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Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Elvis Costello Catalog

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Elvis Costello was as much a pub rocker as he was a punk rocker and nowhere is that more evident than on his debut, My Aim Is True. It's not just that Clover, a San Franciscan rock outfit led by Huey Lewis (absent here), back him here, not the Attractions; it's that his sensibility is borrowed from the pile-driving rock & roll and folksy introspection of pub rockers like Brinsley Schwarz, adding touches of cult singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and David Ackles. Then, there's the infusion of pure nastiness and cynical humor, which is pure Costello. That blend of classicist sensibilities and cleverness make this collection of shiny roots rock a punk record -- it informs his nervy performances and his prickly songs. Of all classic punk debuts, this remains perhaps the most idiosyncratic because it's not cathartic in sound, only in spirit. Which, of course, meant that it could play to a broader audience, and Linda Ronstadt did indeed cover the standout ballad "Alison." Still, there's no mistaking this for anything other than a punk record, and it's a terrific one at that, since even if he buries his singer/songwriter inclinations, they shine through as brightly as his cheerfully mean humor and immense musical skill; he sounds as comfortable with a '50s knockoff like "No Dancing" as he does on the reggae-inflected "Less Than Zero." Costello went on to more ambitious territory fairly quickly, but My Aim Is True is a phenomenal debut, capturing a songwriter and musician whose words were as rich and clever as his music. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1981 | UMe - Elvis Costello

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Following the frenzied pop-soul of Get Happy!!, Elvis Costello & the Attractions quickly returned to the studio and recorded Trust, their most ambitious and eclectic album to date. As if he were proving his stylistic diversity and sophistication after the concentrated genre experiment of Get Happy!!, Costello assembled Trust as a stylistic tour de force, packing the record with a wild array of material. "Clubland" has jazzy flourishes, "Lovers' Walk" rolls to a Bo Diddley beat, "Luxembourg" is rockabilly redux, "Watch Your Step" is soul-pop, "From a Whisper to a Scream" rocks as hard as anything since This Year's Model, "Shot with His Own Gun" is Tin Pan Alley pop, "Different Finger" is the first country song he put on an official album, and that's not even counting highlights like "New Lace Sleeves" and "White Knuckles," which essentially stick to Costello's signature pop, but offer more complex arrangements and musicianship than before. In fact, both "complexity" and "sophistication" are keywords to the success of Trust -- without delving into the minutely textured arrangements that would dominate his next pop album, Imperial Bedroom -- Costello & the Attractions demonstrate their musical skill and savvy by essentially sticking to the direct sound of their four-piece band. In the process, they recorded, arguably, their most impressive album, one that demonstrates all sides of Costello's songwriting and performing personality without succumbing to pretentiousness. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo