Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

Born Declan McManus, 25 August 1954, London. Son of former bandleader Ross MacManus, Costello and his band The Attractions had scored several post-punk hits in the late ’70s including Watching The Detectives (1977, #15), (I Don’t Wanna Go To) Chelsea (1978, #16) and Oliver’s Army (1979, #2). He produced the first Specials album and his first single of the ’80s almost came out on their 2-Tone label before legal arguments intervened. That single, I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down, reached number 4 but further singles chart success throughout the decade was sporadic. Despite a string of hit albums including Get Happy!! (1980, #2), Trust (1981, #9), Almost Blue (1981, #7), Imperial Bedroom (1982, #6) and Punch The Clock (1983, #3), the divisive country and western number Good Year For The Roses was Costello’s only top ten hit of this period. Indeed, a “secret” single Pills & Soap released under the pseudonym The Imposter was a bigger hit than most of Costello’s own singles at this time. Ditching the Attractions after 1984’s Goodbye Cruel World Elvis formed The Costello Show for King Of America (1986, #11) before reuniting with his former band for the same year’s Blood & Chocolate.

A writing partnership with Paul McCartney spawned a number of songs – including the almost hit single Veronica – for Costello’s first solo album Spike (1989, #5) and McCartney’s contemporaneous Flowers In The Dirt. Since the end of the 1980s Costello has continued to interleave his solo career with a dizzying number of extra-curricular projects; as well as the Attractions (who split in 1996 but later regrouped without bassist Bruce Thomas as The Imposters), Costello has collaborated with classical musicians The Brodsky Quartet, easy listening guru Burt Bacharach and Canadian jazz singer Diana Krall, whom he married in 2003. He even found time to write an entire album for former Transvision Vamp frontwoman Wendy James. Costello continues to record and perform in a variety of genres, most recently collaborating with hip hop band The Roots on 2013’s Wise Up Ghost.

ESSENTIAL ’80s ELVIS COSTELLO

SINGLES

Pills & Soap 7" label

The Imposter: PILLS & SOAP
May 1983, #16

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I Want You sleeve

I WANT YOU
November 1986, #79

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Veronica sleeve

VERONICA
February 1989, #31

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ALBUMS

Get Happy!! sleeve

GET HAPPY!!
February 1980, #2

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Imperial Bedroom sleeve

IMPERIAL BEDROOM
July 1982, #6

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King Of America sleeve

The Costello Show: KING OF AMERICA
February 1986, #11

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