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My Aim Is True

Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

An Album We Are Clearly Obsessed With

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.

Sku # : costemyaim_obsess

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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.

’70s era JBLs, the ones with the fifteen inch woofers, as awful as they may be in most respects, do a better job with an album like this than the average audiophile speaker system being sold today.

Two six inch woofers is not what anybody had in mind when they pictured the playback system for My Aim Is True -- correctly, in my opinion.

We're talking about one of the best records in the history of rock and roll. It will never sound dated. It will never go out of style. It will reward repeated listenings from now until you lose your hearing. In that respect it's like all the best records both you and I own: they are timeless priceless treasures.

Check out our Hot Stamper commentary from a while back:

A Super Hot Stamper Side One gives you Elvis Costello at something close to his wildest, most rockin' BEST. The sound is open and airy, with practically none of the grain that ruins most copies. Add DRIVING BASS and it all comes together for this side one.

You just don't find copies of this record that are this musical and transparent with the delicacy and sweetness of the top end found here unless you are very lucky or play a ton of copies. We do shootouts for albums like this the old fashioned way -- we play a ton of copies -- because relying on luck is not what are Elvis Costello-loving customers are paying us for. They want Hot Stampers, and this record has 'em! One Super, one Regular.

We Was Wrong

We used to like the Rhino Heavy Vinyl and I can tell you why: it was (for the most part) tonally correct, fairly low distortion, and had tight punchy bass.

But it sounds positively CRUDE and UNPLEASANT next to the real thing -- if by real thing you mean a serious Hot Stamper copy. The average copy of this record is aggressive and unpleasant. 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.

Side One Is Killer

Yes, it's lively and has that driving punk rock bass, but what sets this copy apart from the average pressing is the top end -- it's oh so silky and smooth! We rarely hear this album with such a sweet top end! Who knew? As a consequence the vocals end up being more present and transparent.

This copy has it going on. Crude and distorted? Yes, there is still some Garage Band Sound; it's no doubt what the engineers and producer Nick Lowe were going for. But a top copy like this one shows you that the recording is not nearly as crude and distorted as you're used to. Needless to say it blew our minds.

This side one gets the A Double Plus, Almost As Good As It Gets honors this time around.

Side two is quite good, but not quite in the same league as side one of this copy. It's rich and sweet like the best, but has some of the grit and grain and congestion in the loud parts that plagues 95% of the LPs out there in used record land. Still, even an A+ side is worlds better than the Rhino Heavy Vinyl -- now out of print, good riddance to bad rubbish.

This is the man's Masterpiece as well as a Desert Island Disc for yours truly.

What qualifies a record to be a Masterpiece needs no explanation. We will make every effort to limit the list to one entry per artist or group, although some exceptions have already occurred to me, so that rule will no doubt be broken from time to time. As Ralph Waldo Emerson so memorably wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

For a record to come to my Desert Island Disc, said record: 1) must have at some time during my fifty years as a music lover and audio enthusiast been played enthusiastically, fanatically even, causing me to feel what Leonard Bernstein called "the joy of music"; 2) my sixty year old self must currently respect the album, and; 3) I must think I will want to listen to the music fairly often and well into the future (not knowing how long I may be stranded there).

How many records meet the Desert Island Disc criteria? Certainly many more than you can see when you click on the link, but new titles will be added as time permits.

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