Review by: Mark Palm
This review is a first for me. I am going to review two books, but I decided to review them together, at the suggestion of my wife, Stacy, who came up with the idea. I am blessed by that fact that she is not only my wife, but someone canny enough to see that putting these two books together gives me a rare opportunity; this review can not only inform you about these books, but can also tell you a bit about the artists who inspired them. So, here are two books, as different as night and day, about artists as different as night and day. Rock-n-roll fans, I give you a dream concert: Elvis Costello and David Bowie.
Mr. Crouse obviously loved the time, the music, and the people who made it. He understands what made Elvis so special is that he had the angst and anger of other bands, but he also had a rare sense of melody and craft, along with smart lyrics. He does an exceptional job of showing how Elvis’ sensibilities were formed, and how he, and others like Nick Lowe and Ian Drury helped make an exciting new twist on a very old form.
Mr. Crouse makes the details come alive, with stories about the size of the stories and the size of the performer’s egos. All in all it’s an intimate and scrappy love-note about how and when an artist found his voice and started his career. Elvis Is King makes the case that My Aim Is True was a truly rare phenomenon, and an album that was absolutely the right sound at the right time. This book is not that, but it’s pretty darn close.