a classic just got classier. elvis costello kicked off his debut album with a formal device that would also serve his next two long-players well: the first thing you hear is his voice. that opening phrase 'now that your picture's in the paper' was more than sneakily, if not intentionally, appropriate, since costello was quickly declared the second coming. it's become de rigueur to dis the pub-rock backing of us band clover, but their work here is satisfactorily edgy; guitarist john mcfee makes some of the arrangements with his wailingly articulate fills. the album now comes packing session out-takes, demos and live material, with 26 tracks previously unreleased including 4 songs never released in any format: 'blue minute,' 'call on me,' 'i don't want to go home' and 'i hear a melody'. it also includes the complete 'live at the nashville rooms, august 7, 1977' concert recording, one of the earliest shows featuring the attractions! this collection was compiled and fully sanctioned by the man himself.