Elvis Costello is arguably one of the greatest British rock-pop songwriters of all time. The respect he has within the recorded music industry is demonstrated by the calibre of artists he has collaborated with, including Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett to name a few.
He is renowned among musicians for his lyrically insightful, melodically catchy and craftsmanship as a songwriter. Declan Patrick McManus aka Elvis Costello was born on the 25th of August 1954, in St Mary’s Hospital, London, England. He was brought up in Twickenham, London by his father Ross MacManus, a musician, and his mother, Lillian MacManus, a record storeowner.
In 1976 after struggling for a short while to get a record deal, Costello who went by the name D.P Costello at the time, came across an advertisement in the English music press from Independent record label Stiff records, requesting demo tapes. Nick Lowe a producer at the label liked the demo Costello dropped off. Before the year was out, armed with a new first name, Elvis Costello’s debut album “My Aim Is True” was released.
The album was a reasonable success but it would be the album’s “This Years Model” and “Armed Forces” that Costello, alongside his backing band the Attractions, would reach his peak both commercially and critically. This reinvention of rock ‘n’ roll, as the Americans understood it, was dubbed ‘New wave’. Rolling Stone named “This years Model” No.98 on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer said “Elvis Costello, in my opinion, is probably the greatest pop music songwriter ever”.
Costello has since been Grammy and Oscar nominated and experimented with various genres from reggae to jazz, and he has recorded close to 40 studio albums releases to date. In April 2008 Costello demonstrated his love for all things music with his TV show ''Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…. ''. Costello invited some of his favorite singer/songwriters on to the show to play their music and to be interviewed for some intellectual insight into the creation of the thing Costello loves most: “SONG”. He continues to write, record and perform. (He's married to Dianna Khrall, lucky man!!)
Segun Murray Ogunsheye
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