Elvis Costello accelerates to 78 rpm for ‘National Ransom’


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Elvis Costello’s forthcoming album, “National Ransom,” mines a century’s worth of pop music history in both the characters, scenarios and themes in his songs, and in the atmospheric sound that producer T Bone Burnett has given the record.

So it makes perfect sense that Costello, a voracious fan of music of all styles, would want to add a vintage touch of some kind in conjunction with the album’s release come Nov. 2.


Vinyl LP version? Everyone’s doing that nowadays, so Costello is going one step beyond: He’s releasing four songs on a pair of 78 rpm discs.

A whimsical announcement about the 78s has been posted on Costello’s website, sounding much like the fancifully stylized introductions he gives his musical guests on the Sundance Channel “Spectacle” show:

“Lupe-O-Tone -- Purveyors of fine flat phonograph records & cylinders since 1913. Our motto is ‘Ego sum satus infremo.’ Lupe-O-Tone present 78 rpm discs in full Lycanthropic Sound. …‘A Slow Dance With Josephine’ b/w ‘You Hung the Moon’ and ‘Jimmie Standing in the Rain’ b/w ‘A Voice in the Dark,’ by the Lupotonians with vocal refrain by Elvis Costello.”

The 78s will be pressed in limited editions of 25 copies, each signed by Costello. No price is mentioned, but the announcement promises more details to come.

-- Randy Lewis