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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces (with Bonus 7")

  (Item #: costearmed_1712) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • A KILLER early UK pressing, Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded - just amazing on a pressing like this
  • 5 Stars and a Better Records Rock and Pop Top 100 album - every track is Elvis at this best
  • AMG is right: Armed Forces "It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Punch The Clock

  (Item #: costepunch_1710) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish and far and away the best copy to ever hit the site
  • Both sides are incredibly big, full and lively with deep punchy bass, a nice extended top end and tons of energy
  • The bass, along with the horn sound, are the two key elements to getting a good copy of this record, and they're both right on the money here
  • "Punch the Clock won't alter anyone's opinion of Elvis Costello, because it doesn't represent much of a change for him. He remains the most consistently interesting songwriter in rock & roll, and there is evidence that a new, more emotionally generous sensibility may soon be present in his work." Rolling Stone
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Get Happy

  (Item #: costegetha_1711) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • An incredible copy and the first White Hot to hit the site in years -- Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • Both sides are super big, lively and dynamic with huge amounts of bass and an energy level that's off the charts
  • AMG raves Get Happy is "...a 20-song blue-eyed soul tour-de-force"
  • Elvis classics like I Can't Stand Up (for Falling Down) & Motel Matches
  • 20 songs and an AMG Five Star rating make this one a Must Own for Costello fans
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Imperial Bedroom

  (Item #: costeimper_1709x) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • With Triple Plus (A+++) sound or something close to it on both sides this is as good a copy as we have ever offered
  • Geoff Emerick engineered, creating a unique sound - a sound which only works if you have the right pressing
  • This dense, darkly serious album contains some of the best songs EC ever wrote - the last of his True Classics
  • Allmusic 5 Stars: "Essentially, the songs on Imperial Bedroom are an extension of Costello's jazz and pop infatuations on Trust. Costello's music is complex and intricate, yet it flows so smoothly, it's easy to miss the bitter, brutal lyrics."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Trust

  (Item #: costetrust_1709) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • With two sides rating a Triple Plus (A+++) or very close to it, this import pressing of Elvis's 1981 brilliant return to form simply could not be beat
  • The clarity and transparency here are superb, allowing you to appreciate subtleties in the high end even when the bass and drums are really POUNDING
  • 5 stars: "Arguably, their most impressive album... demonstrates all sides of Costello's songwriting and performing personality..."
  • "...this is rock and roll as eloquent, hard-hitting pop, and Elvis has turned into such a soul man that I no longer wish he'd change his name to George and go country."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
This Year's Model

  (Item #: costethisy_1708) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • WOW -- an incredible Triple Plus (A+++) side two backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one for this Elvis Costello classic!
  • You're gonna love the sound here - full-bodied and punchy with a solid low end and excellent presence for Elvis's vocals
  • The bass is right - the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs are clear and the band swings the way it's supposed to
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "The most remarkable thing about the album is the sound — Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
My Aim Is True

  (Item #: costemyaim_1710) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding copy, with excellent Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • The sound is lively, punchy, and powerful - with all due respect, it should MURDER whatever copies you may have
  • A massive step up sonically from most domestic pressings, early or otherwise, and guaranteed to handily beat the imports as well
  • 5 stars: "A phenomenal debut, capturing a songwriter and musician whose words were as rich and clever as his music."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Punch The Clock

  (Item #: costepunch_1711) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • You'll find Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this Elvis Costello classic
  • The bottom end here is as punchy, well-defined and powerful as they come - there's plenty of low-end on this record
  • The overall clarity and transparency is superb, allowing you to appreciate subtleties in the top end even when the bass and drums are really pounding
  • "Punch the Clock won't alter anyone's opinion of Elvis Costello because it doesn't represent much of a change for him. He remains the most consistently interesting songwriter in rock & roll, and there is evidence that a new, more emotionally generous sensibility may soon be present in his work." Rolling Stone
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Imperial Bedroom

  (Item #: costeimper_1710) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • Open and present with great size and space, Double Plus (A++) throughout
  • Geoff Emerick engineered, creating a unique sound - a sound which only works if you have the right pressing
  • This dense, darkly serious album contains some of the best songs EC ever wrote - the last of his True Classics
  • Allmusic 5 Stars: "Essentially, the songs on Imperial Bedroom are an extension of Costello's jazz and pop infatuations on Trust. Costello's music is complex and intricate, yet it flows so smoothly, it's easy to miss the bitter, brutal lyrics."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

  (Item #: costearmed_1611x) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides of this early UK press, giving you killer sound from first note to last
  • Some of the biggest, boldest rock sound ever recorded - nothing short of amazing on a pressing like this
  • A Top 100 album - every track is recorded brilliantly - you will have a hard time finding a record with punchier bass than Armed Forces
  • AMG is right: "It's a dense but accessible pop record and ranks as his third masterpiece in a row." 5 Stars
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
King of America

