September 27, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

Amid all this Bob Dylan mania, a moment, please, for Elvis Costello, one of maybe two rockers whose early ”next Bob Dylan” predictions can still be repeated with a straight face. Not that there’s much self-seriousness in his fledgling promos with the Attractions, the concept of which, Costello explains in a commentary on The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello: The Videos, ”was to fill the band with lots of vodka and let them loose in a white room.” Eventually, with the awesomely anguished photo-booth kiss-fest ”I Wanna Be Loved” and the Alzheimer’s-themed jangle-rocker ”Veronica,” one of his directors, Evan English, rises to the stunning material. EXTRAS A bonus hour-plus of Euro TV footage lets you see the band bash it out without the ”dodgy lip-synching.” Costello writes liner notes for those live extracts, but for the 27 music videos, he provides audio commentary. Dominant nostalgic themes include choreography (”Pump It Up”: ”The first video where I discovered I was double-jointed in the ankles”) and alcohol (”High Fidelity”: ”The spirited nature…had a lot to do with the fact that the Beaujolais Nouveau had just been issued, and the French are very sensible and send it all to the English”).

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