On this day in music history: July 22, 1977 – “My Aim Is True”, the debut album by Elvis Costello is released (US release is in November 1977). Produced by Nick Lowe, it is recorded at Pathway Studios in London circa Late 1976 – Early 1977. After six years of performing in pubs and clubs around his native Liverpool, Costello receives his big break in 1976 when he submits demo recordings of several songs to Stiff Records in the hopes of being signed to the new label. Initially, the label is only interested in him as a staff songwriter (for musician Dave Edmunds), but are persuaded to sign him as a recording artist. The album is recorded in twenty four hours of studio time (cut in six four hour sessions at a cost of £1,000) spread out over several weeks. Recording with members of the band Clover, Costello often takes time off (calling in sick) from his day job as a data entry clerk in order to rehearse and record the material. It spins off the classics “Alison” and “(The Angels Want To Wear My) Red Shoes”. Originally released as a stand alone single in the UK in October of 1977, the track “Watching The Detectives” is added to the US version of the album, when it is issued four months after its UK release. The original US LP cover art also differs from its UK counterpart, with the UK version featuring the front cover photo in black & white, with the background on the back airbrushed pink, beige, blue, green, purple, yellow, orange or crimson red. The US version features the front cover photo airbrushed yellow, with the back cover photo, using either a yellow or white background. A mid 80’s reissue of the album reverts to the original UK cover with the black & white front photo, and yellow background back cover. The album is remastered and reissued numerous times over the years since its first CD release in 1986, with expanded reissues on Rykodisc and Rhino Records. “My Aim” is also reissued as a hybrid SACD in Japan by Hip-O Records in 2011, with 180 gram vinyl LP pressing released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2009, and UMe in 2015. “My Aim Is True” peaks at number thirty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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