  (Item #: costekingo_1711) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Only the second copy of Elvis's 1986 release to ever hit the site, with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, from first note to last
  • If you've never heard a superb British pressing of this album, you'll be blown away by the huge, clear sound here
  • Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is only one highlight among many - these are some of his best songs
  • AMG raves: "Stripping away much of the excess that cluttered Punch the Clock and Goodbye Cruel World, Elvis Costello returned to his folk-rock and pub rock roots with King of America, creating one of his most affecting and personal records ... one of his masterpieces."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
This Year's Model

  (Item #: costethisy_1710_) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • One of the true Elvis Costello classics returns to the site on UK vinyl with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • You're gonna love the sound here - full-bodied and punchy with a solid low end and excellent presence for Elvis's vocals
  • The bass is right - the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs are clear and the band swings the way it's supposed to
  • 5 stars: "The most remarkable thing about the album is the sound — Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


  more Info










Super Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
Trust

  (Item #: costetrust_1710) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides, this import pressing of Elvis's 1981 brilliant return to form should sound far better than any other copy you've heard
  • The clarity and transparency here are superb, allowing you to appreciate subtleties in the high end even when the bass and drums are really POUNDING
  • 5 stars: "Arguably, their most impressive album... demonstrates all sides of Costello's songwriting and performing personality..."
  • "...this is rock and roll as eloquent, hard-hitting pop, and Elvis has turned into such a soul man that I no longer wish he'd change his name to George and go country."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


  more Info










Hot Stamper

Elvis Costello
This Year's Model

  (Item #: costethisy_1710x) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • One of Elvis Costello's classics returns to the site on UK vinyl, earning very good Hot Stamper grades on both sides
  • You're gonna love the sound here - big and full with excellent presence for Elvis's vocals
  • Fairly quiet vinyl throughout -- Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • 5 stars: "The most remarkable thing about the album is the sound — Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again."
See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Domestic Elvis Costello Records

No Action

  (Item #: costello_domestic) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning music and recordings.

Domestic Elvis Costello pressings don't usually do all that much for us. Boosted highs, poor bass definition and copious amounts of grit and grain -- '70s Columbia at their best, what else is new? The first album and Spike are the only Elvis records I know of that sound good on domestic vinyl. Forget the rest. If you love Elvis Costello as much as we do around here, we suggest you do yourself a favor and trash your domestic LPs -- you need a British or German copy to even get in the ballpark, and that's far from a guarantee of good sound. Elvis is "Still the King," but you would never know it without the right pressing -- like this one.

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Elvis Costello - Armed Forces

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: costearmed_2009) 



This White Hot Stamper side one was HEAD AND SHOULDERS better than ANY side of ANY other copy we played. We are awarding it our very special "Four Plus" A++++ grade; the sound goes beyond anything we've heard before. It's also one of less than two dozen such records to ever hit the site.

At this point we've easily done more than a thousand Hot Stamper listings, so we are talking in the range of the top one or two percent for sound. Most audiophiles will go their whole lives without hearing a rock record sound this good, considering the tens of thousands of records we've had to buy, clean and play to find the handful of OFF THE CHARTS copies we've reviewed.

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Elvis Costello - Blood and Chocolate

Reviewed in 2000

  (Item #: costeblood_2000) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Some brilliant songs on this one: I Want You comes to mind, one of the best tracks Elvis ever laid down. This is not a pretty record -- it's lean, mean, rock and roll, if you're into that sort of thing (which I am of course).

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Elvis Costello - Get Happy

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: costegetha_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

AN AMAZING A+++ WHITE HOT SIDE TWO backed with a pretty darn good side one on this rip-roarin', twenty song, five star rated Elvis Costello extravaganza! We shot out well over a dozen Brit Import copies and this was one of a very small group that really rocked our world. Most copies were veiled, smeary, and thick but this one presents the music with the kind of energy these songs demand.

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Elvis Costello - Girls Girls Girls

Skip It on Vinyl (But Buy the CD Set)

  (Item #: costegirls_1989) 



This is a Minty looking British Import Demon Records LP with Virtually No Sign of Play (VNSOP). This copy sounds decent -- better than you'd find on any domestic copy -- and the songs, spanning the period from 1976 to 1986, are GREAT!


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Elvis Costello - Goodbye Cruel World

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: costegoodb_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

With the amazing I Wanna Be Loved, one of the 10 best Elvis Costello songs of all time!

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Elvis Costello - Mighty Like A Rose

Reviewed in 1991

  (Item #: costemight_1991) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Warner Brothers German Import LP. This is the only vinyl version of this album from 1991. As I recall the sound is pretty good.

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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

180g Rhino LP Debunked

  (Item #: costemyaim_rhino) 



Sonic Grade: D

I’m embarrassed to say we used to like the Rhino Heavy Vinyl version, and in our defense let me tell you why: it was (for the most part) tonally correct, fairly low distortion, and had tight punchy bass.

Boy, was we wrong. Now it sounds positively CRUDE and UNPLEASANT next to the real thing -- if by "the real thing" you mean an honest to goodness Hot Stamper copy. The average copy of this record is aggressive and unpleasant. The British pressings are mud. You either have to work very hard to find a good one (which means buying, cleaning and playing lots and lots of them), or you have to luck into a good one by accident.

