Elvis Costello was as much a pub rocker as he was a punk rocker and nowhere is that more evident than on his debut, My Aim Is True. It's not just that Clover, a San Franciscan rock outfit led by Huey Lewis (absent here), back him here, not the Attractions; it's that his sensibility is borrowed from the pile-driving rock & roll and folksy introspection of pub rockers like Brinsley Schwarz, adding touches of cult singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and David Ackles. Then, there's the infusion of pure nastiness and cynical humor, which is pure Costello. That blend of classicist sensibilities and cleverness make this collection of shiny roots rock a punk record -- it informs his nervy performances and his prickly songs. Of all classic punk debuts, this remains perhaps the most idiosyncratic because it's not cathartic in sound, only in spirit. Which, of course, meant that it could play to a broader audience, and Linda Ronstadt did indeed cover the standout ballad "Alison." Still, there's no mistaking this for anything other than a punk record, and it's a terrific one at that, since even if he buries his singer/songwriter inclinations, they shine through as brightly as his cheerfully mean humor and immense musical skill; he sounds as comfortable with a '50s knockoff like "No Dancing" as he does on the reggae-inflected "Less Than Zero." Costello went on to more ambitious territory fairly quickly, but My Aim Is True is a phenomenal debut, capturing a songwriter and musician whose words were as rich and clever as his music. [Ryko/Demon's 1993 reissue contained several bonus tracks, including the country B-sides "Radio Sweetheart" and "Stranger in the House," plus demos of his first group, Flip City.]
Performance CreditsElvis Costello Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Drum Sticks
Steve Nieve Organ
Andrew Bodnar Bass,Bass Guitar
John Ciambotti Bass,Background Vocals
Steve Goulding Drums
Sean Hopper Organ,Piano,Background Vocals
Nick Lowe Bass,Piano,Background Vocals,Drum Sticks
John McFee Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Micky Shine Drums
Stan Show Organ
Technical CreditsElvis Costello Composer
Steve Nieve Piano Overdubs
Nick Lowe Producer,Audio Production
Barney Bubbles Cover Design
Michele Horie Producer,Reissue Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Aim Is True based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
This version is 9 cuts short compared to the RYKODISC version and its a disgrace that that great disc has been replaced with this one. The same is true of all the Elvis Costello CD's here. Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
No record was more bizarre when it came out. My friends thought I was crazy when I played it constantly...and that's what this record needs: Play the first 13 songs over and over and you'll be hooked. This is an essential record, filled with catchy riffs and angry lyrics. ''Waiting for the End of the World'' is absolutely flawless as are most of the others. You won't skip a single song. His aim WAS true.