Editors’ Notes As the title implies, this collects the highlights from Elvis Costello’s first ten years and twelve albums — from 1977’s My Aim True through 1986’s Blood and Chocolate. During that time, Costello went through several artistic transformations, from angry new wave rocker (“Radio Radio”), to country stylist (a cover of George Jones’ “A Good Year for the Roses” with legendary country music producer Billy Sherrill), to acoustic balladeer (“Indoor Fireworks”), always serving up caustic lyrics (“Man Out of Time”) and frayed emotions (“I Want You”) with a dose of bitterness and regret. Costello’s encyclopedic knowledge of popular music informs his work. An excellent cover of Sam & Dave’s “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” is given an amphetamine-fueled run-through, while his version of producer Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding” is definitive. Throw in the sly valentine of “Alison,” the nervous tension underscoring “Watching the Detectives,” the relentless organ drive of “Pump It Up” and the shimmering piano arpeggios of “Oliver’s Army” and you’ve got a solid collection from one of music’s premier songwriters during his prime.

SONG
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
1
2:48
 
Alison
2
3:24
 
Watching the Detectives (Single Version)
3
3:46
 
(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea
4
3:10
 
Pump It Up
5
3:17
 
Radio, Radio
6
3:06
 
Accidents Will Happen
7
3:01
 
Oliver's Army
8
2:59
 
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
9
3:33
 
I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down
10
2:06
 
High Fidelity
11
2:27
 
Clubland
12
3:44
 
New Lace Sleeves
13
3:46
 
Good Year for the Roses
14
3:07
 
Beyond Belief
15
2:34
 
Man Out of Time
16
5:26
 
Almost Blue
17
2:49
 
Every Day I Write the Book
18
3:54
 
Shipbuilding
19
4:53
 
Brilliant Mistake (Live In Studio)
20
3:44
 
Indoor Fireworks (Live In Studio)
21
4:10
 
I Want You
22
6:41
 

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