5 Elvis Costello Essentials

5 Elvis Costello Essentials

elvis costello
Elvis Cosello. Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images. 

Part punk, part poet, a little pop polish, and a whole lot of rock n roll attitude – Elvis Costello’s genre-spanning catalogue is fortified by decades worth of stellar songwriting and seemingly inescapable credibility. Acid-tongued lyrics and well-crafted melodies have made him sound contemporary for decades, without losing any of the fiery outlander spirit that first arrived with his 1977 debut

We're celebrating him with a handful of his top tracks – enjoy below! 

'Oliver’s Army' 

Oliver’s Army is a Costello classic! From his third album, 1979’s Armed Forces, the song packs some pretty serious commentary about the Troubles in Northern Ireland into a catchy-as-hell pop song on the strength of literate wit and sweet, syrupy vocals. 


Alison arrived on his debut LP, 1977’s My Aim Is True, and, despite not being a major on the charts, remains one his most well-loved songs. Perhaps for the early reveal of his gentler side that showed, attitude aside, Costello had already mastered timeless songwriting on his first record. 

'High Fidelity'

Tailor-made for a vintage vinyl dance party, High Fidelity from 1980’s epic 20-track LP, Get Happy!!, proved Costello and the Attractions could lay down a classic a Motown groove with the best of them!

“Beyond Belief”

On the other end of the spectrum is the boldly psychedelic opener, Beyond Belief from 1982’s Imperial Bedrooms. It’s a stunning production of lush swirling ambience and a conjuring melody that seems to hover and float angelically in mid-air. 

'Pump It Up'

And of course, there’s no going past this adrenaline-fuelled piece of pop perfection from 1978’s This Year’s Model. The relentless rhythm and hazy riff thunder on like an endless night out, but in true Costello form, there’s also plenty of satire packed into this classic party starter.


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