AlisonLive at The Nashville Rooms Soundcheck, August 7, 1977
Pay It Back
Crawling In The USA
Includes session out-takes, demos and live material, with 26 tracks previously unreleased! Including 4 songs NEVER RELEASED IN ANY FORMAT: "BLUE MINUTE," "CALL ON ME," "I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME" and "I HEAR A MELODY." A... more »nd the complete LIVE AT THE NASHVILLE ROOMS, AUGUST 7, 1977 concert recording, one of the earliest shows featuring the Attractions! Collection compiled and fully sanctioned by Elvis Costello.« less
Includes session out-takes, demos and live material, with 26 tracks previously unreleased! Including 4 songs NEVER RELEASED IN ANY FORMAT: "BLUE MINUTE," "CALL ON ME," "I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME" and "I HEAR A MELODY." And the complete LIVE AT THE NASHVILLE ROOMS, AUGUST 7, 1977 concert recording, one of the earliest shows featuring the Attractions! Collection compiled and fully sanctioned by Elvis Costello.
Elvis' aim was off on earlier edition (Ryko) but not with th
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First up--until the licensing agreement with UMG ends in November of 2007, the live album portion of this release IS available at iTunes (along with the new bonus tracks)at a reasonable price ($15.99)but you have to buy the whole set to get that price.
DO YOU NEED THIS ALBUM?
Absolutely but if you've bought it before and are satisfied with the Rhino release (which honestly was the best of the four versions that have been released in the last 20 plus years outside of this reissue), then you certainly could skip this and buy new music.
WHAT'S HERE THAT WASN'T BEFORE?
This edition has an entire live performance taken an appearence at the Nashville Room in 1977 plus the five track soundcheck (which only duplicates "Alison"). The original disc is augmented by the outtakes from both the Ryko and Rhino versions plus eight demos from Pathway Studios (four of which "Blue Minute", "Call On Me", "I Don't Want To Come Home" and "I Hear A Melody" are previously unreleased songs that may have been cannibalized for other songs).
If you're an EC and The Attractions fan, I'm sure that you've often wondered what "My Aim Is True" would have sounded like recorded by The Attractions. Now you can find out but if you had the "Live At El Mocambo" you had an idea.
The live album is pretty terrific with EC and the band in top form. The Pathway tracks while not as important as the album itself are interesting.
DOES THE ORIGINAL ALBUM SOUND ANY DIFFERENT?
Maybe a tad louder than the Rhino but it appears to be the exact same mastering as before (which was done by Dan Hirsch at Digiprep). Suha Gur masters the live tracks and demos new to this edition. EC and Bill Levenson supervised the compilation which means that they tried to put out a quality release.
DOES IT LOOK ANY DIFFERENT?
Yeah it's bigger but not necessarily better. It's in the "Deluxe Edition" style with the slip cover (I hate it personally but many will love it). The booklet is missing EC's notes from the previous edition on Rhino with song lyrics and photos not in the previous edition.
As sick as I am of EC reissuing his back catalog (let's see...we had Columbia, Ryko, Rhino a single disc edition of this in a Digipak and this release)with DIFFERENT tracks, the live album is great to have as are the demos. EC please, please don't do this again. Your fans have bought this one too many times and barring the discovery of tapes you made in your previous band, there's just no reason for this terrific album to be put out again and again and again and again.
CONCLUSION: Hardcore EC fans and those who have waited to upgrade their CDs (or never replaced it on vinyl and can't find it there now) will love this edition. There are different bonus tracks however between the Rhino and this edition.
My advice--go to iTunes and download the live album/new bonus tracks ONLY. At least that way you won't be springing for the whole set again. Also, the whole album is downloadable there for $15.99 for the time being much cheaper than the CD edition. While it won't be lossless quality (it'll be compressed and suffer from many of the issues that dog mp3 like releases), it'll be better than not having it.
Brilliant debut in search of signature sound + live and demo
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 09/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first decade of Costello's catalog, everything from 1977's "My Aim is True" through 1986's "Blood & Chocolate" is on the move again. Having made stops at Columbia, Ryko and Rhino for CD reissues, Costello's first eleven albums now pit with Universal's Hip-O label for another round. Hip-O's first salvo of re-re-re-reissues included single-disc versions of the original albums that undid Rhino's second-disc bonuses, and a pair of compilations, one surveying the entire decade's output, the other pulling together many of Costello's rock-oriented tracks. Hip-O has now issued a new two-disc version of Costello's debut that includes previously unreleased material and tracks that are new-to-CD.
Many will complain that issuing "My Aim is True" on CD for a fourth time is a cynical marketing ploy aimed at luring faithful fans (those who already own vinyl and multiple CD copies) into re-buying the album. And while this may be a side-effect, it's not likely the core of marketing plan. Hip-O's goal isn't so much to re-sell this album to fans as it is to renew the title with merchants, reviewers and editors so as to entice a new generation of buyers. Gaining new shelf space and column inches for a 30-year-old release requires a bit of sizzle, which is provided by the album's bonus tracks and second disc. The margin on a rarities-only disc pushed through physical sales channels is apparently too low to be worth UMe's effort; instead, those who want only the new tracks can avail themselves of on-line download services where the set is parted out.
