Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals, guitar); John McFee (guitar, pedal steel); Tommy Millar (fiddle); Steve Nieve (piano, organ); Bruce Thomas (bass); Pete Thomas (drums); Nashville Edition (background vocals).
Recorded at CBS Studios, Nashville, Tennessee in May, 1981; live at the Mean Machine, Aberdeen, Scotland on July 30, 1981; live at The Palomino Club, North Hollywood, California on February 16, 1979; live at The Royal Albert Hall, London, England on January 7, 1982. Includes liner notes by Elvis Costello.
This is where Costello began to display the chameleonic tendencies that would serve him so well throughout his career. Abandoning snappy, "new wave"-associated rock for the first time, Elvis decided to visit Nashville and record his take on the country classics he loved so much. Enlisting the services of George Jones producer Billy Sherrill, Costello cloaked himself and the Attractions in countrypolitan trappings (including lush strings) for some distinctive version of country evergreens like "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and "Sweet Dreams." Only the punk-derived fervor of "Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used To Do" and the bar-room raunch of "Honey Hush" interrupt the elegant, emotional balladry. Costello also pays tribute to a more recent generation on aching covers of Gram Parsons' "I'm Your Toy" and "How Much I Lied." Ryko's bonus cuts sweeten the pot considerably, especially the live version of Leon Payne's self-explanatory "Psycho."
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 11/06/2015