From 2paragraphs.com: “Author Richard Crouse, a Canadian film critic and culture vulture, smartly tells this tale of Costello’s beginnings — indeed he tells the tale of the invention of Elvis Costello the character. Another star of the book is Stiff Records, which was Dr. Frankenstein to Costello’s monster — and to his monster hits.”
Posts Tagged ‘Elvis is King’
“Everybody knows that My Aim Is True is a classic album, but now Richard Crouse makes the definitive case for Elvis Costello’s landmark debut, with a narrative that’s as fast-paced and literate as the album he celebrates. With all the toe-tapping passion of a true music fan, Crouse demystifies the man behind the mystery dance, while simultaneously allowing himself to play the enlightened fan boy. Going in, I thought I knew a lot about Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and the audaciously brilliant world of Stiff Records, but Richard’s book proved to me that I clearly knew less than zero!”
From Barry Avrich, director of The Last Mogul and Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story:
“As a film director who has chronicled the famous and infamous, Richard had me at hello with this book. Elvis pioneered a sound and style that was the alchemy of hip, attitude and talent. This book is an extraordinarily entertaining autopsy of a great career. This book is the new king of music biographies.”
From Justine Lewkowicz’s NewsTalk 1010 Bookends review:
SYNOPSIS: This is the story of how Elvis Costello got his start, and the story of the making of his critically-acclaimed debut album My Aim is True.
His real name was Declan MacManus. His mom worked at the Selfridges department store. His dad was a trumpeter and singer.
Declan worked as a computer operator.
It sounds like any bland life of a typical 9-to-5er. Except that this was a man with a talent.
Richard Crouse details how Declan MacManus convinced an indie record company to believe in him, how they created Elvis Costello, and how a hit album was recorded in just 24 hours.
MY THOUGHTS: Crouse says he loves Costello’s story. Well, he makes you, the reader, love Costello’s story.
Here was a guy with a boring day job who had dreams of something bigger. But what would have happened if he had not decided, while riding the tube one day, to call in sick and keep going an extra couple of stops to drop off a tape at this newly-opened Stiff Records? What if he knocked on the company’s door six months later?
Crouse puts it all into context and asks the “what ifs.” He not only tells Declan MacManus’ story, but also explains the 1970s environment that helped push him forward.
There’s also a personal aspect to the book. It’s a topic that Crouse is passionate about because he grew up listening to My Aim is True… in a tiny room with a shag carpet. It’s something you can relate to no matter who your musical inspiration was in your teenage years (memories of boy bands and 90s punk rock flooding back…).
MY RATING: 4 out of 5
“I want to thank everyone who came out last night to the Rivoli for the book launch ECW Press threw for me and Andy Burns to celebrate the releases of our books Elvis is King: Costello’s My Aim is True and Wrapped in Plastic: Twin Peaks.
“It was Nick Lowe’s sixty sixth birthday last night so it was appropriate to raise a pint and celebrate one of my favorite records of all time and the subject of my new book.
“Also thanks to everyone who posed for photographs with copies of Elvis Costello’s records and singles. It was a lot of fun and a great way to kick off this new book.
More on Elvis is King: Costello’s My Aim is True HERE!
Before Elvis Costello was one of Rolling Stone’s greatest artists of all time, before he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was Declan P. McManus, an office drone with a dull suburban life and a side gig in a pub rock band. In 1976, under the guidance of legendary label Stiff Records, he transformed himself into the snarling, spectacled artist who defied the musical status quo to blaze the trail for a new kind of rock star with his debut album, My Aim Is True. In Elvis is King: Costello’s My Aim Is True, Richard Crouse examines how the man, the myth, and the music of this arrestingly original album smashed the trends of the era to bridge the gap between punk and rock ’n’ roll.
The book will be hot off the press in April 2015. Find out more HERE!
Editor Jennifer Knoch told Publisher’s Weekly: “We’re a really passion driven publisher, and so we’re trying to encourage the same thing in our authors.” The short format may be liberating for some authors, she said. “A lot of times, we have authors who might not want to write 80,000 words on a particular topic, but could they write 20,000 to 40,000 words? Absolutely….It gave them a vehicle to really make a passionate plea for a certain film or series or artist or anything of that nature,” she said.
Read the whole thing HERE!
Here’s some info on Richard’s new book!
Elvis Is King
Costello’s My Aim Is True
An explosive, groundbreaking album that crowned a new king of rock in just 33 minutes
Before Elvis Costello was one of Rolling Stone’s greatest artists of all time, before he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was Declan P. McManus, an office drone with a dull suburban life and a side gig in a pub rock band. In 1976, under the guidance of legendary label Stiff Records, he transformed himself into the snarling, spectacled artist who defied the musical status quo to blaze the trail for a new kind of rock star with his debut album, My Aim Is True. In Elvis Is King, Richard Crouse examines how the man, the myth, and the music of this arrestingly original album smashed the trends of the era to bridge the gap between punk and rock ’n’ roll.