[6]

He was a star almost overnight, and I think he was quite bemused by it all, swept up with the excitement. I have a great laughing image of him being fairly fresh-faced, like a little boy in a sweet shop.

According to Thomson, the sessions were vibrant and productive. The days began around 11 a.m. and finished around 9 p.m. Regarding the environment, Béchirian commented: "The whole thing was really good, it was really friendly, very positive. Everyone was really excited because they were the stars of the moment."[6] Costello and the Attractions collaborated during the songwriting process. Although Costello favoured the "immaculate approach" to songwriting, wherein he would not present songs to the musicians until they were fully written, the Attractions provided input that elevated the songs. For "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea", Costello originally based certain figures on tracks by the Who and the Kinks, which the band used to create new figures that made the track stand out on its own.[6][7] The band recorded several other tracks in addition to the final track-listing, including "Radio Radio" and "Big Tears", which featured a guest contribution from the Clash guitarist Mick Jones.[f] Other tracks written or demoed included "Crawling to the U.S.A.", "Running Out of Angels", "Green Shirt" and "Big Boys".[6][16] Due to his still relatively little experience in the studio, Costello did not contribute during the mixing stage, instead leaving full control to Lowe.[6] According to author Mick St. Michael, Lowe intentionally made the record louder than its predecessor, telling the engineer to "just bash it down and make it as loud as possible".[3] With the record completed, Costello and the Attractions embarked on a tour of America in January.[6][19]

Music and lyrics

This Year's Model is a collection of songs that focused as much on Costello's recent success as on his by now patented emotional self-lacerations. Musically it seethed with tension, and this fitted the obsessive elements of the majority of the songs. ... Through the music, twitching and stuttering in a series of drum bursts, rents of organ and guitar arcs, the songs breathed as if through a gas mask – tight, controlled, afraid to splutter, claustrophobic, yet with a clear view of what was happening.[19]

—Tony Clayton-Lea, Elvis Costello: A Biography

In the 2002 reissue liner notes, Costello cited the Rolling Stones' Aftermath (1965) as a significant influence for This Year's Model.[1][7] Musically, the album embraces a variety of styles, including new wave,[20][21] power pop,[22] punk rock,[23] and pop rock;[24] St. Michael also noticed references to Merseybeat and glam.[3] According to biographer Tony Clayton-Lea, rather than featuring references to rockabilly and country like My Aim Is True, This Year's Model instead opts for straightforward pop music "as influenced by punk rock".[19] AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine, on the other hand, defines the album as pure punk, writing that the music is "nervous, amphetamine-fueled, [and] nearly paranoid", while the band "sounds like they're spinning out of control as soon as they crash in".[25] The songs themselves are primarily led by the Attractions, with Nieve's keyboards taking centre stage on many tracks, often outshining Costello's guitar, compared to My Aim Is True and his next album Armed Forces (1979).[26][27] With the guitar, particularly on "Lip Service", Costello displays a "less-is-more"-type technique where he strums the string once and lets it ring.[28]

In an interview with Creem magazine at the time, Costello stated that the record contained less humour than its predecessor: "It's more vicious overall but far less personal, though."[19] Referencing technologies of mass control, from corporate logos to night rallies, Hinton writes that the lyrics are "strongly visual, as befits the voyeurism which fuels many of the songs".[1] References to objects such as cameras, films and telephones are present throughout many tracks, in both positive and negative lights, which author David Gouldstone argues creates a disillusioned world where greed and revenge are dominant. Like the cover artwork itself, the mechanical imagery emphasises observation rather than participation. Themes of uncertainty between reality and artifice previously emerged on "Watching the Detectives", and appear throughout This Year's Model on tracks such as "Pump It Up", "This Year's Girl" and "Living In Paradise".[9] Author James E. Perone interprets songs such as "Lipstick Vogue", "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "This Year's Girl" as relating to Costello's former job working at Elizabeth Arden.[29]

Some reviewers identified themes of misogyny. On release, writer Jon Pareles called the album "so wrong-headed, so full of hatred, [and] so convinced of its moral superiority" in Crawdaddy magazine.[30] Sounds magazine's Jon Savage called it the equivalent to a "1978 Aftermath" and pointed out that "at least on occasion Elvis has the grace to make clear that it's a two way process and he's at fault. Just wanna be your victim ...".[31] Costello himself later wrote in the 2002 reissue's liner notes: "I never really understood the accusations of misogyny that were levelled at the lyrics on This Year's Model. They clearly contained more sense of disappointment than disgust."[7] Clayton-Lea writes that most of the relationships in the songs concentrate on the artist failing to get the girl.[19] Rolling Stone writer Kit Rachlis agreed, stating that all romances on the album are over or are about to commence, including a situation where he is unsure of whether to answer the phone or not ("No Action") or coming to terms after rejecting all compromises ("Lipstick Vogue").[32]

Side one

"No Action" opens with Costello's voice alone before the Attractions join in.[1] The song concerns someone regretting the downfall of a relationship. Gouldstone contends that the song is the first example of Costello using "thematic punning", meaning the incorporation of numerous references that indirectly relate to the song's main subject; "No Action", in this case, uses a telephone as comparisons to the narrator's companion.[9] According to Costello, "This Year's Girl" was written as an "answer song" to the Rolling Stones' "Stupid Girl" (1965).[7][15] Other influences included the mid-1960s works of the Beatles.[1][26][33] In his 2015 memoir, Costello wrote that the song discusses how men see women and what they desire from them.[34] The song's subject has achieved fame through fashion but it is only temporary, as by the next year, another girl will take her place. Once she realises it as time runs out, she feels cheated but by then it is too late.[9] "The Beat" is primarily led by Nieve's keyboard and the rhythm section of Bruce and Pete Thomas.[35] Exploring the uncertainties and pains of adolescence and early manhood,[9] Hinton regards it as the closest thing on the album to romantic love.[1] It quotes Cliff Richard's "Summer Holiday" (1963) as way to express enjoyment before the narrator is sought after by vigilantes.[9][26]

"Pump It Up" was based on the stylings of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965) and Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" (1956).[9][33] An energetic attack on a female chic society's member, the song takes place in a nightclub, where its self-important members asprise to fit into high society, seeking purpose.[9] The vocals are fueled by obsessive sexual desire,[1] while the rhythmic guitar riff is likened by Gouldstone to heavy metal.[9] In Mark Deming of AllMusic's words, the song "perfectly captures the giddy but terrifying feeling of an wild, adrenaline-fueled all-night party that's dangling on the verge of collapse."[36] A softer track changing from soft soul to Burt Bacharach,[1] "Little Triggers" is about a failing relationship caused by the woman's indifference.[9] The 'little triggers' refer to the small things that occur in the beginning of a relationship that make it meaningful, such as kissing, body-brushing and lip expressions.[26] RAM magazine's Anthony O'Grady called it "a hypnotic, frustrated, hurt love song that's almost the mirror image of 'Alison' [from My Aim Is True]."[37][38] "You Belong to Me" is heavily in debt to the Rolling Stones;[1][26] Thomson notes that it uses the same riff from "The Last Time" (1965).[33] Lyrically, it is a plea for sexual freedom and as such, is full of resentment and anger.[9] Musically, AllMusic's Stewart Mason likens it to 1960s garage rock.[39]

Side two

"Hand in Hand" opens with guitar feedback akin to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. While the music provides a rock shuffle influenced by Merseybeat,[1][26] the rather dark and revenge-driven lyrics follow two lovers walking hand in hand straight to Hell. Like "No Action" and "I'm Not Angry" from My Aim Is True, the narrator tries to deal with chaotic emotions by denying they ever occurred.[9][1] "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" is a ska-infected rocker[40] that was originally directly influenced by the works of the Who, before Bruce and Pete Thomas contributed new rhythms that made the track stand out on its own.[7][26] Lyrically, the song attacks fashionable society; the girl is described as 'last year's model', as she has suffered a fall from grace.[9] In Rachlis's words, "Chelsea represents Costello's nightmare world of success, where deceit is masked by propriety and last year's model is thrown out with yesterday's wash."[32] "Lip Service" represents a culmination of the Beatles influences into a track that contains various sexual innuendos, both in its lyrics and title. It is primarily led by Bruce Thomas's bassline, which Hinton compares to the sound of the Hollies.[1][26] Gouldstone writes that the track is essentially a declaration of independence on a female companion and the world at large.[9]

