Friday, 23 October 2015

Year by year: 1977

Elvis Costello – MY AIM IS TRUE

I don’t think you can listen to the first ten seconds of “Welcome To The Working Week” and not have a fleeting thought in your head that this might be the greatest debut you’ve ever heard. Which may not be true, granted, and certainly isn’t, but the very fact that you have this thought – does it not make it all worth it?..

A rare album will do that to you, but the excitement that Elvis Costello generates here is absolutely phenomenal. Buddy Holly caught up in punk or whatever it is. And even when he gets too generic in a couple of places (“Mystery Dance”, for instance), you barely even notice it. My Aim Is True is a concise, catchy, brilliantly realised outburst. “I’m Not Angry” still raises my blood pressure to critical levels. 

Of course, little on My Aim Is True is as good as “Oliver’s Army” (nothing is), but overall I would say that on this album he was at his sneering best. And sneering best, well, it is what you’ve always wanted from Elvis Costello. No offence to whatever came next.