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Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE
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Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE

Elvis Costello - This Year's Model 1978 CBS T15 8-TRACK TAPE

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This Year's Model is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, released on 17 March 1978 through Radar Records. After being backed by Clover for his debut album My Aim Is True (1977), Costello formed the Attractions—keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Pete Thomas (no relation)—as a permanent backing band. Recording sessions for This Year's Model took place at London's Eden Studios in about eleven days from late 1977 to early 1978. Nick Lowe returned as producer, while Roger Béchirian acted as engineer. Most of the material was written prior to the sessions and made their live debuts throughout the latter half of 1977.

Embracing new wave, power pop and punk rock, the songs on This Year's Model contain influences including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Meanwhile, the cynical lyrics reference subjects from technologies of mass control to failing relationships, which some reviewers found misogynistic. Like some of the tracks, the cover artwork, featuring Costello behind a camera on a tripod, emphasised observation. Designed by Barney Bubbles, the initial UK sleeves were off-centre and exposed a printer colour bar on the right, which was aligned properly for later releases.

Accompanied by the successful singles "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Pump It Up", This Year's Model was a commercial success, peaking at number four on the UK Albums Chart. The American LP, released in May 1978 through Columbia Records, substituted "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" for "Radio Radio" and peaked at number 30 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart. This Year's Model also received critical acclaim; reviewers highlighted strong songwriting and performances, while also admiring Costello and the band as artists. The album appeared on year-end lists in both the UK and the US.

In later decades, This Year's Model has been acclaimed as one of Costello's best works, with some critics commenting on its influence on punk and new wave. It has appeared on several lists of the greatest albums of all time and has been reissued multiple times with bonus tracks. In 2021, Costello spearheaded a new version of the album titled Spanish Model, which featured songs from This Year's Model sung in Spanish by Latin artists over the Attractions' original backing tracks. It received favourable reviews and was packaged with a 2021 remaster of This Year's Model.

Declan Patrick MacManus OBE (born 25 August 1954), known professionally as Elvis Costello, is an English singer-songwriter and record producer. He has won multiple awards in his career, including Grammy Awards in 1999 and 2020, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist. In 2003, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Costello began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and new wave movement that emerged in the mid-to-late 1970s. His critically acclaimed debut album My Aim Is True was released in 1977. Shortly after recording it, he formed the Attractions as his backing band. His second album This Year's Model was released in 1978, and was ranked number 11 by Rolling Stone on its list of the best albums from 1967 to 1987. His third album Armed Forces was released in 1979, and features his highest-charting single, "Oliver's Army" (number 2 in the UK). His first three albums all appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.

Costello and the Attractions toured and recorded together for the better part of a decade, though differences between them caused a split by 1986. Much of Costello's work since has been as a solo artist, though reunions with members of the Attractions have been credited to the group over the years. Costello's lyrics employ a wide vocabulary and frequent wordplay. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image". Since 2002, his touring band (featuring a rotating cast of musicians) has been known as the Imposters.

Costello has co-written several original songs for films, including "God Give Me Strength" from Grace of My Heart (1996, with Burt Bacharach) and "The Scarlet Tide" from Cold Mountain (2003, with T-Bone Burnett). For the latter, Elvis was nominated (along with Burnett) for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

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