"Living in Paradise" was written as early as 1975 during Costello's time performing with his pub rock band Flip City.[3] O'Grady calls it "a shuffling power-pop reggae detailing how dreams of soft-living actualise in soul-decaying corruption".[38] Morgan Troper of PopMatters maintained that it ditches the punk workings of the rest of the album in favour of a ska-type rhythm.[26] Gouldstone notes the track as having themes already present in the album's other songs,[9] including misogynistic ideals.[26] "Lipstick Vogue" is described by AllMusic's Tom Maginnis as a showcase for the band's energy and skill.[41] It opens with a drum fill by Pete Thomas before Bruce Thomas and Nieve drive on bass and keyboards, respectively.[26] Reflecting themes of alienation,[1] the song is about the perils of imperfect love.[9] The closing track, "Night Rally", provides commentary on the then-prevalent UK National Front.[37][38] It presents, in Hinton's words, a "nightmare of state control and worse" that argues how totalitarianism infiltrates and affects society. Costello compares conglomerate corporations to these types of governments, in how they attempt to control the people.[1][9] It cuts off abruptly, ending the album on, in St. Michael's words, "an explicit and disturbingly pessimistic note".[1][3]

Packaging and artwork

We wanted to catch people's eyes. If they said, 'Why is it printed off register?' as the initial pressing was, it was because we wanted people to ask exactly that. It meant they'd pause just that little bit longer in front of our sleeve.[1]

—Costello on the cover

The original UK cover artwork for This Year's Model was deliberately off-centre,[42] making the title appear as His Year's Model and the artist "Lvis Costello".[1][3][4] Additionally, the initial design by Barney Bubbles left a printers' colour bar intact along the right side.[43] Meanwhile, the initial American and Swedish sleeves were lined up correctly and not off-centre.[42] Riviera's soon-to-be-formed F-Beat Records first released the British album with a corrected sleeve in May 1980, which has been retained for all subsequent reissues.[2][42]

Photographed by Chris Gabrin,[44] the front cover depicts Costello in his signature black framed glasses, wearing a dark suit with a polka dot shirt, glaring from behind a camera on a tripod. In Thomson's words, he is "expressionless" and "both observed and observing".[1][33] According to author Brian Hinton, it was a "careful reconstruction" of David Hemmings from Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (1966). The British cover had Costello standing back with his hands open, while on the American cover, he crouched forward with both hands gripping the camera like a gun;[1] a different shot was also used for the Swedish release.[42] The back cover depicts Costello and the Attractions in a small, dimly-lit hotel room reacting to a television with mock horror. Three are wearing black ties while Nieve dons a V-neck pullover.[1] The inner sleeve depicts a robotic hand gripping a miniature TV on which Costello is playing, standing on one leg, while the other side depicts four colour-coded and dismembered mannequin bodies wearing string vests in a laundromat.[1] According to Hinton, the label's gimmick at the time was off-centre sleeves and avant-garde inner fold images.[2]

Despite the lack of personnel information and a sleeve credit on the original release, the Attractions were acknowledged on the LP labels.[3][4] The LP labels also contained messages pressed that read "Special pressing No. 003. Ring 434-3232. Ask for Moira for your prize" between the holding spirals.[1][42] The first 50,000 copies of the LP came with a free 7" single, with "Stranger in the House", an outtake from My Aim Is True that was left off the album due to its country-influenced sound,[45] as the A-side and a live cover of the Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" as the B-side.[33] Initial American pressings also featured Costello's logo rather than Columbia's.[2]

Release and promotion

The American tour undertaken before the album's release lasted from January to early March 1978. The setlist primarily consisted of tracks from both My Aim Is True and This Year's Model, as well as B-sides and covers. Despite attracting critical praise, the tour contributed to growing exhaustion for Costello and the Attractions.[33] Radar Records issued the first single from the album, "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" backed by "You Belong to Me", on 3 March 1978 in the UK,[11] which received acclaim and quickly reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] A performance in Toronto on 6 March was heavily bootlegged before being released as Live at the El Mocambo in 1993 with the 2½ Years box set before receiving a standalone release in 2009.[46][47] This Year's Model was released shortly after the Toronto performance in the UK on 17 March,[48][33] with the catalogue number RAD 3.[4] Costello and the Attractions underwent a 28-date tour of the UK from March to April, which was plagued with problems, including Bruce Thomas cutting his hand smashing a glass bottle, requiring Lowe to substitute for him. Costello grew more exhausted throughout but continued writing new material.[33] By the tour's end, This Year's Model reached number four on the UK Albums Chart.[49][50]

Another American tour commenced only three days after the previous tour's end. With Bruce Thomas still unavailable, Costello brought back Clover guitarist John Ciambotti, who only had one day of rehearsal. Throughout the tour, Costello and the band continued the wild behaviour they had become known for–both on and off stage–and experienced an increase in drug use, lack of sleep and growing exhaustion. Songs that would appear on Armed Forces began appearing in the setlists.[33][50] This Year's Model was issued in America in May 1978;[2] Columbia substituted "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" with "Radio Radio" on the notion that the lyrical content on both tracks were "too English".[7] This release peaked at number 30 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart.[51]

The tour lasted until June 1978, after which the band began yet another tour of Europe.[33] "Pump It Up", backed by "Big Tears",[9] was released as the second single on 10 June,[11] which peaked at number 24 in the UK, earning Costello another appearance on BBC's Top of the Pops. In July, Costello recorded "Stranger in the House" with country artist George Jones, which appeared on the latter's My Very Special Guests album in 1979, after which the former began recording Armed Forces.[1][33][50] After appearing on the American LP, "Radio Radio" was issued as a stand-alone single in the UK on 24 October 1978, backed by "Tiny Steps".[7][11]

Critical reception

Costello is currently the best. There's simply no-one within spitting distance of him. He has his finger on the pulse of this desperate era and his perceptions are so disquieting because all too often they're too damn real to be strenuously ignored. ... Meanwhile, Model is just too powerful, too dazzling to be ignored or sidestepped.[37]

—Nick Kent, NME, 1978

Upon release, This Year's Model received critical acclaim.[33] In Britain, the NME's Nick Kent hailed the album as an improvement over My Aim Is True in "virtually every aspect", citing the Attractions as a stronger band compared to Clover, along with improved songwriting and vocal deliveries.[37] Sounds magazine's Jon Savage similarly acknowledged it as a "quantum leap" over its predecessor "in most every respect bar the material, which is merely consistent". However, he found Costello "less than likable" and the Attractions "spare yet full", but ultimately considered it "an excellent, soon-to-be-popular album."[31] Allan Jones of Melody Maker wrote that the record "promotes its author to the foremost ranks of contemporary rock writers. Clear out of sight of most of his rivals and comparisons (so long, Bruce [Springsteen], baby)."[52] Jones further recognised it as "so comprehensive, so inspired, that it exhausts superlatives", concluding that "the penetration of the language matches the vaulting hysteria of the performance."[52] Record Mirror's Tim Lott considered the songs "less vicious" than its predecessor's, but said the artist remains an "Aladdin's cave of anti-matter". He called Costello's voice "insubstantial but wiry", the music "clever in its very lack of detail", and compared the organ-heavy sound with Blondie: a Sixties sound "trapped for ten years on atmospherics".[53] In RAM magazine, O'Grady also praised the songs, artist and the band and summarised This Year's Model as: "The best collection of Now fashion-conscious songs since Ray Davies started his 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' period."[38]

The album received similar acclaim in America. Writing for Rolling Stone, Kit Rachlis wrote: "While This Year's Model doesn't diminish the prodigal brilliance of My Aim Is True, the new record is musically and thematically more of a piece." He was, however, critical of the American LP's omissions of "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally".[32] Ira Robbins of Trouser Press called it a vast improvement over My Aim Is True, citing stronger songs, performances and arrangements, as well as more structurally diverse musical styles.[28] Meanwhile, reviewing in May 1978, Robert Hilburn named This Year's Model the winner of the month's "disc derby" in the Los Angeles Times, calling the album "more potent" than Aim, and noting that Costello's vocals "bristle with conviction and bite that we rarely find in rock in the '70s".[54] Analysing Costello as an artist in Circus magazine, Fred Schruers praised his lyrics and musicianship in live performances, ultimately calling him "angry and convincing" and citing This Year's Model as having fulfilled "every new wave expectation".[55] Veteran critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice also saw Costello's emotional delivery as full of anger and grimace, which he found "more attractive musically and verbally than all his melodic and lyrical tricks". In the midst of the punk movement, Christgau dismissed This Year's Model as punk rock, but acknowledged the genre's influence on the album and artist.[56]

