Elvis Costello – Taking Liberties

Taking Liberties front cover
Taking Liberties front cover

Imagine that someone who has been recording for about four years has amassed enough b-side and unreleased material that it deserves to be released on a collection of its own — and it’s a great collection. That’s Elvis’s “Taking Liberties.” It came out in 1980 and featured 20 tracks that were either B-sides or hadn’t been released in the US. Coming on the heels of a 20-track album of new material, it’s an indication of how prolific Elvis was in those days.

Taking Liberties back cover
Taking Liberties back cover – The breathless liner note is a direct lift from “A Gene Vincent Record Date,” adapted for Costello’s collection

As with the other Elvis Costello LPs, I experienced this first through the CD version in the later ‘80s, and at some point picked up the vinyl on final discount. With the other early albums, I didn’t have them on CD yet; I’m pretty sure I already had “Taking Liberties” on CD when I got the vinyl, so I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, but I must have thought someday I’d want to hear these on a turntable.

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