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.
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)
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
The Shirelles: “Baby It’s You” (Bacharach/David/Williams)
From the album Baby It’s You
Scepter Records, 1962
The Beatles: “Baby It’s You” (Bacharach/David/Williams)
From the album Live At The BBC
Capitol Records, 1995