This Year's Model was voted the best album of 1978 by Melody Maker and in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[57][58] It further placed in other year-end lists by Rolling Stone, NME (3), Record Mirror (5) and Sounds (8).[59][60][61]

Retrospective appraisal

Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[63]
Christgau's Record GuideA[56]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[64]
Entertainment WeeklyA[65]
Rolling Stone[68]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[69]

In later decades, This Year's Model has continued to receive critical acclaim, with many praising the addition and performances of the Attractions.[25][26][66] Some reviewers even considered the Attractions one of the best backing bands in rock history.[24][26][27] Gouldstone summarises: "Together with Costello's rudimentary but passionate guitar they form a band capable of making even mediocre music listenable and of giving Costello's greatest songs an enthralling sense of intensity and immediacy."[9] Erlewine wrote for AllMusic that they give the album a "reckless, careening feel", concluding that "the most remarkable thing about the album is the sound – Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again."[25] Similarly, Pitchfork's Matt LeMay cited them as the reason the album was superior to My Aim Is True, stating that "it's not only a more complex and dynamic album, but also one that steers well clear of the retro guitar twang that marred the less interesting bits of his debut."[66] He considered This Year's Model not only Costello's best, but one of the best albums ever made, stating that its balanced the "raw energy" of its predecessor with the "more elegant pop songwriting" of his later works. He concluded: "For fans of rock music bursting with wit and character, it really just doesn't get any better than this."[66] Writing for Blender magazine, Douglas Wolk considered the Attractions "perfect creative foils" for Costello, particularly signaling out Nieve's playing throughout the record.[62]

Writing for PopMatters, Troper described This Year's Model as Costello's "most consistent" album and finest with the Attractions, ultimately finding it the artist's "most live-sounding, most punk, and most honest record of his dauntingly expansive career".[26] Other PopMatters writers Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger hailed the album as "simple, refreshing, and surprisingly modern" and "an object lesson that the New Wave could compete on the old school's field", respectively.[27] Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock agreed, calling This Year's Model Costello's masterpiece and hailed it as the work that "bridged his brief past with his wide-open future".[48] Additionally, Consequence of Sound's Ryan Bray named it one of the best albums of the 1970s and the first of Costello and the Attractions' eight-year run he nicknamed "murderer's row".[24] Reviewing in 2008, Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield named This Year's Model as an album everyone should own, calling it Costello's "angriest" work, yet the songs "remain brutally funny, sung with moments of unexpected tenderness".[68]

Some reviewers have commented on the album's influence on punk. In 2002, Uncut magazine's Chris Roberts called Costello the "bitter bard of the punk era", writing that with This Year's Model, he "articulat[ed] a generation's ire every bit as caustically as the [Sex] Pistols' gigantic guitars".[71] Meanwhile, Bray cited it as the album that proved pop and punk could co-exist.[24] Regarding Costello's musicianship, Uncut's Paul Moody argued that after he "dispensed with his musical safety net entirely" from My Aim Is True, This Year's Model marked the beginning of "his insatiable urge to 'bite the hand that feeds me'."[70] Nevertheless, the album was not without its detractors. Mojo magazine's Jim Irvin was mixed overall, finding the material "gall" and the arrangements sounding like a "tantrum". He considered the package "unfeasibly invigorating" following its "mild-mannered" predecessor, but commended Lowe's production.[72]

Costello's biographers also praise This Year's Model. Thomson hails the songs as "tight and instantly memorable", praising Costello's improved songwriting and the contributions of the Attractions.[33] Hinton considers it "light years ahead" of its predecessor, creating a "paranoid universe, where everyone is being watched."[1] St. Michael similarly writes that the record "provokes and invokes" the listener as much as it entertains.[3]

In lists ranking Costello's albums from worst to best, This Year's Model has consistently ranked as among Costello's best. In 2021, writers for Stereogum placed it at number two, behind Armed Forces, calling it "an incredible display of focused talent and the unique capacity to make unpalatable vulgarities go down like so much poisoned sugar".[73] A year later, writing for Spin magazine, Al Shipley placed it at number one, stating despite experimenting with other genres on later records, Costello was never able surpass the "inventive punch" of This Year's Model.[74] The same year, Gallucci also placed it at number one in Ultimate Classic Rock, noting the presence of the Attractions and Lowe's production elevate it to classic status.[75]


This Year's Model has frequently appeared on lists of the greatest albums of all time.[76] It was voted number 152 in the third edition of writer Colin Larkin's book All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[77] The same year, Q placed This Year's Model at number 82 on its list of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever".[78] In 1987, Rolling Stone placed it at number 11 on its list of the best albums of the past 20 years, citing how Costello charted "the modern romantic terrain with keen cynicism, caustic wit and furious energy."[1] In 2003, the album was ranked number 98 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[79] maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list,[80] and dropping to number 121 in a 2020 revised list.[81] In lists compiling the 100 greatest albums of all time, Mojo and NME ranked This Year's Model at numbers 69 and 40 in 1995 and 1985, respectively.[82][83] NME later listed it at number 256 in their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2013.[84] In 2004, Pitchfork ranked This Year's Model the 52nd best album of the 1970s, with Sam Ubl calling it "one of [Costello's] most deceptive rock records",[85] while in 2012, Paste placed it at number 35 in a similar list.[86] Ultimate Classic Rock also included it in their list of the 100 best rock albums from the decade.[87]

The album was also included in the 2018 edition of Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[88] Based on the album's appearances in professional rankings and listings, the aggregate website Acclaimed Music lists This Year's Model as the most acclaimed album of 1978, the 28th most acclaimed album of the 1970s and the 92nd most acclaimed album in history.[76]


Professional ratings
Review scores

This Year's Model was first released on CD through Columbia and Demon Records in January 1986.[2] Its first extended reissue came in October 1993 through Demon in the UK and Rykodisc in the US, which added the bonus tracks "Radio Radio", "Crawling to the USA", "Running Out of Angels", "Greenshirt" and "Big Boys".[2][16] The 2002 CD reissue by Rhino Entertainment added additional tracks on top of the 1993 additions; with this release, "Radio Radio" was sequenced as the album closer after "Night Rally".[7][71][72] Troper states that the addition changes the record's tone immensely, stating that as "Radio Radio" is more upbeat, it brings the album to a proper conclusion compared to the disturbing imagery and abrupt ending of "Night Rally".[26] Six years later in 2008, it was reissued again by Universal/Hip-O Records as a deluxe edition, featuring most of the same tracks as the Rhino reissue, with the addition of a 13-track live bonus disc taken from a show at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. on 28 February 1978.[68][89][90]

Track listing

All songs written by Elvis Costello.

Side one

  1. "No Action" – 1:57
  2. "This Year's Girl" – 3:16
  3. "The Beat" – 3:42
  4. "Pump It Up" – 3:12
  5. "Little Triggers" – 2:38
  6. "You Belong to Me" – 2:19

Side two

  1. "Hand in Hand" – 2:30
  2. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" – 3:06
  3. "Lip Service" – 2:34
  4. "Living in Paradise" – 3:51
  5. "Lipstick Vogue" – 3:29
  6. "Night Rally" – 2:40


  • The US release dropped "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" and added "Radio Radio" to close side two.[2] The 2002 Rhino reissue added "Radio Radio" after "Night Rally" as the album closer.[7][26][66]


According to the liner notes of the 2002 reissue:[7]



Charts and certifications

Spanish Model

Spanish Model
Elvis Costello Spanish Model.jpg
Remix album by
Released10 September 2021 (2021-09-10)
ProducerElvis Costello, Sebastian Krys
Elvis Costello chronology
Hey Clockface
Spanish Model
The Boy Named If
Singles from Spanish Model
  1. "Pump It Up"
    Released: 15 July 2021

In 2018, Costello collaborated with singer Natalie Bergman for a new version of "This Year's Girl" for the second season of the American television series The Deuce. For this version, Costello and his frequent collaborator, producer Sebastian Krys, added new vocals from Bergman alongside Costello's originals. The project led Costello to conceive reimagining the entirety of This Year's Model in Spanish.[104] The project, titled Spanish Model, features 16 songs from the This Year's Model period sung by an array of Latin artists, including Juanes, Jorge Drexler, Luis Fonsi, Francisca Valenzuela, Fuego, Draco Rosa and Fito Páez, replacing Costello's original vocals but retaining the Attractions' original backing instrumentation.[g] Costello and Krys worked with songwriters Elsten Torres, Ximena Muñoz, Luis Mitre, and Andie Sandoval to translate the lyrics.[104][107] Costello told Rolling Stone:[104]

The thing with the translation, and we've discovered a lot over the record, [is that] the Spanish adaptation makes the melodies sound a little different, because the sound elements are different. I sing with a lot of, shall we say, attitude, particularly then. With songs like 'Hand in Hand' and 'Living in Paradise,' I didn't realise these songs had melody — I thought it was just me sneering. I didn't realize they had tunes until I heard them sung by more melodious singers in another language.

