Universal to release Costello series

'Costello Show' offers live performance, rarities

Universal Music Group will kick off a series of live Elvis Costello recordings on Sept. 29 with the release of the long-unavailable “Live at the El Mocambo.”

UMG’s launch of “The Costello Show” series, distribbed by its catalog arm Hip-O/Universal Music Enterprises, mirrors recent concert CD offerings by fan-friendly acts like Pearl Jam and Neil Young. UMG is home of Costello’s current and archive releases.

Costello’s March 6, 1978 set at Toronto’s El Mocambo nightclub was originally issued as a promo-only album in Canada. The heavily bootlegged set was finally issued legitimately in 1993 by Rykodisc, the first of three labels that have reissued Costello’s catalog to date. It was released on “2-1/2 Years,” a four-disc set of early material, and via mail order to consumers proffering tokens from separately purchased discs.

Among other concert rarities, diskery promises a package devoted to a celebrated June 4, 1978, show at Hollywood High. Legendary gig by Costello and his band the Attractions has been heard officially on a three-track 7-inch single issued with early pressings of Costello’s 1979 LP “Armed Forces,” and as bonus material on Rhino Records’ 2002 CD version.