Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
Columbia, 1977: Elvis Costello (vocals and guitar), John McFee (guitar), Sean Hopper (keyboards), Johnny Cambodia (bass), Mickey Shine (drums)
Without a doubt Elvis Costello has morphed a lot over the course of a long career that he launched with this album back in 1977. This was a great album, produced by Nick Lowe, that was part of a New Wave in rock music, kind of a punkish (Blondie), stripped down sound (The Clash) that evoked sounds of the 1950s (The Cars) with an emphasis on song-writing (David Byrne).
Costello went from a data entry day jobber to an overnight music sensation. His pose on the cover, with the Buddy Holly glasses and the knees bent together, became an iconic image of rock's New Wave.
The album took only a couple of days to record (in a series of four-hour sessions) with a studio backing band, called Clover, that was replaced on later albums with The Attractions.
Costello's music was a much simpler (cleaner?) sound compared with the power guitar sounds of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and he became one of the leaders of rock's 1970s new wave.
In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album #168 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Elvis Costello (with Elmo) singing an altered version of "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" on Sesame Street is a must see video, Monster Went and Ate My Red 2 (from 2011).
It is painful to hear "Watching the Detectives" as the intro lead-in for the PBS show History Detectives.
"Allison" became Costello's hit for the album, and the top single from the album. Costello has never revealed who he wrote the song about.