One of my favourite things about listening to music and following favourite artists is to get the full picture of the artist. Apart from the released discography available on LP, tape, CD and digital formats, there is a whole world of other versions, alternative tracks and demos that for whatever reason hasn't been officially released to the public. Live recordings are similar because when a band or performer performs songs in concert, it is never the same (at least shouldn't be exactly) as the studio version of the song and artists sometimes test out new material which may or may not be released later. To me, live and demo tracks are interesting, not only because "I can't get enough of their music", but because I want to hear the good and bad with all their hits and misses.
Elvis Costello is no exception, many of his alternative tracks, demos and b-sides have appeared on compilations (Taking Liberties comes to mind) and as bonus tracks on deluxe reissues of his earlier albums. Before Elvis's first album, 1977's My Aim Is True, Elvis, then known as Declan P. MacManus was in a band called Flip City. The band played the pub rock circuit in England, much like bands like Ducks Deluxe and Brinsley Schwarz, and though they never officially released anything, they did record three sessions worth of original and cover songs. These songs are interesting not only because of their historical significance, but also it gives a preview of some songs that would later appear on Costello albums in different, rewritten versions. Pay It Back and a early version of Miracle Man (Baseball Heroes) re-emerges on My Aim, while Living In Paradise and a revamped version of Radio Radio (Radio Soul) appears on This Year's Model. These Flip City demos have been around in bootleg form for years and I have the mp3 version of these tracks downloaded on the web.
The Flip City Demos version I have here, I also found posted online and I'm sure the original poster wouldn't mind it being shared here. This version is the complete demos with even more versions of certain songs and some songs not included on earlier available versions. This is truly worth a listen for all you hardcore Elvis Costello fans! The sound quality is excellent and this is the first time I've seen the uncompressed version of the demos in WAV and FLAC format. Get this now!!
Thanks to hungrypirate, the original poster for making this recording available!
ELVIS COSTELLO (The Complete) Flip City Demos BBC's Maida Vale Studios, 1974 Hope and Anchor Pub, Attic Studio, Islington, early 1975 Hope and Anchor Pub, Attic Studio, Islington, 1975 (studio soundboard) FLAC
01. Exiles Road (version 1)
02. Baseball Heroes
03. Radio Soul (1)
04. Third Rate Romance (1)
05. Living In Paradise
06. Radio Soul (2)
07. Radio Soul (3)
08. Pay It Back
09. Imagination Is A Powerful Deceiver (1)
10. Imagination Is A Powerful Deceiver (2)
11. Imagination Is A Powerful Deceiver (3)
12. Third Rate Romance (2)
13. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
14. I'm Packing Up (1)
15. I'm Packing Up (2)
16. (Please Mister) Don't Stop The Band
17. Exiles Road (2)
18. Wreck On The Slide
19. On The Road
20. You Win Again
21. Sweet Revival
Declan P. MacManus - guitar, lead vocals
Mich Kent - bass, vocals
Steve Hazelhurst - guitar, vocals, keyboards, sax
Malcolm Dennis - drums (early session only)
Ian Powling - drums (last sessions)
Dickie Faulkner - percussion, vocals (last sessions)