Elvis Costello and the Attractions

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Elton John
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Elvis Costello took the literacy of folk music and broke it wide open against the ragged edges of punk.

He was one of the best and most consistent songwriters of his generation, but he never used that as an excuse to get repetitive—Elvis Costello has experimented with everything from punk to opera.

Hall of Fame Essay


Ashley Kahn

In some ways, 1977 is almost ancient history now, back when a skinny-tied, gap-toothed, Fender-banging Buddy Holly look-alike from England formed a band, called it the Attractions and dared to name himself after the King of Rock & Roll.

At first, Elvis Costello seemed a part of punk’s spit and audacity, his music spinning aggression into slashing riffs with lyrics that became slogans of the season. “I’m not angry - anymore,” he claimed through clenched teeth. “Everything,” he charged, “means less than zero.” “My aim,” he promised in the title of his debut album, “is true.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2003
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his songs have no musical boundaries
Elton John