Elvis Costello

2014 Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello, or Declan MacManus, as his driver's license would say, made his debut amid the raucous 1977 punk scene. His first major release, My Aim Is True, landed itself securely at number 14 on the UK pop charts, while receiving critical acclaim for its fresh fusion of punk, new wave, and reggae styles as well as its strong composition. So began a life-long love affair with music critics and fans alike.

Since his debut, Costello has put out over a dozen albums, including This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!, Imperial Bedroom, King of America, Blood & Chocolate, Spike, Mighty Like A Rose, Brutal Youth, Kojak Variety, All This Useless Beauty, and Since I Was Cruel.

Throughout his career, the extremely eclectic Costello has collaborated with a veritable who's who list in the music industry, including Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, The Specials, Squeeze, The Pogues, Tony Bennett, Anne Sofie von Otter, John Harle, Burt Bacharach, Sir Neville Mariner, The Spice Girls, Chet Baker, June Tabor, Charles Brown George Jones, Bill Frisell, Cait O'Riordan, Richard Harvey, Hal Wilner, Sam Moore, Lucinda Williams, Dan Hicks, The Chieftains, The Count Basie Orchestra, Roy Nathanson; the list truly never ends.

Aside from touring with his band, The Attractions, he has performed in a plethora of different projects, including South Bank's Meltdown Festival, Fretwork, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Brodsky Quartet, the Mingus Band, The Fairfield Four, and The Jazz Passengers just to name a few.

Costello has been on cover albums of Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons and The Grateful Dead. His music has been featured in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, Allison Anders' Grace of My Heart, Richard Curtis's Notting Hill, Mike Myers' Austin Powers 2, The Spy Who Shagged Me, and both Alan Bleasdale's adaptation of Oliver Twist, and his television series G.B.H.

Costello's achievements have been numerous and prestigious, including two Q Magazine Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, and the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Award. He won a Grammy Award for Collaboration vocals in 1998, for the song, "I Still Have that Other Girl." Costello was nominated for three Grammys in 2003 and also received ASCAP's Founders Award. Costello was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th, 2003.

Costello was born August 25th, 1954 in London. He studied in West London and Liverpool, before leaving in 1972 to begin playing music in local folk clubs and bars. He played with a number of bands in his early years, most notably of whom was Flip City out of London. He also worked as a computer operator at the Elizabeth Arden factory for some time before signing with Stiff Records in 1977. My Aim is True was actually recorded during his time off from work. He was managed by label-owner Jake Riviera. His stage name, which coincided with the debut release, was based on Elvis Presley and his mother's maiden name (Costello).


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