Elvis Costello / Armed Forces unboxed

SDEtv confronts Armed Forces, the new vinyl box set of Elvis Costello and the Attractions 1979 which has ruffled some feathers by being both very expensive and not available on CD! Watch the video…

Armed Forces vinyl box is out now. It’s only available through Universal-owned channels such as The Sound of Vinyl and uDiscoverMusic.

Armed Forces vinyl LP

Side 1
1 Accidents Will Happen
2 Senior Service
3 Oliver’s Army
4 Big Boys
5 Green Shirt
6 Party Girl

Side 2
1 Goon Squad
2 Busy Bodies
3 Sunday’s Best
4 Moods For Moderns
5 Chemistry Class
6 Two Little Hitlers
7 (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere 1978 12-inch vinyl LP

Side 1
1 Accidents Will Happen
2 Mystery Dance
3 Goon Squad
4 Party Girl
5 Stranger In The House

Side 2
1 Alison
2 Lipstick Vogue
3 Watching The Detectives
4 You Belong To Me
5 Chemistry Class (Live at The Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.)

Europe ‘79 – Live At Pinkpop 12-inch vinyl LP

Side 1
1 Goon Squad
2 B-Movie
3 Green Shirt
4 (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea
5 Opportunity
6 So Young
7 High Fidelity

Side 2
1 Lipstick Vogue
2 Watching The Detectives
3 Big Boys
4 Pump It Up
5 You Belong To Me
6 (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Live In Sydney ’78 10-inch vinyl

Side 1
1 Oliver’s Army
2 Waiting For The End Of The World
3 Big Boys

Side 2
1 This Year’s Girl
2 You Belong To Me
3 Pump It Up

Christmas In The Dominion – Live 24th December ’78 10-inch vinyl

Side 1
1 (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
2 No Dancing

Side 2
1 I Stand Accused
2 (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Sketches for Emotional Fascism 10-inch vinyl

Side 1
1 Clean Money
2 Talking In The Dark
3 Wednesday Week
4 Tiny Steps

Side 2
1 Crawling To The U.S.A.
2 Big Boys (Alternate Version)
3 Green Shirt (Demo Version)
4 My Funny Valentine

Accidents Will Happen seven-inch
1 Accidents Will Happen
2 Busy Bodies (Alternate)

Oliver’s Army seven-inch
1 Oliver’s Army
2 Big Boys (Demo)

American Squirm seven-inch (Nick Lowe & His Sound )
1 American Squirm
2 (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?


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Nice. Looks amazing but the price is pretty steep. If EC releases it on CD, I’m there.

Gilles Borgogno

I’m there TOO. Very Expensive!!! TOO MUCH! You’re right!!!

cora fowler

just way too expensive

[…] saw your Elvis Costello unboxing video which seems like something he’s been quite involved in; I mean I might be […]

David Bly

Regarding the singles, it’s disappointing that they didn’t leave the tracks like the original singles were and put the alternates on the 10” (or wherever they put them).
Also, they missed an opportunity to redo the original first version of the ”Accidents Will Happen” sleeve which is like the one in the box set but flipped ijnside-out. That is to say to say that the cober is all white, with the picture on the inside, as if it was an accident…


Also, in addition to the non-inside out sleeve, there was a third version (same catalgoue number) showing the shp advertising “Fish Is Brain Fodd!” on the front and EC in a silvery outfit on the back…


Also, while the ”Hollywood High” EP was released with the LP, there was another Barney Bubbles-designed 7” sleeve/single not present – the free single of ”Talking In The Dark” and ”Wednesday Week’ given away at the 1978 London Dominion Christmas shows in 1978, the 3 New York shows in January 1979, and when buying the Armed Forces LP at any January 1979 UK concert. Oddly enough I have one, although I was not at any of those shows (I think I bought in at Bleeker Bob’s* in NYC)…


Lastly, regarding the Nick Lowe single, which is credited very accurately on the B-side to ”Nick Lowe and His Sound”, one must remember that ”Peace, Love and Understanding” was NOT on the UK ”Armed Forces” album originally and was therefore the only place to find it.
And if you did not know about it, there was a very obvious clue on the back cover.
If you look very close in the bottom right of the back cover, just over Nick’s left shoulder you can see the image of Elvis with the camera from the US cover of ‘This Year’s Model” in the reflection of the window. I assume this is from a cardboard promotional stand-up which I have a copy of. Here’s the best image I could find…

comment image

Note also that as the orignal UK album did not have that song on it, but the new version in the box does, meaning there are 7 songss on side two instead of 6 (”Sunday’s Best” was not of the US version, and the UK version ended with ”Two Little Hitlers”. I think it’s problematic sticking one more song on the vinyl, even as the album has been remastered.