Recorded and originally issued amid the 1977 explosion of DIY art and angst that was punk rock, Costello's seething, literate lyrics stood above the fray. His feelings of self-loathing, confused indifference and jealous recriminations were enunciated in words rather than the raw energy of semi-professional instrument bashing, and his combination of finesse and ire was unlike anything else on the scene. But in retrospect, particularly in light of the Attractions' formation for touring and the next album, it's clear that Costello's hammer was meeting a somewhat softer anvil in the backing band of the Marin, California based Clover. The result is more a singer-songwriter effort than a true band album; as brilliant as was Costello's songwriting and singing on this LP, he was still an artist looking for his sound.
Hip-O's take on the 2-CD reissue adds a wealth of bonuses, including contemporaneous singles "Watching the Detectives" (included on the U.S. LP, but not the original UK LP), "Radio Sweetheart" (which was a B-side that also appeared on a Stiff LP sampler), and the original country weeper, "Stranger in the House" (which was delivered as a bonus single with early copies of Costello's second UK LP, and turned up in cover form on Rachel Sweet's Stiff Records debut). The heart of the bonuses are seven pre-LP demos recorded at Pathway Studios, and a seventeen-song live set recorded in Nashville in 1977 with the then newly formed Attractions.
Seven demos recorded at Pathway Studio with just Costello's vocal and electric guitar include four songs that didn't make the LP, as well as early versions of "Miracle Man," "Waiting For the End of the World" and "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes." Hearing Costello's staccato demos of the three album tracks, one can sense just how Clover altered the musical balance. And in fact, the live show on disc two gives a demonstration of how these songs could have sounded. Just a few months into their association, Costello and the Attractions punch up the material from "My Aim is True" so that it matched songs that would land on 1978's "This Year's Model." Bruce Thompson and Steve Thompson create a bottom end that was missing on the debut LP, Steve Neive's keyboards (particularly his organ playing) adds tension and filigree, and Costello's guitar is more urgent. More telling are five tracks included from the show's soundcheck in which Costello and band play with a fluidity and confidence that belies their short time together.
"If you look at it as a release of the Live at the Nashville Rooms concert with some MAIT demos, it's a pretty good release, though still overpriced. The reviewer that said they should have released the live set with the Live at the El Mocambo set was spot-on.
Tacking it on as a MAIT bonus disc was kind of a pain, and it's very overpriced. But if you can catch a used copy, the concert is very good."
Can't believe they made it worth getting.
thedude_888 | Jersey, US of A | 04/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First. I'm an Elvis fan. Have been since my buddy turned me on in high school & before that I just saw the greatest performance on a TV movie til that time of "Peace, Love, and Understanding" on "Americathon".
The original release of "My Aim is True" is awesome. The Rhino releases are fantastic. Then this came. How can anybody improve on something after Rhino had a crack at it? Don't happen? Impossible. I'm a bigger Rhino fan than an Elvis fan & the guys at Rhino are Elvis fans.
Hip O did a fantastic job. The live concert is restored and remastered perfectly. The other songs are remastered to be a bit crisper- valid arguments could be had going either way on which mixes are better- Rhino or Hip O. If you are a fan, this is worth asking for on the Xmas list. I found this to be quite a treat."
The Concert Is The Highlight-Also Has Different Mixes
G.C. | Potomac, MD USA | 05/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like others I feel more or less forced into buying this because of the Nashville Rooms concert, which is first-rate. I would put this concert above the Washington, DC concert at the Warner Theater on the 'This Year's Model' bonus disc because the Warner concert is similar to the previously released 'Live At The El Mocambo' disc which was recorded one week later in 1978. The Nashville disc shows Elvis and the Attractions in fine form working through most of 'My Aim Is True' and including surprisingly fleshed-out versions of songs from 'This Year's Model' along with "Hoover Factory" which would eventually emerge on a EP in England and the 'Taking Liberties' compilation LP is the USA. The sound check portion of the concert also includes "Crawling To The USA" and three other songs not performed in the main concert. However, to get this concert, one is forced (again) to purchase 'My Aim Is True' which, although it has bonus tracks (some of which are released for the first time), some of the bonus tracks from previous editions are left off. This is frustrating for a couple of reasons: 1) If one has to invest in the recording again, we should at least have the benefit of all of the bonus tracks from previous versions; and 2) There is plenty of room on Disc 1 to allow for these extra tracks. This is more of a consumer philosophy issue for me as in most cases I listen to demos once or twice and not repeatedly (I did find the new demo of "Call On Me" of note as the chorus was later re-worked into "Moods For Moderns"). I also strongly prefer the Rhino jewel case packaging to the annoying Universal "Deluxe Edition" packaging. I have four UMG "Deluxe Edition" releases and when I handle them I feel as if I am handling evidence at a crime scene. The frustrating things is trying to get the CD package out of and back into the protective case. Come on, can't we just have a nice jewel case instead that will allow for an expanded book with COMPLETE liner notes? I also found another aspect disconcerting, and that is that "Radio Sweetheart" and "Stranger In The House" appear to be different mixes than the previously available versions. "Radio Sweetheart" in particular has a background vocal (not sure who it is) during the intro about 25 seconds into the song. "Stranger In The House" is more subtle in its differences but in both cases I preferred the "true to the original" 2001 Rhino mixes to the to the Universal mixes. Again, I think the better course would have been to make the Nashville and Warner concerts available separately from the studio releases, with liner notes from Elvis. And preferably in a jewel case."