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”).
We gave it an A-