Semi-unrelated, I have both the original Brinsley Schwarz 7” and the album it was on ”The New Favourites Of Brinsley Schwarz”

*Speaking of Bleeker Bob, he was known to be a bit of a jerk, and you didn’t want to haggle with him. Columbia released a red vinyl promo single of “P, L & U” backed with ”My Funny Valentine” that was given away at a couple of NYC shows arounf Valentine’s Day. Luckily I was in the store when Bob was not there and aslked a clerk if I could get the single for cheaper than $15. He just gave me the single for free and said ”just don’t tell Bob”! I never did.


mark kirk

This was my first Elvis Costello album… my fiancé at the time (early spring of ’79 / now wife of over 41 years) brought it home for me after a days shopping with her mum. It stayed on my turntable for a month or more, before I took it off and listened to something else – more than likely ‘This Years Model’ or ‘My Aim Is True’, as I became a complete EC Geek within 30 seconds of ‘Accidents Will Happen’.
So yeah, I do love this album. But I also love CD’s and am still extremely reluctant to jump back on the Vinyl Train. So I’m thinking of going the download route – 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC from 7digital and making my own custom made CD’s. I have to say, the samples on the site sound fantastic and I’m thinking it’s going to be well worth the $41.99 CDN.
But I have to ask, and this is for anyone who’s gone this route – is any artwork included at all? I’m planning on making my own deluxe edition and I’m hoping I can use some of what – to me anyway – looks like an amazing package.

Tim K

Hi Mark

Just bought the download version from Amazon (yet to listen to though!) for under £20 but no artwork/pdfs etc. That said, I am happy with all the music here and I’m not going to be forced to pay out for the vinyl edition as it’s far too expensive and, as you say, you can burn to your own CDs.

mark kirk

Thanks for the reply Tim.
Yeah, I purchased the flac download from 7digital.ca this morning – and like you mentioned with the amazon download, no artwork pdf’s (which was just wishful thinking on my part). But regardless of that, I’ve already printed and burned the discs and listening to the second CD now (Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere ’78 + Live in Sydney ’78 – sounds great!). I used sections of the Barney Bubbles origami design for the discs themselves, and I must say they do look pretty good.
As mentioned in the thread below the entire set fits nicely on three discs… one studio and two live:

curated by Elvis Costello

Armed Forces LP
1. Accidents Will Happen
2. Senior Service
3. Oliver’s Army
4. Big Boys
5. Green Shirt
6. Party Girl
7. Goon Squad
8. Busy Bodies
9. Sunday’s Best
10. Moods For Moderns
11. Chemistry Class
12. Two Little Hitlers
13. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?
Sketches for Emotional Fascism 10-inch vinyl
14. Clean Money
15. Talking In The Dark
16. Wednesday Week
17. Tiny Steps
18. Crawling To The U.S.A.
19. Big Boys (Alternate Version)
20. Green Shirt (Demo Version)
21. My Funny Valentine
Accidents Will Happen seven-inch
22. Accidents Will Happen
23. Busy Bodies (Alternate)
Oliver’s Army seven-inch
24. Oliver’s Army
25. Big Boys (Demo)
American Squirm seven-inch (Nick Lowe & His Sound )
26. American Squirm
27. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere 1978
1. Accidents Will Happen
2. Mystery Dance
3. Goon Squad
4. Party Girl
5. Stranger In The House
6. Alison
7. Lipstick Vogue
8. Watching The Detectives
9. You Belong To Me
10. Chemistry Class (Live at The Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.)
Live In Sydney ’78
11. Oliver’s Army
12. Waiting For The End Of The World
13. Big Boys
14. This Year’s Girl
15. You Belong To Me
16. Pump It Up

Christmas In The Dominion – Live 24th December ’78
1. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
2. No Dancing
3. I Stand Accused
4. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?
Europe ‘79 – Live At Pinkpop
5. Goon Squad
6. B-Movie
7. Green Shirt
8. (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea
9. Opportunity
10. So Young
11. High Fidelity
12. Lipstick Vogue
13. Watching The Detectives
14. Big Boys
15. Pump It Up
16. You Belong To Me
17. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

I’m planning on finishing it up with a mini reproduction of the vinyl origami packaging to house it. It won’t be as good as the real thing, but it will do just fine for me!

