Costello’s Armed Forces is the final installment of his late ’70s creative triumvirate made up of: My Aim Is True (1977), This Year’s Model (1978), and Armed Forces (1979). This new-wave golden age of Costello would go on to be hailed as one of the most inventive and creative in recent rock history. While the rest of is career has proved both fruitful and prolific, this is generally where the real goods are to be had.
Produced by Nick Lowe the disc comes with liner notes penned by Costello reflecting on both the initial track selection, track notes, and the general atmosphere of both his public and personal life at the time. I found it fascinating, and at the same time not surprising, that many of the production choices used on Armed Forces were a direct correlation to what the band had been listening to in the van in during The Attractions 1978 tour of the U.S.; RE: the States a.m. commercial radio and the band’s road-purchased cassettes, all making there way both consciously and subconsciously onto their, soon to be, next album.
Listen below to the outtake “Tiny Steps” from the Armed Forces sessions. A classic Costello gem left off the album solely because it seemed like a throwback to the style of the album’s predecessor This Year’s Model. An alternate version of “Busy Bodies” and a live track from the 1978 Hollywood High performance. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall….
MP3: Elvis Costello :: Tiny Steps
MP3: Elvis Costello :: Busy Bodies (alternate)
MP3: Elvis Costello :: Accidents Will Happen (live)
Amazon: Elvis Costello – Armed Forces