On 12/6, Hip-O will release The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook, a new live box set from Elvis Costello and his backing band the Imposters. But though Costello might be proud of the final product, he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want us, the public, to buy it. On Costello’s website, a post titled “Steal This Record” makes the reason plain: It costs too damn much.
At Amazon, the box retails for $202.64, and the post on Costello’s site says that this amount “appears to be either a misprint or a satire.”
It goes on:
All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping — when there are really bigger fish to filet these days — we are taking the following unusual step.
If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, Ambassador Of Jazz — a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived -– Louis Armstrong.
The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.
If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.
Record labels be warned: Old punks are still punks. Read the whole glorious screed here.