Tim K

Wow – now that’s what I call a CD Special edition !!

Stevie T

Hi Mark, re track 23 on your disc 1 – does it actually play as Busy Bodies (alternate), or does it repeat Big Boys demo?


I’m surprised how cheaply made some of it looks. There’s a lot of plain white cardboard/paper and particularly those folders could have been felt-lined on the inside or at least been a bit thicker and coloured on the inside as well.
That piece of foam could have been replaced with a slim box in which they could have put some gimmicks like pencils and socks. as the artwork would look great on pencils and socks in particular.

The sleeves of the 7-inch-singles look a bit too small and pulling the vinyl out of them looks like something you wouldn’t want to do all too often.
Why don’t they make jewel cases for vinyl records?
I hate them for CDs, but at least for 7-inch-vinyl they’d provide more protection than sleeves that are too small.

But it’s really nice of Elvis that he allowed the music to be available for digital purchase and streaming.
I think it sounds great and much, much better than my Demon CD, which is a boomy, hollow mess compared to the new mastering.


This is obviously a bit of a Christmas cash grab. It looks nice, if this were normally priced at $100-$130 I don’t think this set would have upset people so much. For $130 the colored vinyl set is a nice novelty. An autographed card would have also not been out if order here for the kind of luxury item this is aiming to be. My copy of unfaithful music was autographed, book and CD, and it cost about face value. I see some of your points about cutting corners, the ribbon would have been better. The 7″ singles would have looked better in their own pouch. The booklets really needed something to hold them as well. An actual replica of the Hollywood high 7″ is obviously missing for authenicity sake, and last, the deluxe set should have colored vinyl on the 7″ singles. This reminds me of the Frankie “Inside the Pleasuredome” however the OTT production on that one and the fact that you also got a DVD, unreleased studio material and a hi-res digital download also puts this to shame. If this were marketed on CD with full shows and unreleased alternate takes and rejected mixes, like the recent well curated Seeds of Love reissue then there would be little to complain about. Atleast the records are poly lined sleeves!

Stevie T

This debacle has reminded me how good the 10 Bloody Mary’s compilation is, containing much of the bonus material from EC’s first four albums (cd reissues) . Still available on cd for about a fiver for 20 tracks, all killer no filler. Out of our Idiot is not too shabby either.


Talking of which, this reminds me that forty years ago, Mr. Costello had ‘previous’ for being contrary about release formats! Way back in 1980, the UK ’10 Blood Mary’s’ compilation initially was infuriatingly issued by F-beat only on cassette while the equivalent US version titled ‘Taking Liberties’ was released on vinyl by Columbia. Track listings for both were excellent in mopping up non-album tracks for each market, with 3 alterations due to the US album variations. Begrudgingly, I did buy the US vinyl version on import, missing out on ‘Watching the detectives’, ‘Radio Radio’ and ‘What’s so funny’. (It did have a nice old black Columbia-style ‘Costello’ labels though). Fortunately by the time I decided to replace my EC vinyl with CDs some years later, Demon had re-issued his back catalogue with ‘extended play’ bonus tracks rendering these compilations superfluous. I passed on the later 2CD editions. Prompted by this discussion, I listened to those first four studio albums (+ bonus tracks) for the first time in a decade and they really are superb.

Stevie T

Thanks for the reminder about the cassette release. I had forgotten that was how I originally bought 10 Bloody Mary’s! Had that, and… Idiot on vinyl, then replaced both with cd.

Scott Mills

Elvis recently did an interview with Variety discussing the boxed set and his new release, Hey Clockface. It includes some of his thoughts on what is included in the box and the release of a CD version. Additionally, it includes an unboxing video of the color vinyl version of the box.


Scott Mills

My thoughts exactly. He clearly read your post, and possibly others, and asked good questions which got us closer to the answers we are looking for. Elvis is my favorite songwriter and Armed Forces is certainly one of this best albums. I have several vinyl and CD versions and feel that this is a great addition to my collection. I sprung for the colored vinyl version.


