Costello in full force

Singer readies stage, TV, online appearances

Elvis Costello is pumping up yet another re-release of his catalog, performing in 10 cities this month and doing a concert that will be streamed on the Web following his appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

Costello and his band the Imposters will perform at the Ed Sullivan Theater on Monday beginning at 8:25 p.m. ET. Concert will be streamed at’s “Late Show” site (

Costello performed May 2 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood as part of the tour. He performs tonight in Chicago and the Nokia Theater Times Square in Gotham on May 16 before a strong of European festival perfs in July.

Tour is in support of two new 22-track compilations released May 1 by Universal Music’s Hip-O unit, “The Best of Elvis Costello” and “Rock and Roll Music.” Only one track has not been previously released, an alternate take on “Welcome to the Working Week.”

Two discs are a primer for the digital release of Costello’s first 11 albums — “My Aim is True” through “King of America,” ostensibly the albums that were initially released by Columbia Records in the U.S. between 1977 and 1986. While he has leased his discs for reissue to Ryko in the early 1990s and to Rhino earlier this decade, his earlier music has not been completely available digitally.

The 11 albums were made available on May 1 on iTunes, where they are being exclusively sold for 30 days. Rather than include demos, non-album singles and B-sides as Ryko and Rhino famously did, Hip-O is releasing the discs as digipaks with booklets and obie sleeves. Company is in the planning stages for a 30th anniversary deluxe edition of “My Aim is True.”

In the first week of sales, Costello’s original albums sold between 100 and 300 each. “Best of” sold 3,000 copies digitally and another 4,000 as a CD.

Costello inked a deal with Polygram in the late 1990s that was unique at the time as his albums were to be released on the label most suited for the genre. Since Universal’s purchase of Polygram, Costello’s eight albums have been released on six different labels within the U Music family.

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