The lyrics themselves are not literal translations. The first track completed was Cami's reinterpretation of "This Year's Girl" titled "La Chica de Hoy", which literally means "the girl of today". Costello explained that it has the same ideas as the original track, but Cami introduced reflections from her own career.[108] "Radio Radio" was given "the most radical change" due to the track's now-outdated themes.[109] "Night Rally" and "Chelsea" were also given changes to instead reflect the rise of Spanish fascism and the updated location of Miami, respectively.[108] Krys originally intended to mimic Lowe and Béchirian's original mix, but decided it worked better when he mixed the backing tracks around the new vocals.[108]

Many of the Latin performers connected with the music on the original album. La Marisoul, a huge fan of Costello's, felt honoured to sing "Little Triggers", now titled "Detonantes". The artist approached the track by saying "Okay, I'm gonna live in these lyrics".[109] For "Radio Radio", Fito Páez amended it to the current era where he presented himself "like this old dinosaur who goes back to his little radio to listen to Elvis Costello".[109] Juanes, who recalled watching the music video for "Pump It Up" on MTV, offered a Spanish take on the lyric's events for his version of the song. Francisca Valenzuela, who sang "Hand In Hand" with Luis Humberto Navejas, cited This Year's Model and Imperial Bedroom (1982) as her favourite records by Costello and was delighted when she was approached for the project, stating: "I think it reflects something we're all interested in, which is the multiculturalism and syncretism of music."[109] Meanwhile, Draco Rosa was thrilled at the opportunity to provide a new and natural take on "The Beat", titled "Yo Te Vi".[109]

Preceded by the release of Juanes's "Pump It Up" on 15 July 2021,[110] Spanish Model was issued on 10 September 2021 through record label UMe and was packaged with a 2021 remaster of the original This Year's Model.[106] The album followed the release of La Face de Pendule à Coucou, a six-track EP containing French versions of songs from Costello's 2020 album Hey Clockface.[111] Costello said in a statement: "Part of the fun of this project is its unexpected nature. Although, I think people in my audience that have been paying attention are pretty much used to surprises by now."[110]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Under the Radar7.5÷10[106]

Spanish Model has received generally favourable reviews from music critics.[112] Writing for AllMusic, Erlewine commended the new vocals, stating that the Latin singers retain the "barbed humour" and "spiky politics" of the original album.[103] He also noted that the addition of the songs that were not on the original LP improves the project overall, helping to expand the "musical and emotional palette", thereby creating an album that "winds up not as a curiosity but rather a small wonder, revealing new dimensions of the original recording while opening up these songs for new audiences."[103]

In PopMatters. Marty Lipp cited the project as a full display of the Attractions' strength as a band. He also noted how many of the Latin singers on the project were female, which represented a "striking reversal" of the "she done me wrong" mentality that pervaded a majority of Costello's early work.[105] However, he found that the absence of Costello's "brilliantly cynical wordplay" does the album more harm than good, particularly on "Pump It Up". Nevertheless, he considered the project "still as exciting and fun as ever" and commended Costello for continuing to surprise his fans.[105] Matthew Berlyant was equally positive in Under the Radar magazine, who called the project unique and likewise praised Costello for taking a major left turn almost 45 years into his career.[106] He highlighted the rearranged track listing and new additions over the original record as making the project stand on its own, concluding that Costello succeeded in both bringing attention to the original album and the Spanish-speaking artists that enveloped Spanish Model.[106]

Track listing

Track information adapted from Spotify:[113]

  1. "No Action", Nina Diaz – 2:12
  2. "(Yo No Quiero Ir A) Chelsea" ("(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"), Raquel Sofía and Fuego – 3:39
  3. "Yo Te Vi" ("The Beat"), Draco Rosa – 3:47
  4. "Pump It Up", Juanes – 3:28
  5. "Detonantes" ("Little Triggers"), La Marisoul – 2:42
  6. "Tu Eres Para Mi" ("You Belong to Me"), Luis Fonsi – 2:50
  7. "Hand in Hand", Francisca Valenzuela and Luis Humberto Navejas – 2:34
  8. "La Chica de Hoy" ("This Year's Girl"), Cami – 3:29
  9. "Mentira" ("Lip Service"), Pablo López – 2:38
  10. "Viviendo en el Paraiso" ("Living in Paradise"), Jesse & Joy – 3:59
  11. "Lipstick Vogue", Morat – 3:32
  12. "La Turba" ("Night Rally"), Jorge Drexler – 2:42
  13. "Llorar" ("Big Tears"), Sebastián Yatra – 3:10
  14. "Radio Radio", Fito Páez – 3:09
  15. "Crawling to the U.S.A.", Gian Marco and Nicole Zignago – 2:47
  16. "Se Esta Perdiendo La Inocencia" ("Running Out of Angels"), Vega – 2:08
  17. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea [Dub Mix]", Fuego and Raquel Sofía – 3:33
  18. "Pump It Up [Duet Mix]", Juanes – 3:14
  19. "Pump It Up [Brutal Mix]", Elvis Costello and the Attractions – 3:22


  1. ^ The initial sleeve was off-centre and featured a printer colour bar on the right.[1] Later reissues feature the sleeve corrected.[2]
  2. ^ On the original release, the Attractions did not receive a sleeve credit but were credited on the LP labels.[3][4]
  3. ^ Despite having the same surname, Pete and Bruce are unrelated.[6]
  4. ^ Lowe also left Stiff with Costello for Radar.[5][6]
  5. ^ Béchirian would continue to work with Costello on his next four Lowe-produced albums.[7]
  6. ^ In the 2002 reissue's liner notes, Costello stated that "Big Tears" was the only "genuine" outtake from the This Year's Model sessions.[7]
  7. ^ Some of Costello's original vocals were retained for a couple of tracks, including "Pump It Up" and "Radio Radio".[105][106]


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  109. ^ a b c d e Lopez, Julyssa (10 September 2021). "Five Artists on What It's Like to Sing Elvis Costello's Songs in Spanish". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  110. ^ a b "Elvis Costello Preps Spanish Version of 'This Year's Model' With Special Guests". Billboard. 16 July 2021. Archived from the original on 2 March 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  111. ^ Richards, Will (18 July 2021). "Elvis Costello announces Spanish reimagining of 1978 album 'This Year's Model'". NME. Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  112. ^ a b "Reviews for Spanish Model by Elvis Costello & the Attractions". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 10 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  113. ^ "Spanish Model – Elvis Costello & the Attractions". Spotify. 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2022.


External links


Veröffentlichungen von Elvis Costello die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Hey Clockface ¦ This Year's Model ¦ Spanish Model ¦ The Boy Named If

Elvis Costello auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Costello, 2012Elvis Costello signature.svg

Elvis Costello OBE (* 25. August 1954 in London; eigentlich Declan Patrick MacManus) ist ein britischer Musiker.

Musikalischer Werdegang


Elvis Costello 1978

Elvis Costello, der eigentlich Declan McManus heißt, ist der Sohn von Ross McManus (1927–2011), einem in den 1950er und 1960er Jahren erfolgreichen englischen Sänger und Trompeter. Costello wuchs in London auf und zog 1971 mit 17 Jahren, nach der Trennung seiner Eltern, für kurze Zeit mit seiner Mutter nach Birkenhead. Hier gründete er mit einem Freund ein Folk-Duo namens Rusty.

1973 wieder in London, spielte er unter dem Namen D. P. Costello in Folk-Clubs – der Name Costello stammt von seiner Urgroßmutter väterlicherseits und war bereits von seinem Vater als Pseudonym verwendet worden. 1974 gründete er die Pubrockband Flip City, machte Demoaufnahmen und ging auf die Suche nach einem Label.

