Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hip-O Kicks Off 'Costello Show Series'

Back in 1993, Rykodisk reissued all of Elvis Costello's CBS catalog (1977-1986). Little did we know at the time all of those albums would be reissued again and again, but that's not the point. As part of that series, there was a box set called '2 1/2 Years'. It was comprised of Costello's first three albums, and they were chock full o' bonus cuts for the first time. For fans, however, the real jewel was the fourth disc. 'Live at the El Macambo' was a famous show Costello did with his brand-new band, The Attractions, from the equally famous Toronto club. I already owned a vinyl copy of this March 6, 1978, concert under the name 'Saturated', but this concert was the reason I bought the CD set. We were told at the time the live disc would never be sold on its own... box set only. Well, never say never because 'Live at the El Macambo' will be out on Sept. 29.

'Live at the El Macambo' is the first of several live shows Hip-O Records will release under the name "The Costello Show Series", and it's, admittedly, a great place to start. The concert was recorded for Canadian radio just days before Costello's second album, 'This Year's Model', hit the stores, and this would be the first time many heard songs like "Radio Radio", "Pump It Up" and "You Belong to Me".

There is not much info yet on the other concerts Hip-O plans to release, but we do know the next one will be the June 4, 1978 show from Hollywood High. For those like me who have purchased all the Ryko reissues, three songs from that concert can be found as bonus tracks on 'Armed Forces'.

Here are four songs from 'Live at the El Macambo'. Two are tunes from his debut album, 'My Aim Is True', and two are concert closers from the then soon-to-be-released followup, 'This Year's Model'. Happy, happy listening.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Mystery Dance (mp3)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Welcome to the Working Week (mp3)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - You Belong to Me (mp3)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Pump It Up (mp3)

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