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NEW YORK — There’s just no slowing down Elvis Costello.
After launching his “Spectacle” TV series last December and releasing his latest studio effort, “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane,” this past June, the punk icon is set to debut “The Costello Show Series,” a selection of rare live recordings from throughout his career. First up is “Live at the El Mocambo,” a heavily bootlegged concert from March 6, 1978 in Toronto. The 14-song set is due Sept. 29 on Hip-O/Universal and originally appeared as a part of the “2 1/2 Years” box set issued by Rykodisc in 1993, but has never stood on its own as an official release.
The concert was originally broadcast on CHUM-FM and was pressed in a limited vinyl run as a promotional item. Costello was touring in support of his landmark debut, “My Aim Is True.” The show features several early versions of what are now considered Costello classics, including “Pump It Up,” “Watching the Detectives,” and a fiery version of “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea.” “Live at the El Mocambo” captures Costello at a very young age, with a raw sound in both the quality of the recording as well as the material.
While little information is available on how many shows will be included in future releases, the series is set to roll out concerts over the next year, with a performance from June 4, 1978 at Hollywood High slated next.
Costello has been a rather prolific renaissance man over the last twenty years, releasing a number of recordings with a bevy of different collaborators, including Allen Toussaint, Bill Frisell and Burt Bacharach. “Se ret, Profane & Sugarcane” continued his recent forays outside of the “punk” lexicon, pairing him with Americana legends T Bone Burnett, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Douglas and Stuart Duncan. Since June, it has sold 89,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Costello is currently on break from summer touring activities, resuming on Oct. 5 in Singapore before heading to Australia.
Here is the track list for “Live at the El Mocambo”:
“Waiting For The End Of The World”
“Welcome To The Working Week”
“Less Than Zero”
“(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”
“Watching The Detectives”
“You Belong To Me”
“Pump It Up”
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