As you probably know by now, The Analog Kid lives for b-sides and non-album cuts. In this continuing series, I will share some of my favorite EPs and 12″ singles from over the years in their entirety. And since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about correctly setting the turntable speed to  or 33⅓ or 45!

Elvis Costello is the king of the Analog Kid’s digital music collection. There are currently a ridiculous 1,292 Costello songs in my library, due in large part to the fact that his records have been reissued on CD in multiple varying formats over the years. Take This Year’s Model, for example: I own the original Columbia CD, the 1993 Rykodisc reissue, and the 2002 Rhino two-disc set. Each CD has different track listings with multiple bonus track differences, so all are essential to an Elvis nut like me.

Despite all of these reissues and repackages, there are still a few Costello tracks that have never seen the light of day on an official CD release. Two of these tracks are on The Only Flame In Town 12″ single, released domestically by Columbia Records in 1984. The “Special Mix” of “The Only Flame In Town” highlights the great guest vocal appearance from Daryl Hall, and of course manages to throw in some wonderfully dated ’80s remix cliches as well. The b-side “Baby It’s You” (with guest vocals from Nick Lowe) appears on the Out Of Our Idiot compilation as well as both the Rykodisc and Rhino reissues of Goodbye Cruel World, but the “1984 Monster Mix” of “Pump It Up” is also unique to this hard-to-find 12″.

In his liner notes to the Rhino reissue of Goodbye Cruel World, Elvis has this to say about “The Only Flame In Town:”

This was one of two tracks that were given the concentrated production approach and, like many cuts on the record, makes excessive use of the new DX7 synthesizer, the tone of which might as well date-stamp the album to an exact week in 1984. It is not a sound that has improved with age.

That may be true, but “The Only Flame In Town” is still a lot of fun to listen to. It doesn’t really sound like anything else in Elvis’ vast catalog, and this special 12″ remix only adds to its charms.

The Only Flame In Town 1

Elvis Costello & The Attractions: The Only Flame In Town

Columbia Records, 1984

Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid

1. “The Only Flame In Town” [Special Mix] (Costello)

2. “Baby It’s You” (Bacharach/David/Williams)

3. “Pump It Up” [1984 Monster Mix] (Costello)


Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions: “The Only Flame In Town” (Costello)

Promotional video, 1984


Elvis Costello & The Attractions: “Turning The Town Red” (Costello)

B-side of the 7″ single The Only Flame In Town

Columbia Records, 1984

Baby It's You

The Shirelles: “Baby It’s You” (Bacharach/David/Williams)

From the album Baby It’s You

Scepter Records, 1962

Baby It's You

The Beatles: “Baby It’s You” (Bacharach/David/Williams)

From the album Live At The BBC

Capitol Records, 1995

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

4 responses »

  1. georg says:

    The ‘Only Flame In Town’ and ‘Pump It Up’ remixes actually were released on the now-deleted (I think?) Singles Volume 3 box set, released back in 2003:

    Definitely a worthwhile investment – though not $240 for a new box on Amazon! – though it frustratingly leaves out the 1985 ‘Green Shirt’ remix.

    Also, glad to see another Elvis Costello mega-fan!

  2. Mark says:

    Ah, the DX7. I remember seeing one at a music expo in 1985 and thinking “I have to have one of those.” Every band was using it. Alas, my budget wouldn’t allow it. Most music is “dated” by the production quality and equipment that was used at the time. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing.

  3. Mistah Pete says:

    Oooh, very sad that these are embedded. But a great post all the same, for a fellow Costello-head!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s