Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

  • Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello photo 2006

Elvis Costello Biography

Declan McManus was born on August 25, 1954 in London ENGLAND, he began writing and playing music in 1972 with the folk-duo called Rusty, subsequently formed several acts and finally adopted the name of Elvis Costello.

He released his debut solo album, "My Aim Is True", in the summer of 1977 on Stiff Records, it entered the top 20 in U.K. Albums chart and by the time ranked in the top 40 of the U.S. Pop Albums chart; after the recording sessions for his first LP, he released the non-album single "Watching The Detectives" which hit #15 in British Singles chart.
A year later, Costello, assembled his backing group, The Attractions; the band consisted of bass player Bruce Thomas, keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas; the four-some recorded, "This Year's Model", for the new label Radar Records, it peaked at #5 in U.K. Albums chart and its single cut, "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea", reached the #16 in the Singles chart, the second effort also climbed into the top 30 of the Pop Albums chart Stateside.
At the start of 1979 appeared "Armed Forces", which hit #2 on The Official U.K. Albums chart and peaked at #10 in U.S. Pop chart his best chart-placing ever, the record generated the U.K. top 3 smash single, "Oliver's Army".
In the spring of the following year, Costello with his band, issued "Get Happy!!", a 20-song set recorded in London and in Holland, it quickly rose to #4 in U.K. Albums chart helped by the top 10 single "I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)" and reached the #11 in the States.
During 1981 he released two albums: "Trust" which climbed into the top 10 of the British chart but didn't rise higher than #28 spot in the States, where recorded "Almost Blue", a collection of country covers which contained the single "Good Year For The Roses", it cracked the top 10 on both U.K. and Australian charts.
In mid-1982 Costello & The Attractions returned with "Imperial Bedroom", their new effort hit #6 and #30 respectively on The U.K. and U.S. Albums charts, it included two minor hit singles, "Man Out Of Time" and "You Little Fool"; the next LP, "Punch The Clock", which arrived nearly one year later, shot to #1 in Britain and peaked at #24 on Pop Albums chart Stateside, it spawned the American Top 40 hit single, "Everyday I Write The Book".
1984's "Goodbye Cruel World" saw a significant drop in sales, although its singles "I Wanna Be Loved" reached #18 in the U.K. and "The Only Flame In Town" became his second Billboard's Hot 100 hits; shortly afterwards Costello kicked off his solo tour and released the single "The People's Limousine" with T-Bone Burnett.
In mid-1985 he appeared at the Wembley Stadium for the Live-Aid concert and before the year's end began working in Los Angeles on his next album without The Attractions, in February, "King Of America" was released, it scraped the bottom of the top 40 of The Billboard 200 Albums list and generated a U.K. top 30 hit with the cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" which also cracked the top 40 of The Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart; that same year Elvis Costello & The Attractions recorded "Blood & Chocolate", it ranked in the top 20 of The Official British Abums list but failed to chart in the States.
After he signed a new five album worldwide deal with Warner Bros, in early 1989 resurfaced as solo artist with "Spike", it reached the gold status in U.S. where the LP hit #32 on The Billboard Top 200 chart, its two singles, "...This Town..." and "Veronica", peaked respectively at #4 and at #1 on Modern Rock chart, the latter of which rose to the #19 position on Billboard's Hot 100, his best chart-placing in the States; the album also hit #5 in Britain and #8 in Australia.
In mid-1991, Costello, issued "Mighty Like A Rose", the record once again hit #5 in British Pop chart and reached the #55 on The Billboard Top 200 chart spawning his second Modern Rock #1 smash single: "The Other Side Of Summer".
Another two years passed before he returned with a new album, his first attempt at classical music: "The Juliet Letters", recorded with The Brodsky Quartet; the follow-up, the Pop-Rock-oriented "Brutal Youth", arrived in the spring of 1994 and contained several songs recorded with The Attractions, the new album shot to #2 in U.K. and peaked at #34 on Billboard's Top 200 list spawning "13 Steps Lead Down" which rose to #6 on Modern Rock Tracks chart, while "Sulky Girl" reached the #22 on British Singles chart.
Almost exactly a year later Costello released a compilation af cover songs entitled "Kojak Variety", but sales of the album were disappointing, it missed the top 20 in U.K. and failed to enter the top 100 in the States.
In early 1996 the singer hit the studio in Dublin and released the following May "All This Useless Beauty", a collection of songs he had written for other artists, but he never recorded himself plus new material; once again the album didn't perform as well as the early '90s efforts.
After the release of the last album for Warner, titled "Extreme Honey: The Very Best of Warner Brothers Years", which included the new track, "The Bridge I Burned" recorded with his son Matthew on bass and Danny Goffey from Supergrass on drums, he began a collaboration with Burt Bacharach, the pair released in September of 1998 "Painted From Memory", it reached the #78 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart, #32 in Britain but the duo scored more success in Autralia where the record hit #22, eventually the track "I Still Have That Other Girl" won them a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
After three and a half years, Costello, re-emerged with "When I Was Cruel", his come-back LP has cracked the top 20 of The Billboard Top 200 chart and was supported by an extensive international tour with his new back-up band, The Imposters, comprised of Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and former Cracker bassist Davey Faragher.
In Autumn of 2003 was issued the Jazz-influenced "North", his 20th album of new material, the record reached the #57 in U.S. chart and hit the #1 on Billboard Magazine's Top Jazz Albums chart.
It was followed almost exactly one year later by "The Delivery Man", the first album credited to Elvis Costello & The Imposters.

Costello and New Orleans piano legend Allen Toussaint recorded in New Orleans an album called "The River In Reverse" which was released in June 2006; it included new songs co-written by Costello and Toussaint, as well as fresh versions of several vintage Toussaint songs; the sessions was in part a symbolic effort to show the city's music industry was not dead.

In May 2008 Costello released a new album with The Imposters, "Momofuku", which reached #59 on The Billboard 200.

His next solo effort, "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane", followed one year later but this time the veteran British singer + songwriter nearly entered the top 10 in U.S. and Canada.

In November 2010 arrived "National Ransom", another top 40 hit album on The Billboard 200 for the artist.

 

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