Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spinning Songbook Countdown: My Aim is True

It's the end of the welcome week for many but the start of a grueling nine-day schedule for me but it's OK, I got something to look forward to. In about 7 weeks I'll be following Elvis Costello's latest tour, seeing him live three times as he makes his way through Florida. I've been looking forward to this since last October and I cannot wait for his Spectacular Spinning Songbook to roll into the sunshine state. The tour features a gigantic wheel of songs which audience members get to spin, a set up that brings back a similar theme Costello used for his concerts during the '80s.

So besides kicking off this crazy week with "Welcome to the Working Week" from Costello's My Aim is True, I'm also launching the Spinning Songbook Countdown and listening to each of the man's albums in chronological order as the first concert approaches. Costello's debut is filled with clever songs, including five now-classic songs. Even though the instrumentation, provided by Clover - later known as Huey Lewis and the News - has its limitations, the album accomplishes to match the live pub rock sound that inspired Costello at the time.

It wasn't my introduction to Costello and it's not my favorite but it remains a great listen throughout. The greatest thing about being an Elvis Costello fan is how many times each of his albums rewards you with things you've never noticed before. When your first listen is all about his witty, heartfelt lyrics and the captivating hooks and melodies, later listens reward you with surprising delights. In My Aim is True you can find these in the walloping drum sound in "Waiting for the End of the World" and the frenetic organ sound in "I'm Not Angry." It's no wonder that My Aim is True stands as one of the greatest debuts of all time.

Classics: Welcome to the Working Week, Alison, (The Angels Want to Wear My) Red Shoes, Mystery Dance, Watching the Detectives

Songs I'd like to hear live: Welcome to the Working Week, Mystery Dance, I'm Not Angry, Less than Zero, Waiting for the End of the World

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