Elvis Costello: “Alison”

ON THIS DATE (35 YEARS AGO)
May 27, 1977 – Elvis Costello:  “Alison” b/w “Welcome To The Working Week” (Stiff BUY 14) 45 single is released in the UK.
“Alison” is the fifth track on Elvis Costello’s first album, My Aim Is True, released in 1977. Because “Alison” was recorded before Elvis Costello and the Attractions formed, his backing band was Clover. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it #318 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and Entertainment Weekly voted it as one of Costello’s top 10 greatest tunes.
Costello has divulged little on the meaning of the song other than to say that it is about “disappointing somebody” and to deny suggestions that the lines “somebody better put out the big light” and “my aim is true” refer to murder. He has also declined to reveal who the song is about, writing in the liner notes for Girls Girls Girls, “Much could be undone by saying more.”
“Alison” was released as a single in the United Kingdom with a B-side of “Welcome to the Working Week” and as two singles in the United States; one with a mono version of the same song on the B-side, the other with “Miracle Man”. The US (and Canadian) single versions of “Alison” are unique in that someone at CBS in the US decided to add synth-strings, background singers and echo to the song.

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Filed under Alison, Elvis Costello, Stiff Records

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