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NEAR TRUTHS:
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RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
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WORLDWIDE GROOVE
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Critics' Choice
ELVIS COSTELLO'S FORCES
TO BE RECKONED WITH
10/2/20

Elvis Costello has long been personally involved in reissues of his catalog, but he takes it to a new level by enhancing his revered and essential 1979 album, The Complete Armed Forces.

UMe is releasing on 11/6 a super deluxe edition box set with nine pieces of vinyl—three 12-inch LPs, three 10-inch LPs and three 7-inch singles—that includes a new remaster of the album, B-sides, alternate versions and outtakes, demos, and live recordings. Costello’s shows in ’78 and ’79 with The Attractions were explosive and the set includes –23 unreleased live tracks from three concerts.

Available today are three live performances—“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?,” “Goon Squad” and “Pump It Up.”

The lavish box set embraces Barney Bubbles’ epic pop-art packaging, including the paint-splattered cover artwork by Bubbles and Bazooka (used for the American release and included in the fold-out U.K. version) and features a unique origami cover that folds out to display the bold art and graphics and the six vinyl LPs.

This set contains seven custom notebooks with newly updated liner notes from Costello, facsimiles of first-draft, handwritten lyrics and rare photos, memorabilia and concert ephemera.

“Most of this record was written in hotel rooms or on a tour bus, scribbled in a notebook which rarely left my side or failing this, from fragments and phrases scrawled on paper cocktail napkins or hotel notepaper,” Costello writes in the liner notes.

The comprehensive set also includes a print of the vintage grenade and gun poster and the four original postcards of each band member. Additionally, Costello commissioned acclaimed artist Todd Alcott to create pulp novel book covers of songs from Armed Forces starring himself as the protagonist in a variety of precarious situations.