1977 wurde er von Jake Riviera für das Label Stiff Records unter Vertrag genommen. Auf Rat seines Managers änderte er seinen Künstlernamen in Elvis Costello (nach Elvis Presley und dem Nachnamen seiner Urgroßmutter).[1] Costellos Aussehen erinnerte durch die große Brille anfangs etwas an Buddy Holly. Im Jahr des Vertragsabschlusses erschien sein erstes Album My Aim Is True. Begleitband war die Band Clover, die ursprünglich aus San Francisco stammte und auch mit Huey Lewis als Sänger auftrat, bevor dieser mit Huey Lewis and the News erfolgreich war. Schon dieses erste Album war in den britischen Charts erfolgreich. Über Columbia wurde es daraufhin auch in den USA veröffentlicht, wo es nach einem denkwürdigen Fernsehauftritt in Saturday Night Live[2] die Top 40 der Billboard-Charts erreichte und ein Millionenseller wurde. Mit Watching the Detectives hatte er auch einen Single-Hit in den UK-Charts. Im Jahr darauf wurde er für einen Grammy als bester Newcomer nominiert.

Als nächstes folgte er Riviera zu Radar Records. Die folgenden, ebenfalls von Nick Lowe produzierten Alben This Year’s Model und Armed Forces waren noch erfolgreicher und konnten vor allem in England bis auf vordere Chartränge vorstoßen. Dafür stellte er die feste Begleitband The Attractions zusammen, die ihn bis 1986 begleiteten. Die Albumproduktionen wurden aufwendiger, stilistisch wandelte er sich vom Pubrock des ersten Albums zu Pop-Rock-Klängen. This Year's Model wurde 2003 bei einer Umfrage des Magazins Rolling Stone auf Platz 98 der 500 besten Alben aller Zeiten gewählt, auch der Vorgänger und der Nachfolger kamen in die Bestenliste, ebenso wie das spätere Album Imperial Bedroom. Drei Lieder aus den ersten drei Alben stehen in der entsprechenden Songliste des Magazins. Aus Armed Forces stammt mit Oliver's Army auch einer seiner bekanntesten und erfolgreichsten Songs. Mit Platz zwei in den UK-Charts ist es sein bestplatziertes Lied. Das Album erreichte ebenfalls Platz zwei und war mit Platz 10 sein bestplatziertes Album in den USA. Sein dortiger Erfolg wurde selbst von einem kleineren Skandal nicht geschmälert. Während eines Wortgefechts in einer Kneipe in Florida ließ er sich abfällig über afroamerikanische Musiker aus. Costello musste seine US-Tour abbrechen, obwohl er sich entschuldigte und bei Rock Against Racism auftrat. Daraufhin fielen die Verkaufszahlen für das Album Armed Forces, das aber trotzdem ein erneuter Millionenseller wurde.

1980er Jahre

Live im Metropol-Theater Berlin, Mai 1980

Zurück in England wurde Costello zum Produzenten der Specials, einer der erfolgreichsten englischen Ska-Bands neben Madness. 1980 erschien sein viertes, von alten Motown- und Stax-Aufnahmen geprägtes Album Get Happy! Zum zweiten Mal war er Riviera zu dessen neuem Label F. Beat gefolgt. Mit dem Album war Costello nicht ganz so erfolgreich, mit I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down enthielt es jedoch einen Nummer-4-Hit.

Das nächste Album mit dem Titel Trust erschien ein Jahr später und enthielt einen Stilmix verschiedener Musikrichtungen bis hin zu Jazzanklängen. Das zweite Album im Jahr 1981 war Almost Blue, ein Album mit Country-Covern, produziert vom erfolgreichen Country-Produzenten Billy Sherrill. Costellos Fans machten seine Stilwechsel mit. Die Single A Good Year for the Roses war der dritte seiner insgesamt drei Top-Ten-Hits in den britischen Singlecharts. 1982 erschien Imperial Bedroom. Für die technische Qualität sorgte Geoff Emerick, der für die Bearbeitung mehrerer Beatles-Alben bekannt geworden war. Costello führte die Lieder des Albums mit seiner Begleitband The Attractions und dem Royal Philharmonic Orchestra auch in London live auf. Obwohl es kommerziell nicht ganz so erfolgreich war, kam das Popalbum in der Rolling-Stone-Liste auf Platz 166.

1983 nahm Costello mit den Produzenten Clive Langer und Alan Winstanley das poporientierte Album Punch the Clock auf, an dem neben Caron Wheeler und Claudia Fontaine alias Afrodiziak als Backgroundsängerinnen einer Bläsersektion (TKO-Horns) der Jazz-Trompeter Chet Baker mitwirkte.

1984 war Costello zudem Produzent für die Folk-Punk-Band The Pogues, mit der er auch auf Konzerten auftrat und deren Bassistin Cait O’Riordan er anschließend heiratete. Im selben Jahr erschien das wieder mit Langer und Winstanley produzierte Album Goodbye Cruel World, zu dessen Neuveröffentlichung auf CD er 1995 schrieb: “Congratulations! You’ve just purchased our worst album” („Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Sie haben gerade unser schlechtestes Album gekauft“).

Costello hatte in acht Jahren neun Studioalben veröffentlicht. 1985 war das erste Jahr, in dem es kein neues Album gab, stattdessen erschien eine Single mit T Bone Burnett sowie zwei Best-of-Alben in Großbritannien bzw. den USA. Das US-Album wurde sein dritter Millionenseller. Im Jahr darauf kehrte er mit King of America zurück, bei dem er erstmals wieder (fast) ohne die „Attractions“ und stattdessen mit Studiomusikern in Los Angeles arbeitete. Als Interpretennamen wählte er The Costello Show. Stilistisch wandte er sich wieder mehr dem Rock und Country früherer Werke zu; es war aber das erste Album nach dem Debütalbum, das die Top Ten verpasste. Das noch im selben Jahr nachgeschobene Blood and Chocolate setzte den Rückgriff auf seine musikalischen Anfänge fort. Mit Nick Lowe engagierte er erneut den Produzenten seines zweiten Albums und auch die Attractions waren wieder mit dabei.

Nach 1986 folgte ein Bruch, Costello nahm sich eine Auszeit und wechselte zu Warner. Auch von den Attractions trennte er sich bei den folgenden Produktionen wieder. Erst nach drei Jahren erschien 1989 ein neues Album, der Rock-Pop-Rundumschlag Spike. Das Album gehört zu seinen erfolgreicheren, es erreichte in Großbritannien und den USA Goldstatus. Die Single Veronica, auf der auch der Co-Autor des Songs, Paul McCartney, zu hören ist, wurde zu seiner erfolgreichsten in den USA.

1990er Jahre

Auf dem Album Mighty Like a Rose (1991) sind – wie auch auf McCartneys Alben aus dieser Zeit – einige gemeinsame Songs von Costello und McCartney zu hören. Mit diesem Album kam er erstmals in der Schweiz in die Charts.

Ab 1992 arbeitete er mit den Streichern des Brodsky Quartets zusammen. Es entstand das Album The Juliet Letters. Costello interessierte sich in den 1990er Jahren verstärkt für die klassische Musik. 1993 schrieb er die Songs für das Debütalbum der Sängerin Wendy James. 1994 veröffentlichte er seine erste Filmmusik, die er zusammen mit Richard Harvey für die BBC-Serie G. B. H. komponierte. Im selben Jahr trat er mit Tony Bennett bei MTV Unplugged auf.

Nach verschiedenen musikalischen Ausflügen kehrte er noch 1994 zu den rauen Aufnahmen der Anfangsjahre zurück. Für zwei Alben schloss er sich wieder mit den Attractions zusammen. Brutal Youth wurde ein rockiges Album, obwohl es von Mitchell Froom zurückhaltend produziert worden war. Außerdem ging er mit der Band auf Welttournee. Das zwei Jahre später veröffentlichte All This Useless Beauty enthielt Neuaufnahmen von Songs, die Costello ursprünglich für andere Künstler wie Johnny Cash, Dusty Springfield, Aimee Mann oder Roger McGuinn geschrieben hatte. Damit war die Zeit mit den Attractions beendet.

Dazwischen erschien 1995 ein Soloalbum mit dem Titel Kojak Variety mit unbekannteren, älteren Coversongs, das relativ wenig Beachtung fand. Die Orientierung in Richtung 1960er Jahre führte auch zur Zusammenarbeit mit Burt Bacharach. Zuerst nahmen sie nur das Lied God Give Me Strength gemeinsam auf und beschlossen dann, an einem Kollaborationsalbum zu arbeiten, das 1998 erschien. Painted from Memory fand große Anerkennung und für den Song I Still Have That Other Girl wurden beide mit einem Grammy für die beste Popdarbietung als Duett ausgezeichnet.

