cover image Elvis Is King: Costello's My Aim Is True

Elvis Is King: Costello's My Aim Is True

Richard Crouse. ECW Press (Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar Book Group, Canadian dist.), $12.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-77041-188-3

Pop culture writer and critic Crouse takes a fresh look at Elvis Costello's 1977 debut, My Aim Is True. He delves into the songs, but more interesting are his forays into everything that contributed to the album's success. 1970s English culture and the ways that the punk music movement was changing the industry are as important as Stiff Records and producer Nick Lowe, who took a chance on an unknown pub-rocker. Costello's name change from Declan MacManus and his image makeover were key factors, along with his prickly personality on stage and in interviews. Readers learn about backup bands, promotion, and media reaction, all contributing to a deeper understanding of the LP's influence. Crouse includes new and archival interviews, but alas, there's nothing original from Costello himself. The author keeps his adoration for the album%E2%80%94"Elvis's raw energy and anger... spoke to me in a way nothing had before"%E2%80%94confined to the introduction, though there is little doubt the entire project is a labor of love that many readers will find contagious as listen to My Aim Is True again or for the first time. (Apr.)