Elvis Costello & the Attractions - This Year's Model

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This Year's Model
Original British album cover
Studio album by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Released 17 March 1978
Recorded Eden Studios, London, 1977–1978
Genre Punk rock, new wave
Length 35:44
Label Radar , F Beat
Producer Nick Lowe
Elvis Costello chronology
My Aim Is True
This Year's Model
Armed Forces
Singles from This Year's Model
  1. "Pump It Up"
    Released: 1978
  2. "Radio Radio"
    Released: 1978
  3. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
    Released: 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars
Christgau's Record Guide A
Entertainment Weekly A
Pitchfork Media 10/10
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars
Sputnick music 4.5/5
Uncut 5/5 stars


  "This Year's Model" is Elvis Costello's second album and his first with the Attractions, released in 1978. It was mainly recorded at Eden Studios in West London.

It was voted the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. In 2000, Q magazine placed This Year's Model at number 82 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 1987, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 11 on its list of the best albums of the period 1967–1987. In 2003, the album was ranked number 98 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.


Packaging and artwork

Early issues of the album have an apparently misprinted sleeve, which cuts off the left side of the front cover (including the letters 'E' from 'Elvis' and 'T' from 'This') and shows a printers' colour bar along the right side (see cover right). This was a deliberate mistake (a favourite technique of cover designer Barney Bubbles), as was pressing "Special pressing No. 003. Ring 434 32 32. Ask for Moira for your prize" between the holding spirals on Side 1. Indeed people calling the aforementioned number ("Moira" being a press agent at F-Beat Records) would get rewarded with a badge.

Early issues of the LP came with a free 7" single, housed in a Radar house sleeve, with "Stranger in the House" on side A and a live cover of The Damned's "Neat Neat Neat" on side B. The promotion also included a black and white sticker stuck on the LP's shrinkwrap that said 'Free Album With This Single'.

The USA version was a different photo from the same session and didn't feature the deliberate mis-cropping. The original American pressing on Columbia also says "Costello" instead of "Columbia" on the inner label.

The title This Year's Model indirectly references two songs on the original UK album: most obviously "This Year's Girl", but also "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea", which contains a lyric about "last year's model".

About the photo session, photographer Chris Gabrin's words

"The concept of him behind a camera for the sleeve of This Year's Model had already been chosen, so I decided to equip Elvis with exactly the same tripod and camera as I was using to create a 'mirror' for him. Alongside a powerful stereo I kept a large record collection at my Camden Studio, and artists would choose music they enjoyed or were interested in for their sessions. Just as we were about to start shooting, Elvis asked me if I had "Hotel California" by The Eagles, and could I play it? I was puzzled by his choice – until he told me that he loathed the record, but wanted to look really pissed off and angry in the shots! We played the record several times during the session and whilst I directed him, I was also aware of his copying some of my own actions as I took the photographs."

Original LP track listing

All songs written by Elvis Costello

Side one

  1. "No Action" – 1:58
  2. "This Year's Girl" – 3:17
  3. "The Beat" – 3:45
  4. "Pump It Up" – 3:14
  5. "Little Triggers" – 2:40
  6. "You Belong to Me" – 2:22

Side two

  1. "Hand in Hand" – 2:33
  2. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" – 3:07
  3. "Lip Service" – 2:36
  4. "Living in Paradise" – 3:52
  5. "Lipstick Vogue" – 3:42
  6. "Night Rally" – 2:41




Elvis Costello & the Attractions - This Year's Model

UK F-Beat XXLP4 stereo (1978)

This record for sale is a second pressing, the first being released on Radar Records.

Album produced by Nick Lowe.

The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The original inner sleeve is excellently presented.

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