Elvis Costello

by Dai Griffiths

Published by: Indiana University Press

192 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in, 12 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253220066
  • Published: July 2008


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Here to stay, and recognized by Burt Bacharach as "a great survivor," Elvis Costello has produced a large and significant body of work. This is the first book on Costello that avoids chronological presentation in favor of a thematic approach focused on music and words over the nearly 30 years that separate "Radio Sweetheart" and "Country Darkness." In addition to engaging with the songs Costello has performed as a rock musician, the book features informed discussions of more recent albums, such as Painted from Memory, North, and Il Sogno. Also considered are the essays Costello has written to support CD reissues of his recordings, a substantial body of writing that approaches a critical autobiography. The book demonstrates that on all fronts—music, words, voice, instrumental resources—Costello's work broadens and deepens, as he sets himself the task of expanding the range of expressive material available.