‘Your’re more likely to damage a cd in transit than a cassette…’
Really?? Making a case for cassettes? Come on!
Whatever, this looks lovely but I can live without it. I love Elvis but must beg to differ on this one, it does also seem it was the royalty thing that ticked him off originally.
I do agree though that there are more important things to worry about:)

J Douglas

A shout out for Americathon? A tip of the cap to you, Paul for your knowledge of forgotten 70’s movies. And a warning to anyone who may be curious, no need to seek out the flick for EC (or Meat Loaf, who also appears briefly).
For what this may be worth, the next time Elvis Costello says something outrageous like CDs are “a medium that’s seen it’s day”, we may be best served remembering he announced his intention to provoke when he adopted his stage name.


Another excellent unboxing video. Thanks, Paul.
I have my 2 1/2 Years cd box set from Ryko and I’m very happy.


This is a nice looking set. But do I want Armed Forces on vinyl again? No. Having bought it twice I don’t really want to buy it on CD again either, so I am quite glad there isn’t a CD version with extra tracks to make me twitchy. Do I need any more Costello live shows? No. It’s a well-loved album and a great era for Elvis but I need to get over it. He has got a fine new album out after all. Here’s hoping the next few EC reissues are also ones that I don’t have to buy!


Great video Paul, shame i wont be getting it though because of no cd version…

George wickham

Thanks Paul
Think I will give it a miss
Keep up the good work

David Kuznets

For those of us (like me) who don’t want vinyl only or can’t afford such an expensive and unnecessary set, the entire content seems to be available on Spotify (and probably other streaming services)ying.st sa. Ju

Don Henson

I live in the US. I got the colored vinyl for $185. I have to say I am quite happy with it. I don’t really have an interest in the McCartney reissues, so I cannot use them as a comparison. I would say I found it to be beautifully made. The vinyl sounds great and the packaging suits the time and release. There is a complete digital download available and a 24/192 of the album itself with the addition of (What’s So Funny…).


Not worth the money, i’ll stick with my Mofi pressing which is outstanding


Darren, I have the MOFI pressing too! Bought it second hand for £15

Paul Lewis

Great video, thanks Paul. I’m a massive EC fan, I love Armed Forces, I was at the Dominion, and I own pretty much everything he’s released. But impressive as this is, in many ways, I can’t see any way to justify spending £200 on a box which has very little genuinely essential unreleased audio (no studio tracks at all) and isn’t actually complete (due to the Hollywood High issue you highlight). It’s just horribly overpriced for a few notebooks. I might buy it at half the price, but this just doesn’t add up. It pains the collector in me not to own it, but then I think what else I can collect for £200!


Great video, Paul. I’m a long-time hardcore EC fan, so I took the plunge (and I do mean plunge!) on the colored vinyl set. Even I have to admit that this set under delivers and is wildly overpriced. I guess it’s not too surprising considering that in previous reissues (Ryko and Rhino) Armed Forces always had the fewest amount of bonus material. There just isn’t much to pick from. I would argue that even Hollywood High isn’t really an Armed Forces show – it took place seven months before the album was released and the full show only contains three Armed Forces tracks. I suspect this set wasn’t issued on CD because it would have been at most a 3-disc set and could not have commanded anywhere near the price of this vinyl set. And no download code? Amazing.

I will say that the books look interesting, but overall the package doesn’t look posh enough to justify the price tag.

One minor quibble with the video – Paul, you stated that the American Squirm single has the “album version” of Peace, Love, and Understanding on it. There really is no album version of the song as it was never on the original album. It was added to the US version of the album and eventually the UK version – so all versions are the “single” version.

Ian Gair

Thanks for posting the unboxing video Paul detailing the contents of this deluxe box set and providing details concerning missing live tracks which are available on CD.

Are the 4 postcards, doubled sided with the Don’t Join Postcard text / graphics ?

The 7″ sleeve reproductions do not have the ada ** catalogue numbers.

The backing sheet reprises the original grenade hype sticker on the original UK sleeve which was yellow & red in design indicating the Free EP Inside ~ I wonder why there are 4 of them on this set?

This Box set seems to me an art project, in homage of Barney Bubbles and the lovely 7 custom comic books and pulp novels, would fit in a CD box quite easily :)

In 2017 UMe issued the Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell Limited deluxe box which was limited to 2,000 signed copies worldwide with the first 500 including a bonus cassette. This set is available on discogs for £170 mint / sealed, so these Elvis Costello Fan will wait for a more appropriate price for this box set before purchase.

Stevie T

Paul, if you have a chance would you be able to check the b side of the Accidents 7″ as I believe it duplicates Big Boys demo by mistake. If so this is stunning, in a bad way!


I believe that this was an error on the digital download (which I assume has since been corrected). As far as I know, the physical product does not have this error.

