This year’s model of Elvis Costello is spending a time looking at previous years’ models.
As fans observe the 30th anniversary of his first album, “My Aim is True,” Costello is mining the first 10 years of his career as part of an extensive reissue campaign. He recently released two new compilations — “The Best Of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years” and “Rock and Roll Music” — and reissued his first 11 albums in their original form, and for the first time digitally.
More archival releases will follow in the coming years, including anniversary editions of most, if not all, of the individual albums.
“There’s quite a lot of material,” says Costello, 52, who’s actively involved in compiling and overseeing these projects. “This offers a broader choice for the people who have maybe heard your name but find it a little intimidating, this big pile of music, and they don’t really know where to start.
“There’s a number of different ways you can focus people’s attention.”
But that doesn’t mean Costello and his band, the Imposters, are focusing solely on his earliest material in the shows they’re doing on a short North American tour they’re playing this month.
“I suppose it’s inevitable that people might anticipate a nostalgic view because these records are being reissued,” notes Costello, who’s raising 5-month-old twin sons with his third wife, fellow musician Diana Krall. He also guests on longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve’s new classical piece, “Welcome to the Voice”
“But I wouldn’t assume we’re going to play songs exclusively from before 1986. But there’s a lot of songs to consider and no specific focus on any one time. We’ll just play whatever songs we feel like playing, like we always do.”
Elvis Costello & the Imposters perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (May 11th) at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $36.50.-$75. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to