Elvis Costello to fans: my label is gouging you on my new box set; don't buy it. Buy Louis Armstrong music instead, and download my stuff by "unconventional means"


21 Responses to “Elvis Costello to fans: my label is gouging you on my new box set; don't buy it. Buy Louis Armstrong music instead, and download my stuff by "unconventional means"”

  1. Just_Ok says:

    I guess I’ll be watching for the detectives

  2. Nothing could make me want to buy his work more than that lovely piece of insider industry criticism along with a humble attitude of comparison with Louis Armstrong. Thanks for the honesty, Mr. Costello.

  3. Adam Koford says:

    Here’s a strange coincidence: the first two cds I ever purchased were a Louis Armstrong record and Elvis Costello’s Spike.

  4. John Ohno says:

    Remember when Trent Reznor said this of Year Zero? (Specifically of the Australian release, though people enthusiastically took it out of context to apply to everything from the US release to copies of Pretty Hate Machine, which was retroactively justified when he did pay-what-you-want for The Slip and Ghosts I-IV)

  5. phisrow says:

    Bittorrent is merely a continuation of consumption by other means.

  6. Jim Saul says:

    But wait… if you order it at Amazon for $202, you’ll receive a $1 (one!) and a $2 (two!) voucher for purchase of Amazon mp3s.

    That’s a total of $3 (three!) in savings!

  7. duc chau says:

    I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
    I wanna bite that hand so badly
    I want to make them wish they’d never seen me

  8. Would “unconventional means” include inviting Mr. Costello over to my house for an impromptu concert?

  9. scifijazznik says:

    And if you buy some Louis Armstrong, buy the Hot Fives and Sevens stuff.  It’s spectacular and you won’t regret it.  Comprised of several sessions in the mid-to-late ’20s, this is very young Louis, recorded way before “What a Wonderful World” and “Hello Dollie.”  It is the Real Deal.


  10. Daen de Leon says:

    And these are the reasons we love Mr Costello.

  11. dawdler says:

    The headline is a bit misleading.  How do you translate “assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means” into an imperative statement?  Was he winking when he said it?  If so, that should have been mentioned.

  12. jambon says:

    I love everything about this story, everything!

  13. Scratcheee says:

    This is very timely.  Though not a huge fan, I saw Elvis Costello in concert in 1994, in Hiroshima.  One of the songs I had never heard before, and it blew me away.  Only a few years ago was I finally able to Google a tiny snippet of partially correct lyrics, to learn the name of the song.  Then I discovered that it did not appear on any of his albums, nor was it for sale on any download site.  Finally, I discovered a rare CD containing the song, for sale by a private individual on a website in the U.K (though it did appear to be some sort of official release.)  I bought that CD, and have been wrestling with whether I should rip it and send it to my friends who were with me that night.  Maybe this is my answer!

    It was Basement Kiss:

    Did you bruise your arms on those false alarms?Did you bruise your pride on his smile so wide?Only fingertips from forbidden blissDid you bruise your lips in this basement kiss?

  14. Now I can put Mr Costello in my Musician Hero book beside Tom Petty.  Thank you, anti-gouging musician people!

  15. Greekster says:

    More proof why Elvis is awesome. I hope more artists start challenging their labels like this.

    Though I think “Steal this Record” is to be taken metaphorically rather than literally. He’s not saying music should never have to be paid for, in fact he recommends buying the Armstrong album (which I think I just might).

    His headline is more of a protest and a message that record companies need to continually hear, “If you continue gouge the consumer and engage in draconian copyright practices, you drive them to download through torrents and make the art of digital theft justified.”

  16. Crispinus211 says:

    Isn’t “Steal This Record” an allusion to Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book (1970)?

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