Elvis Costello - My Aim is True (Cover Artwork)

Elvis Costello

My Aim is True (1977)


Ahh..the timeless music of Declan MacManus. Who is that you ask? Perhaps you know him better by his musical alter-ego...Elvis Costello.

Costello doesn't fit with the average conception of a "punk rocker". He was geeky and gangly, he wore big glasses and neckties. He looked like some sort of mod reject, but certainly not a punk. I would like to say that I think Costello was just as (if not more) "punk" as any of his contemporaries. Yes, he was backed by a band called "Clover", who would end up being a backing band for Huey Lewis, and yes, he sang openly about love, but one listen to any of his records should prove that this guy was part of the essence of punk.

"My Aim is True" starts off with one of my favorite Elvis Costello songs, "Welcome to the Working Week" and doesn't stop rocking you until 22 tracks later. Costello mixes pub-rock, 50's rock, punk, R&B and even a little reggea to craft a record so engaging its hard to ever put it away. Track 3, the 50's-ish rocker "No Dancing" fails to get the listener to obey its title. You can chill out to the reggea-inflected "Less Than Zero" or cry yourself to sleep with the country B-side (available on the 1993 Rykodisk reissue) "Radio Sweetheart". Of course, there is the classic power ballad that everyone knows, "Allison", and other great power-pop tracks like "Blame it On Cain" and "Miracle Man".

Basically, this record is a must have for any self-respecting collecter of classic punk music. Costello doesn't get at political as the Clash, or as nilhistic as the Sex Pistols, but he carved a very nice little niche for himself. He was different, he was a brilliant song-writer, and he influenced hoardes of punk and alternative bands. Elvis Costello is truly one of the greats.