Elvis Costello has come a long way, from the country-rock flavoured songcraft of My Aim Is True, via the spume-flecked new-wave R&B of This Year’s Model, whence he has grown into one of our most sophisticated, inventive and prolific songwriters, a man at home in any genre from blues to bluegrass to ballet. This month, with his hefty new memoir hitting the shelves with a loud crash, he reviews his long career in a 15-page cover interview in MOJO magazine. It’s fascinating stuff, as Costello and his collaborators paint the man in full – the stage performer compared by T Bone Burnett with The Incredible Hulk; the classical composer praised by the Brodsky Quartet’s Paul Cassidy (“his ear is as good as it gets”) and the songwriter who spears his faults and infidelities with painful candour.
All these aspects are reflected in the following 21-vid salute to the man born Declan MacManus and variously dubbed The Imposter, Little Hands Of Concrete and Napoleon Dynamite, but mostly, simply Elvis Costello.
Swipe and enjoy!