See all of our Elvis Costello albums in stock


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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: costemyaim_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

STUNNING! This insanely good pressing earned the rare FOUR PLUS (A++++) grade on side one -- it's OFF THE CHARTS! Side two is incredible as well, earning our standard top grade of Triple Plus (A+++) The sound is incredibly lively, punchy, and powerful; with all due respect, it should MURDER whatever copies you may have. Relatively quiet for this album, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides.

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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

  (Item #: costemyaim_obsess) 



MY AIM IS TRUE is an album we admit to being obsessed with -- just look at the number of commentaries we've written about it.

We love the album and we hope you do too. If you have some time on your hands -- maybe a bit too much time on your hands -- please feel free to check out our commentaries.

This link will take you to all of our other ELVIS COSTELLO albums.


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Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

British Band, British Pressing... Right?

  (Item #: costemyaim_myth) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

The British pressings are simply not competitive with the best domestics. No import, from any country, can touch a good Columbia pressing from the states. The most common stampers for the Columbia pressings have never sounded very good to these ears, but that doesn't mean there aren't some killer copies with different stampers sitting in the bins wearing the generic '70s Red Columbia label. We've heard them. Wish we could find more of them but they are rare and only getting rarer.

See more commentaries as well as our in-stock copies of Elvis Costello's albums


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Elvis Costello - Punch The Clock

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: costepunch_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The bottom end is as punchy, well-defined and powerful as they come. There's plenty of low-end on this record; regrettably most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can't tell you how much you're missing when the bass isn't right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.) When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn't swing the way it's supposed to.

More Elvis Costello


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Elvis Costello - Spike

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: costespike_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

White Hot Stampers for Elvis Costello’s Last Really Good Album and no, they’re not British -- the British ones were a joke. Spike was mixed right here in the good old US of A at Ocean Way (and elsewhere) with plenty of that big bold sound they know how to get at that studio. Drop the needle on the first track and you will hear exactly what I mean.

This White Hot Stamper showed us a Spike we never knew existed -- so much energy and presence to the sound, it came jumping out of the speakers and simply refused to mind its manners. Elvis should be proud. Why don’t more records sound like this?

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Elvis Costello - This Year's Model

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: costethisy_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

PUMP IT UP! This British Import Radar LP has TWO AMAZING SIDES that really convey the energy of this hard rockin’ music. The overall sound is punchy, lively, and dynamic with lots of tight punchy bass. The vocals on both sides are Right On The Money. We don't find copies like this very often -- Hot Stamper pressings are TOUGH to come by.

More Elvis Costello


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Elvis Costello - Trust

The Best Sounding Record of 1981?

  (Item #: costetrust_1981) 



With the right full-range big speaker system, one that can really move air from the midrange down, either side of Trust may end up becoming one of your favorite DEMO DISCS. The overall clarity and transparency of the best British pressings are superb, allowing you to appreciate subtleties in the top end even when the bass and drums are really POUNDING. Play Whisper to a Scream on side two for some of the best pounding on the album. If that song doesn't get your blood pumping, you need a bypass to unblock a few arteries, stat.

Is Trust the best sounding album from 1981? It gets my vote.

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Elvis Costello Arrayed His Forces

and Produced His Single Best Sounding Record

  (Item #: costearmed_best) 



We consider Armed Forces to be one of the best sounding rock records ever made, and a top copy is proof enough to back up our claim. The best copies are extremely transparent and silky sounding, but with unbelievably punchy, rock solid bass and drums.

The sound of the rhythm section of this album ranks up there with the very best ever recorded. Beyond that, the musical chops of this band at this time rank with the very best in the history of rock. Steve, Bruce and Pete rarely get the credit they deserve for being one of the tightest, liveliest backing bands ever to walk into a studio or on to a stage.

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My Aim Is True Can Really Rock

If You Have the Speaker System to Play It

  (Item #: costemyaim_volume) 



Another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

There is a line in the Hot Stamper commentary below concerning driving punk rock bass. Man, this record lives or dies by your ability to reproduce the powerful bottom end that propels this music. Pardon me for cueing up a broken record again, and with all due respect to the things they do well -- they must do something well, right? People keep buying them -- small speakers and screens are not going to cut it on My Aim Is True. This is precisely the kind of album they don’t do well.

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What We Listen For on Elvis Costello's Trust

The Bass Is (Almost) All

  (Item #: costetrust_listen) 



There’s a TON of low-end on this record; regrettably, most copies suffer from either a lack of bass or a lack of bass definition. I can’t tell you how much you’re missing when the bass isn’t right on this album. (Or if you have the typical bass-shy audiophile speaker, yuck.)

It’s without a doubt THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of the sound on this album. When the bass is right, everything falls into place, and the music comes powerfully to life. When the bass is lacking or ill-defined, the music seems labored; the moment-to-moment rhythmic changes in the songs blur together, and the band just doesn’t swing the way it’s supposed to.

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