Stevie T

Cheers Paul. However, I believe the situation is as follows. Big Boys alternate is on the Sketches 10″. Big Boys demo is on the b side of Oliver’s Army 7″. The b side of Accidents should be Busy Bodies alternate, but replicates Big Boys demo. All these bloody Bs are very confusing! They certainly seem to have confused someone at the pressing plant.


Off topic but have you ditched your CD jewel cases, Paul? It’s something I’ve been considering – any regrets or needs must?

Another quality video, btw. Not a product I was in for but always interesting to see how these sets are put together.


Nice heads up Mark, I have never bought a standalone download before, but for £20 for this & no cd version available I couldn’t say no, this was my favourite album at school & I would love the box, but way too much for me, the download already on my phone & laptop.
I wouldn’t be on this site if I didn’t like holding the music in my hand, but with a price difference of £180 it’s a no brainer.

Julian John Hancock

Yes, me to. I might have paid 2 or 3 times the download price for a CD set, but I can’t justify £200 for what a vinyl version of essentially 3 CDs (3 hours 16 mins) worth of material. It’s fair enough if you just want it as a an artefact, but terrible value if your main concern is the music


I don’t really mind the lack of a CD option but what I’d really like is everything on a blu ray including graphic files of all the various paper items.

Paul Wren

Incomplete live shows – what a mistake.


Still waiting for mine, as I ordered an OMD reissue of Enola Gay to be sent in the same parcel thus saving a few quid in postage.
Got the black vinyl set too, as I was a bit put off by the price of the coloured vinyl set. Managed to get 10% off at Sound Of Vinyl by ordering from a ‘new’ email account.
This is going to be my Xmas treat to myself.
Enjoy everyone.

Ken A.!

I believe the Green Shirt demo is on Rhino’s This Year’s Model reissue, so all the studio tracks in this release are available on disc somewhere (whew).

Ken A.!

Random thought about hype stickers: instead of cutting the cellophane around them and leaving it as is, I peel them off the plastic and place them on a Post-It note. That way you can stick it in the book, it’s reasonably secure, and it doesn’t damage the page/inside cover you’re attaching it to.


Excellent idea. Thank you.

Wayne Olsen

I do the same thing. Sometimes I stick it over the UPC


I think it should be mentioned that the reference to Barney Bubbles’ design in Universal’s announcement is a bit misleading. Yes it’s great to have the fold-out vinyl cover and the original singles (more or less) intact, but apart from those weird cardboard “folders” there’s not much Barney in there. The Pink Pop and the “Presley” sleeves are almost insults to everything Mr. Bubbles tried to achieve. And speaking as someone who contributed a little to the “Reasons To Be Cheerful” book – there are lots of (mostly unused) designs from that period that they could have used in this package.
And, are the ‘notebooks’ really that small???

Marc K.

The Pink Pop sleeve is true to the design of Pink Pop festival in 1979, so no insult to Mr. Bubbles, merely contemporary design. 1979 was a rather important year for several British artist headlining the Pink Pop festival, because it meant their real break through in Holland and the rest of the European continent. Especially The Police conquered Europe after this gig.
I rather like the design being true to the era. Great Costello gig also.


The set I compare others too for value from this year is the Deep Purple box set for Whoosh.
This and many others do not come close……and I love Armed Forces.


Thanks for the video Paul. I’m not going to mention the price

From streaming I think the Dominion 10″ (Christmas Eve show) might have deserved a full outing. the faux London Calling/Elvis Presley sleeve is a bit crass for the Regent 10″. I think this is the level of detail you get when it is assembled by non fans. Described thus in their blurb

“Armed Forces is the third studio album from Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Originally released January 1979 and produced by Nick Lowe.
Key Songs: “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?”, “Accidents Will Happen”, “Oliver’s Army” and “Green Shirt””

Of course it was the second studio album from Elvis Costello & The Attractions and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?” wasn’t on it in the UK.

I don’t Elvis had that much to do with “curating” this


Seeing all that almost, ALMOST, makes me think I want this after all. Maybe. But I’ll wait to see if there’s another big sale on it. Thanks for this, Paul!


