When 'My Aim Was True' was released in 1977, no one knew that the character on the cover, with coke-bottle glasses, ill-fitting clothes, and Jerry Lewis posture would become a pop-culture icon. Elvis Costello arrived as the uber-geek, hell-bent on blowing away years of macho rock posturing with his revenge-of-the-nerds image and sharp, snappy sound, instantly defining New Wave. In retrospect, the songs—with echoes of everything from the Band ('Blame It on Cain') to the Byrds ('[The Angels Wanna Wear My] Red Shoes') - owed more to rootsy pub-rock than it did to punk, but it was still miles beyond the hairy-chested blues-rock theatrics bogging down the airwaves in the mid-'70s.
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