Costellos Interpretation des Bacharach-Klassikers I’ll Never Fall In Love Again gehört zum Soundtrack von Austin Powers 2, in dem er einen kurzen Auftritt mit Bacharach als Straßenmusiker hatte. Ein weiteres filmisches Engagement zu dieser Zeit war ein Auftritt in Spiceworld – Der Film von den Spice Girls. Daneben komponierte er einen Beitrag zum Soundtrack von The Big Lebowski. Mit dem Titel She ist er auf dem Soundtrack zu Notting Hill als Interpret zu hören.

Ab 2000

Elvis Costello und Diana Krall 2009
Keith Richards und Elvis Costello – Auftritt am 26. Februar 2012 für Chuck Berry und Leonard Cohen, die ersten Empfänger des Pen Awards für "Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence", an der JFK Presidential Library in Boston

Ein erneuter Ausflug in die klassische Musik folgte 2001. In Zusammenarbeit mit der von ihm verehrten schwedischen Mezzosopranistin Anne Sofie von Otter veröffentlichte er mit dem Album For the Stars einen der gelungeneren Ausflüge einer Klassik-Größe in die Popmusik. Das Album brachte ihm seine erste Chartplatzierung in Deutschland ein.

Dies wirkte sich auch auf sein folgendes Album aus. Mit When I Was Cruel veröffentlichte Costello 2002 seit langem wieder ein eigenes Rockalbum. Damit kam er zum ersten Mal in allen deutschsprachigen Ländern in die Charts und in den USA war es überhaupt erst sein drittes Album, das es in die Top 20 schaffte. Dazu entstand aus seinen Tourmusikern die neue Begleitband The Imposters, darunter auch Steve Nieve von den Attractions. 2003 wurde Elvis Costello in die Rock and Roll Hall of Fame aufgenommen.[3]

Inzwischen war Costello eine Beziehung mit der kanadischen Jazzmusikerin Diana Krall eingegangen, die er Ende 2003 heiratete. Dies hatte auch großen Einfluss auf sein nächstes Album North, das einem Liedzyklus mit Klassik- und Jazzeinflüssen entspricht. Auch bei seinem nächsten Album arbeitete er an einem zusammenhängenden Werk, diesmal wieder in Richtung Rock. Er verwarf jedoch sein ursprüngliches Konzept, auch The Delivery Man wurde eher ein Songzyklus. Auf dem 2004 veröffentlichten Album wurde er offiziell von den Imposters begleitet. Im selben Jahr trat Costello bei der Oscarverleihung mit T-Bone Burnett auf, um einen gemeinsam komponierten und für den Oscar nominierten Song für den Film Unterwegs nach Cold Mountain zu präsentieren. 2004 nahm er auch zusammen mit dem London Symphony Orchestra Il Sogno auf, das für eine Ballettaufführung von Shakespeares Sommernachtstraum komponiert wurde.

Als 2005 der Hurrikan Katrina New Orleans verwüstete, gehörte Costello zu den Musikern, die bei Benefizkonzerten für die Opfer der Katastrophe auftraten. Dabei lernte er den aus der Stadt stammenden Blues-Musiker Allen Toussaint kennen. Daraus entwickelte sich eine Zusammenarbeit, die in dem Album The River in Reverse mündete. Als weitere Mitwirkende sind darauf The Imposters, The Crescent City Horns und Anthony Brown zu hören. Das Album, das Klassiker von Toussaint und neue Songs der beiden umfasst, war für einen Grammy als bestes Popalbum nominiert. Im März 2006 erschien außerdem ein neues Album mit einem Konzertmitschnitt von Juli 2004, als Costello beim North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag zusammen mit dem Metropole Orkest unter der Leitung von Vince Mendoza auftrat. Der Live-Mitschnitt bietet einen Querschnitt durch sein musikalisches Schaffen vom Rock ’n’ Roll der achtziger Jahre (Clubland) bis zur Kammermusik (Put Away Forbidden Playthings) der Neunziger. Beide Alben waren nur in den USA erfolgreich, kamen dort aber nicht in die Top 100. Im Juni 2006 trat Costello bei den Decades of Rock 2006 auf und spielte mit Billie Joe Armstrong Lieder beider Musiker, zum Beispiel Alison von Elvis Costello und Basket Case von Green Day.

Seine nächste Veröffentlichung war ein Rockalbum mit den Imposters. Momofuku (der Titel ist eine Reminiszenz an den Erfinder der Instantnudeln Momofuku Andō). Er kam damit in Großbritannien erneut nicht in die Charts, was die bis dahin längste Zeit ohne Charterfolg in seiner Heimat bedeutete.

2009 arbeitete er mit T-Bone Burnett zusammen und er versuchte sich wieder im Country-Folk-Bereich. Das Album Secret, Profane and Sugarcane kam in den USA gut an, wo er in die Top 20 zurückkehrte. Nur ein Jahr später erschien National Ransom, ebenfalls mit Burnett, mit dem er musikalisch und vom Erfolg her an den Vorgänger anknüpfte.

Am 15. Mai 2010 sagte Costello aus Protest gegen die israelische Siedlungspolitik und die Repressionen der palästinensischen Bevölkerung zwei Konzerte in Israel ab. In einem Statement auf seiner Website schrieb er: „Ich muss glauben, dass das Publikum der Konzerte aus vielen Menschen bestanden hätte, die die Siedlungspolitik ihrer Regierung hinterfragen und Verhältnisse verurteilen, die palästinensische Zivilisten im Namen nationaler Sicherheit Einschüchterung, Erniedrigung und noch Schlimmerem aussetzen. Ich entschuldige mich zutiefst bei den enttäuschten Konzertbesuchern sowie den Organisatoren.“[4][5]

Danach legte Costello erneut eine Produktionspause ein, in der ein Luxus-Livealbum mit den Imposters (Preis $ 262)[6] und eine Kompilation seiner Filmmusik erschien, bevor er 2013 mit einer neuen Produktion zurückkehrte. Wieder versuchte er einen neuen Ansatz, indem er zusammen mit der Hip-Hop-Formation The Roots seinen älteren Songs einen neuen Anstrich gab. Mit dem Album erreichte er gute Chartplatzierungen, auch in den deutschsprachigen Ländern.

Im Juli 2018 musste Costello seine Tournee unterbrechen, weil er an einem „kleinen, aber sehr bösartigen Krebsgeschwür“ leide.[7]


Costello ist zum dritten Mal verheiratet. Die erste Ehe wurde 1974 mit Mary Burgoyne geschlossen, mit der er 1975 einen Sohn bekam.[8] 1986 heiratete er die ehemalige Pogues-Musikerin Cait O’Riordan; das Paar ließ sich 2002 wieder scheiden.

2003 heirateten Costello und die kanadische Jazzpianistin und Sängerin Diana Krall, im Dezember 2006 bekam das Paar Zwillinge. Das Album North handelt von der neuen Beziehung.

Seit den frühen 1980er Jahren ist Costello Vegetarier, nachdem er den Dokumentarfilm The Animals Film (1982) gesehen hatte, der auch seinen Song "Pills and Soap" (1983) inspirierte.[9] Im Januar 2013 tat sich Costello mit Paul McCartney zusammen, um eine Werbekampagne für vegetarische Lebensmittel der Marke Linda McCartney Foods zu kreieren.[10]


Für sein akustisches Gitarrenspiel bevorzugt Elvis Costello Westerngitarren des amerikanischen Traditionsherstellers Gibson. Ihm zu Ehren brachte Gibson die Elvis Costello Limited-Signature-Gitarre heraus.[11] Bei E-Gitarren bevorzugt er Modelle von Fender.


  • In der Sitcom Frasier spielt Costello in Folge 20 der zehnten Staffel einen arbeitslosen Folkmusiker, der im Café Nervosa die Crane-Brüder vorübergehend aus deren Refugium vertreibt. Als er die langersehnte Anstellung bei einer Bank erhält, ermöglicht er damit die Rückkehr der beiden Psychologen in ihr Stammcafé.
  • Für die Episode zwei der zweiten Staffel von Dr. House lieferte Costello eine Coverversion von Beautiful (Original: Christina Aguilera). Der Song wird am Ende gespielt, als House ein Motorrad Probe fährt; zum Episodenbeginn war das Original bei der Patientin der Woche zu hören. Das Stück wurde Ende 2007 erstmals in voller Länge auf dem Originalsoundtrack zur Serie veröffentlicht.
  • Elvis Costello spielte in der ersten Episode der zweiten Staffel von Two and a Half Men mit,[12] zusammen mit Sean Penn, Bobby Cooper und Harry Dean Stanton. Sie alle sind dort Mitglieder einer Selbsthilfegruppe, die sich in Charlie Harpers (Charlie Sheen) Haus zusammengefunden haben, um über ihre Probleme zu reden.
  • In der Simpsons-Folge It's only Rock 'n' Roll (Im Original How I Spent My Strummer Vacation) ist Elvis Costello zusammen mit anderen bekannten Rockmusikern als Zeichentrickfigur zu sehen und spricht die Rolle auch selbst.