Thanks for the marvelous unboxing video, Paul. Like others have said, this EC box set is still a bit pricey. I’m not really excited about the look of the vinyl included in this set, but absolutely love all the colorful artwork printed outside and inside the box AND the assortment of little books. It seems to me that the books and postcards would have a more proper and secure fit inside a 6″ x 12″ box design for compact discs. Please, please, compact disc version to follow, Mr. MacManus :-)

Eli R Anderson

With a combination on a sale and a 30% off coupon I was able to get my Black Vinyl Version in the US for about 100USD plus shipping. At that price its a totally solid set but i really do hope they scale back the price/add more exclusive audio if this series goes forward.


Great unboxing video Paul, thank you & thank you again for saving me some of my hard earned salary! The price is astronomical for what you actually get inside the box……
I’ll wait for a discount of at least 50% for this one I think !

Geoff Wint

A further 3 track 7” single from the Hollywood High show was released as a limited edition to promote the complete concert’s release on cd . still leaves 8 songs short on vinyl sadly . Interesting they have used the correct sleeve for the Accidents 7” and not the reverse sleeve version that some of us got way back in 79. Don’t get why they didn’t use the original b-sides for both those sevens and put the demos together on one disc . Something of a missed opportunity methinks

Chris Squires

That’s exactly what I posited when this was announced. The only reason, and it is the only reason, to have 3 x 7″ records in this set would be to precisely recreate the originals. Otherwise there is absolutely no point, which along with the 10″ records makes this a set with music that would fill 9 sides of Vinyl with an etched 10th side to really annoy us further. The only reason they have done it this way is to turn 4 and a half’s worth of music into 9 “pieces of vinyl”.
I don’t like the phrase “missed opportunity” very much but along with that other clunker, “cash in”, there is no other conclusion I can come to. It’s been such a haphazard effort. I was going to say half-arsed effort but it plainly isn’t half arsed, someone has thought about this and put some effort into it. They were just the wrong person doing it wrongly.
Not that fans (or a skilled compiler / curator) getting involved would, necessarily make a more financially viable set but there would be some perspective.
And this is what this set lacks.
An overview where someone just says “Why” a lot.

Maybe that’s why they didn’t do a CD version because it would make you realize exactly how thin this is. £80 for this as a CD box set would get laughed at. As Andrew Greenwood says below, it’s not even at Misplaced Childhood level and I got that for £30, signed. By Fish.
3.5 out of 10 for the obvious effort.


Even at US $200 (what it costs at UDiscover) this is overpriced, and that awful folder for the 7″s and 10″s is, frankly, insulting. Compare to the similarly-priced 10LP+DVD Prince 1999 box, and wait for your eyes to stop rolling. I’m put off the physical product entirely on this one.


As usual, an excellent video. I bought the black vinyl version. I think the decision not to include the complete Hollywood High on vinyl was a bit of a cheek when you consider the price. So whilst I am pleased with, and like, the product I do feel a bit let down.


Hi Paul,
Really interesting to see the video. I love this period of Elvis Costello, but the price of £200 is astronomical for what you get. I’m glad you’re there to go through everything with a fine tooth comb and airing your honest opinion.

Andrew Greenwood

This would have fitted nicely into the Marillion style bookshelf format for £25, but even then would have struggled to fill 4 CDs. Perhaps 3 CDs and a 5.1 of the album plus concert footage would have been nice. As a purchaser of the original album (which has all the best bits on its own, really) on release day for under a fiver, the whole thing seems a massive con to me

Marc K.

Thank you Paul, for another great unboxing video!
This one was very helpful to me. I hesitated because of the price and now definitely decided against buying it.
I guess Universal couldn’t care less about that, because the coloured vinyl box is selling very well I understand. Don’t know about the black vinyl box. I hope one fine day it will be cheaper somewhere…….Great album nevertheless.
Thanks again.


I was positively giddy when I opened mine. A treasure trove of early Elvis. I loved sitting with mine and playing all the vinyl.

G.D. Wilde

As usual, you make very good points!
Maybe I feel them a bit more accutely, as I can’t help being generally disapointed with this expensive cardboardy product. Add to this Elvis’s typical ‘don’t blame me, I’m only the artist’ attitude, and we’re left with the feeling of fan-exploitment stamped over this project (again).


The books look as if the paper was somehow deliberately yellowed to make them look older than they are.


Great Video, Paul, you should receive an Oscar for best documentary film!


A little bit of a bulging wallet after Elvis Costello has emptied yours.

Timm Davison

Everything you’ve unboxed looks amazing! Luckily, I’ve never been a huge fan of live material (which is what the bonus material is mostly comprised of), so I can safely say I’ll either not buy this or wait til it’s in the low-100 dollar range. It is nice looking though!