The name of the album might say it all by itself. Because “Rusty” is how some people consider Elvis Costello to be after all this time. Even 50 years after his first band Rusty was formed, they are still in great musical shape, being able to jam as they used to do. Not too long ago, they reunited to celebrate their 50th anniversary as one of the best bands this world has ever listened to. With the idea of making “the album we would have cut when we were 18 if anyone had let us,” they set out, not only to get together again but also to hit the record company and start creating their art.
As the full name of the album states, “Rusty: the Resurrection of Rust.” Their main objective is to show that they are still very much alive and, of course, that their music is still intact. This new album demonstrates everything Elvis Costello and his original band, Rusty, can do with their new wave pop. With a touch of punk from the 1970s, they welcomed a mixture of different styles, some of them within the essence that brought Costello up musically.
The Liverpool band
Their rooster was one of the best of that time. With Allan Mayes on vocals and guitar, Declan MacManus (known as Elvis Costello) on vocals and guitar, Alan Brown on vocals and bass, and Dave Jago on vocals. The Liverpool band stood together until 1973, when they disbanded as Costello had to move to London, where he started his career as a soloist, under the name Declan Costello.
Their repertoire was extensive and quite rich. They released standout singles such as Hemlock Tree, Warm House, and Separate Ways, amongst many others. And their sound contained a touch of soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Also, they are pioneers of the New Wave movement that started in the late ’60s and early ’70s with bands like The Vapors and some of the best artists in the world, like the great David Bowie.
These new beats brought Rusty to have numerous tours within England, mainly in their native Liverpool. Also, they played multiple times in London, Coventry, and as far as Austin, Texas. This trajectory molded the musical spirit that then ended up in one of the most impressive music careers with Elvis Costello coming to the world as one of the best artists on this planet.
The Emergence of a Great Artist
After Rusty, Costello went through some great bands like The Attractions, and The Imposters (same band but with another bass player), backing him up to create some of his best songs, like “She,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Veronica,” “Alison,” and a great number of hits that brought thousands to his concerts worldwide.
His fame transcended music so far, that he was also in a Simpsons episode, together with Lenny Kravitz and Mick Jagger, playing himself in a music camp. Also, he appeared on multiple TV shows, playing some of his hits and creating a mystical aura with his slow-paced talking, and his infinite book of anecdotes, as he was friends with some of the best musicians in the world.
Even when his career slowed down a bit in the last few years, this new idea of coming together with his original band and starting to record the album they always wanted to create was too tempting to pass up. In particular, in an era where this kind of music, meaning new wave, as well as similar sound effects, are at the top of the chain on social media such as TikTok and Instagram.
The future of the reforged band
There are rumors, and they might become true in the near future, that the band is looking to present their new album on a great tour that might include countries like the UK, of course, and the United States, and possibly Australia and some other European countries. Because a tour is the best way to introduce a new record, it’s only natural for this “mature” band that, even after 50 years apart, they remain quite solid as a team.
Eventually, they might even bring more music to the table, especially if this album takes off as they expect it to. So far on Spotify, the numbers of this young album are growing, in particular with the song, “Surrender to the Rhythm,” without a doubt one of the best examples of what this album pretends to be. A very delicate mixture of sounds, with a lot of their youthful spirit in it, reminds me of songs like “Less than Zero,” where they find their “motiv” and the inspiration that brought them to be the great musicians they are today.
In the same spirit, the rest of the album is a better version of what Pink Floyd tried to do with “The Endless River,” criticized by many as a “mix tape” of old songs they abandoned along the way. In fact, “Rusty: The Resurrection of Rust” is a compendium of new and original songs that came out of their meticulous planning and outstanding execution. Go try it out. You won’t regret it.