Liste der Alben, Kompilationen und Singles mit dem Datum der Veröffentlichung (UK und US) und dem Namen des Labels (UK und US).



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[15]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen, Veröffentlichung)
1977My Aim Is TrueUK14

(12 Wo.)UK

(36 Wo.)US
Platz 168 der Rolling-Stone-500
aufgenommen mit Clover, der frühen Band von Huey Lewis
Stiff SEEZ 3 / Columbia 35037
22. Juli 1977 (UK)
1978This Year’s ModelUK4

(14 Wo.)UK

(17 Wo.)US
Platz 98 der Rolling-Stone-500
mit eigener Begleitband, später The Attractions genannt[16]
Radar RAD 3 / Columbia 35331
17. März 1978 (UK)
1979Armed ForcesUK2

(28 Wo.)UK

(17 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions (nur UK)
Platz 482 der Rolling-Stone-500
Radar RAD 14 / Columbia 35709
5. Januar 1979
1980Get Happy!UK2

(14 Wo.)UK
(15 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
F-Beat XXLP1 / Columbia 36347
15. Februar 1980
(7 Wo.)UK
(15 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
F-Beat XXLP 11 / Columbia 37051
23. Januar 1981
Almost BlueUK7

(18 Wo.)UK
(13 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
F-Beat XXLP 13 / Columbia 37562
23. Oktober 1981
1982Imperial BedroomUK6
(12 Wo.)UK
(25 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Platz 166 der Rolling-Stone-500
F-Beat XXLP 17 / Columbia 38157
2. Juli 1982
1983Punch the ClockUK3
(13 Wo.)UK
(24 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
F-Beat XXLP 19 / Columbia 38897
5. August 1983
1984Goodbye Cruel WorldUK10

(10 Wo.)UK
(21 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
F-Beat ZL 70317 / Columbia 39429
18. Juni 1984
1986King of AmericaUK11

(10 Wo.)UK
(18 Wo.)US
als The Costello Show (UK)
Wiedereintritt in UK 1995 für eine Woche
F-Beat ZL 70496 / Columbia 40173
21. Februar 1986
Blood and ChocolateUK16

(5 Wo.)UK
(11 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Imp XFIEND 80 / Columbia 40518
15. September 1986

(16 Wo.)UK

(25 Wo.)US
Warner WX 238 / Warner 25848
6. Februar 1989
1991Mighty Like a RoseCH35
(2 Wo.)CH

(6 Wo.)UK
(7 Wo.)US
Warner WX 419 / Warner 26575
10. Mai 1991
1993The Juliet LettersUK18
(3 Wo.)UK
(8 Wo.)US
Warner 2451 802 / Warner 45180
15. Januar 1993
1994Brutal YouthCH40
(1 Wo.)CH

(6 Wo.)UK
(10 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Warner 2455 352 / Warner 45535
8. März 1994
1995Kojak VarietyUK21
(3 Wo.)UK
(3 Wo.)US
Warner 2459 032 / Warner 45903
9. Mai 1995
1996All This Useless BeautyUK28
(5 Wo.)UK
(5 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Warner 2461 982 / Warner 46198
14. Mai 1996
1998Painted from MemoryUK32

(5 Wo.)UK
(6 Wo.)US
Mercury 538 002-2
29. September 1998
2001For the StarsDE59
(5 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)UK
Anne Sofie von Otter meets Elvis Costello
Deutsche Grammophon 4695302
10. April 2001
2002When I Was CruelDE60
(3 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH

(5 Wo.)UK
(9 Wo.)US
Mercury 5868292 / Island 586775
23. April 2002
Cruel SmileUS180
(1 Wo.)US
… and the Imposters
unveröffentlichte Studio- und Liveaufnahmen
Island 063388
1. Oktober 2002
(2 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)UK
(3 Wo.)US
Deutsche Grammophon 9809656 / Deutsche Grammophon 000999
23. September 2003
2004The Delivery ManDE100
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)US
… and the Imposters
Lost Highway 9863727 / Lost Highway 002593
21. September 2004
2006The River in ReverseUK97
(1 Wo.)UK
(3 Wo.)US
Verve 985 605-7
6. Juni 2006
My Flame Burns BlueUS188
(1 Wo.)US
Live-Album mit dem Metropole Orkest
Deutsche Grammophon
28. Februar 2006
(1 Wo.)US
… and the Imposters
22. April 2008 (LP)
2009Secret, Profane and SugarcaneUK71
(1 Wo.)UK
(6 Wo.)US
Hearmusic 7231280 (UK)
9. Juni 2009
2010National RansomUK71
(1 Wo.)UK
(2 Wo.)US
Concord/Decca 7232142 (UK)
25. Oktober 2010
2013Wise Up Ghost (And Other Songs 2013)DE29
(2 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(4 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)US
… and the Roots
Blue Note 3744054 (UK)
17. September 2013
2018Look NowDE32
(2 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)AT
(1 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
… and the Imposters
mit EP Regarde Maintenant
Grammy (Pop)
12. Oktober 2018
2020Hey ClockfaceDE91
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
30. Oktober 2020
2022The Boy Named IfDE41
(2 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)AT
(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2022CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
… and the Imposters
14. Januar 2022

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar

Kompilationen und Best-of-Alben

JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[15]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen, Veröffentlichung)
1980Taking LibertiesUS28
(14 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
US-Kompilation vor allem mit zuvor nur in Europa
erschienenen Aufnahmen[17]
Columbia 36839
September 1980
1985The Best of Elvis Costello – The ManUK8
(29 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Telstar STAR 2247
April 1985
The Best of Elvis Costello & the AttractionsUS116

(16 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Columbia 40101
November 1985
1989Girls, Girls, GirlsUK67
(1 Wo.)UK
Demon DFIEND 160
Oktober 1989
1994The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the AttractionsUK57

(5 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Demon DPAM 13
25. Oktober 1994
1999The Very Best of Elvis CostelloUK4

(16 Wo.)UK
Universal 5464902
21. September 1999
2007The Best of – The First 10 YearsUK
(1 Wo.)US
1. Mai 2007
2015Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack AlbumUK96
(1 Wo.)UK
Doppelalbum mit zwei bis dahin unveröffentlichten Songs
30. Oktober 2015

grau schraffiert: keine Chartdaten aus diesem Jahr verfügbar

Weitere Alben

  • Live at the El Mocambo (1978, Livealbum)
  • Ten Bloody Marys & Ten How's Your Fathers (UK 1980 - nur als Cassette, Kompilation aus B-Seiten und Outtakes; UK:SilberSilber)
  • Out of Our Idiot (1987, Kompilation, UK:SilberSilber)
  • G. B. H. (Richard Harvey & Elvis Costello, 1991, Fernsehsoundtrack)
  • 2½ Years (1993, 4-CD-Box)
  • Jake’s Progress (Richard Harvey & Elvis Costello, 1995, Fernsehsoundtrack)
  • Deep Dead Blue (1995, Livealbum)
  • Costello & Nieve (mit Steve Nason, 1996, Livealbum)
  • Extreme Honey (1997, Kompilation)
  • Singles, Volume 1-3 (UK 2003, Kompilation)
  • Il sogno (Elvis Costello & London Symphony Orchestra & Michael Tilson Thomas, 2004)
  • Piano Jazz (Elvis Costello with Marian McPartland, 2005)
  • Rock and Roll Music (2007, Kompilation)
  • Live at Hollywood High (2010, Livealbum)
  • The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook (Elvis Costello & the Imposters, 2012, Livealbum, aufgenommen in Los Angeles)
  • In Motion Pictures (2012, Kompilation mit Filmmusik)


Zweimal wurden die Alben von Elvis Costello in Neuauflagen meist mit Bonusmaterial herausgebracht, in den 1990ern vom Label Rykodisc und in der ersten Hälfte der 2000er von Rhino Records.


