Saturday, March 25, 2017

Elvis stiffs

Elvis Costello : Less Than Zero

March 25, 1977 is kind of an inauspicious date for Elvis Costello and his fans. It's the date Stiff released his first single, "Less Than Zero", a song that has the prescient line "Let's talk about the future now/ We'll put the past away". Though produced by Nick Lowe, and considered by many to be a classic in the  Costello song catalog, this mix of "Less Than Zero", with a slightly more prominent organ,  was not the breakthrough single.

Maybe it was the subject matter. Costello wrote the lyrics after watching former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley deny his antisemitic past on television:

"Less Than Zero" was a song I had written after seeing the despicable Oswald Mosley being interviewed on BBC television. The former leader of the British Union of Fascists seemed unrepentant about his poisonous actions of the 1930s. The song was more of a slandering fantasy than a reasoned argument

1 comment:

  1. Love seeing that cover. The flip side was pretty telling. This wasn't going to be your run of the mill punk.