  • My Aim Is True / This Year’s Model / Armed Forces (19. Oktober 1993)
  • Get Happy / Trust (26. April 1994)
  • Almost Blue / Imperial Bedroom (30. August 1994)
  • G. B. H. (5. September 1994)
  • Punch the Clock / Goodbye Cruel World (7. März 1995)
  • King of America (6. Juli 1995)
  • Blood and Chocolate (12. September 1995)


  • The Very Best of Elvis Costello (17. April 2001)
  • My Aim Is True / Spike / All This Useless Beauty (11. August 2001)
  • This Year’s Model / Blood and Chocolate / Brutal Youth (19. Februar 2002)
  • Armed Forces / Imperial Bedroom / Mighty Like a Rose (19. November 2002)
  • Get Happy / Trust / Punch the Clock (9. September 2003)
  • Almost Blue / Goodbye Cruel World / Kojak Variety (3. August 2004)
  • King of America (26. April 2005)
  • The Juliet Letters (21. März 2006)


Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[15]
(Jahr, Titel, Album, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1977Watchin’ the Detectives
My Aim Is True
(11 Wo.)UK
Platz 318 der Rolling-Stone-500
1978(I Don’t Wanna Go To) Chelsea
This Year's Model
(10 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Pump It Up
This Year's Model
(10 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Radio, Radio
This Year's Model
(7 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
1979Oliver’s Army
Armed Forces

(12 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Accidents Will Happen
Armed Forces
(8 Wo.)UK
1980I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down
Get Happy
(8 Wo.)UK
Hi Fidelity
Get Happy
(5 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
New Amsterdam
Get Happy
(6 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)UK
1981A Good Year for the Roses
Almost Blue
(11 Wo.)UK
Sweet Dreams
Almost Blue
(8 Wo.)UK
1982I’m Your Toy
Almost Blue
(3 Wo.)UK
Your Little Fool
Imperial Bedroom
(3 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Man Out of Time
Imperial Bedroom
(2 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
From Head to ToeUK43
(4 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Party Party
Party Party (Soundtrack)
(6 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
1983Pills and Soap
Punch the Clock
(4 Wo.)UK
als The Imposter
Everyday I Write the Book
Punch the Clock
(8 Wo.)UK
(14 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions
Let Them All Talk
Punch the Clock
(2 Wo.)UK
1984Peace in Our Time
Goodbye Cruel World
(3 Wo.)UK
als The Imposter
I Wanna Be Loved / Turning the Town Red
Goodbye Cruel World
(6 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
The Only Flame in Town
Goodbye Cruel World
(4 Wo.)UK
(9 Wo.)US
… and the Attractions; Gastsänger: Daryl Hall
1985Green Shirt
Goodbye Cruel World
(5 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
1986Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
King of America
(4 Wo.)UK
als The Costello Show featuring the Confederates
Coverversion des Animals-Hits
Tokyo Storm Warning
Blood and Chocolate
(3 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
(6 Wo.)UK
(14 Wo.)US
Co-Autor/Bassgitarre: Paul McCartney
Baby Plays Around (EP)
(2 Wo.)UK
1991The Other Side of Summer
Mighty Like a Rose
(4 Wo.)UK
1994Sulky Girl
Brutal Youth
(4 Wo.)UK
13 Steps Lead Down
Brutal Youth
(2 Wo.)UK
You Tripped at Every Step
Brutal Youth
(1 Wo.)UK
London’s Brilliant Parade EP
Brutal Youth
(2 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
1996It’s Time
All This Useless Beauty
(1 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Little Atoms
All This Useless Beauty
(1 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
The Other End of the Telescope
All This Useless Beauty
(1 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
All This Useless Beauty
All This Useless Beauty
(1 Wo.)UK
… and the Attractions
Painted from Memory
(1 Wo.)UK
Notting Hill (Soundtrack)

(11 Wo.)UK
2002Tear Off Your Own Head
When I Was Cruel
(2 Wo.)UK
When I Was Cruel
(1 Wo.)UK

Weitere Singles

  • Less Than Zero (1977)
  • Alison (1977, Platz 318 der Rolling-Stone-500)
  • (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes (1977)
  • (What’s so Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (1979, Platz 284 der Rolling-Stone-500)
  • From a Whisper to a Scream (1981)
  • Watch Your Step (1981)
  • The Peoples Limousine (mit T Bone Burnett als The Coward Brothers, 1985)
  • Seven Day Weekend (1986)
  • Loveable (1986)
  • I Want You (1986)
  • Blue Chair (1987)
  • A Town Called Big Nothing (1987)
  • This Town… (1989)
  • So Like Candy (1991)
  • Jacksons, Monk & Rowe (1993)
  • You Tripped at Every Step (1994)
  • Little Atoms (1996)
  • The Other End of the Telescope (1996)
  • Distorted Angel (1996)
  • All This Useless Beauty (1996)
  • You Bowed Down (1996)
  • I Still Have That Other Girl (mit Burt Bacharach, Grammy für Pop Vocal Collaboration)
  • Monkey to Man (2004)
  • Brilliant Mistake (2005)
  • No Hiding Place (2008)
  • Go Away (2008)
  • Complicated Shadows (2009)
  • National Ransom (2010)

Auszeichnungen für Musikverkäufe

Goldene Schallplatte

  • Australien Australien
    • 1982: für das Album Armed Forces[18]
  • Kanada Kanada
    • 1978: für das Album My Aim Is True
    • 1979: für das Album This Year’s Model
    • 1980: für das Album Get Happy!


  • Kanada Kanada
    • 1979: für das Album Armed Forces

Anmerkung: Auszeichnungen in Ländern aus den Charttabellen bzw. Chartboxen sind in ebendiesen zu finden.

Land/RegionAus­zeich­nung­en für Mu­sik­ver­käu­fe
(Land/Region, Auszeichnungen, Verkäufe, Quellen)
Silver record icon.svg SilberGold record icon.svg GoldPlatinum record icon.svg PlatinVer­käu­feQuel­len
 Australien (ARIA)0! SGold record icon.svg Gold10! P20.000Einzelnachweise
 Kanada (MC)0! SGold record icon.svg 3× Gold3Platinum record icon.svg Platin1250.000musiccanada.com
 Vereinigte Staaten (RIAA)0! SGold record icon.svg 3× Gold3Platinum record icon.svg 2× Platin23.500.000riaa.com
 Vereinigtes Königreich (BPI)Silver record icon.svg 10× Silber10Gold record icon.svg 9× Gold9Platinum record icon.svg Platin12.340.000bpi.co.uk
InsgesamtSilver record icon.svg 10× Silber10Gold record icon.svg 16× Gold16Platinum record icon.svg 4× Platin4




Commons: Elvis Costello – Sammlung von Bildern


  1. The Elvis Costello Home Page - Biography. Abgerufen am 6. Juni 2021.
  2. Week in Rock History: Elvis Costello Defies 'Saturday Night Live'. In: Rolling Stone, 12. Dezember 2011
  3. Elvis Costello and the Attractions | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Abgerufen am 6. Juni 2021.
  4. It Is After Considerable Contemplation..... Elviscostello.com. 15. Mai 2010. Archiviert vom Original am 14. Februar 2011. Abgerufen am 16. Januar 2011.
  5. Kulturboykott. Die BDS-Bewegung in Israel, 3sat. 1. Oktober 2010. Abgerufen am 16. Januar 2011. 
  6. The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! - Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello & the Imposters | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic. Abgerufen am 6. Juni 2021 (englisch).
  7. Elvis Costello: Diagnose „aggressiver“ Krebs zwingt ihn zum Tourstopp. 6. Juli 2018, abgerufen am 6. Juni 2021 (deutsch).
  8. Goodbye, cruel UK: Elvis Costello turns his back on his native land. 18. September 2011, abgerufen am 6. Juni 2021 (englisch).
  9. Nick Paumgarten: Brilliant Mistakes. Abgerufen am 28. März 2021 (amerikanisches Englisch).
  10. Elvis Costello voices ad for new Linda McCartney vegetarian food range. 18. Januar 2013, abgerufen am 28. März 2021 (englisch).
  11. Die Elvis Costello Limited-Signature auf gibson.com, abgerufen am 11. Mai 2012
  12. Internet Movie Database Two and a Half Men, Staffel 2 Episode 1: Back Off Mary Poppins (2004)
  13. 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone, 2. Dezember 2010, abgerufen am 7. August 2017 (englisch).
  14. The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. Rolling Stone, August 2015, abgerufen am 7. August 2017 (englisch).
  15. a b c Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK (Elvis Costello) UK2 (Imposter) US US2
  16. This Year's Model (Album) bei Allmusic
  17. Taking Liberties (Album) bei Allmusic
  18. Gold für Armed Forces in Australien (Memento vom 28. April 2012 im Internet Archive)


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