Lies & Inventions


The brief "Almost Blue" tour continues to the Opryland Theatre, Nashville.

January 7th 1982

The London concert in early January is at the Royal Albert Hall and features 60 members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Robert Kirby.

Kirby, who is best known for his beautiful chamber arrangements for Nick Drake and other, provides large-scale orchestral arrangements of several older songs such as "Watching the Detectives", together Steve Nieve's chart for the then unreleased, "Town Cryer".

The Gram Parsons/Chris Ethrigdge composition, "Hot Burrito No. 1", re-titles, "I'm Your Toy", is later released as a live single.

Tickets for the concert facetiously state, "Evening Dress Optional", which accounts for outlandish appearance of some attendees at this grand folly.

Early 1982

Recording for "Imperial Bedroom" continues for twelve weeks at A.I.R. Studios.

In addition to the 40-piece orchestra employed to play Steve Nieve's arrangement for "...And In Every Home", a harpsichord is hired for "You Little Fool", a vibraphone for "Kid About It" and an accordion and three French Horns for "Long Honeymoon"

Geoff Emerick vast experience of working at Abbey Road - especially on The Beatles most experimental records, "Revolver" and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - allows him to bring come sonic cohesion to the sessions.

It is the band's first record made in a multi-studio facility.

Other clients working there at the time include, The Jam - completing their double A-Side single "Town Called Malice"/"Precious" and Paul McCartney, who is working with George Martin on the album, "Tug of War".

During the album sessions, the 1978 ballad, "Just A Memory" is expanded lyrically and following transatlantic telephone consultations, recorded by Dusty Springfield, for whom the song had been originally intended.

May 1982

During an Antipodean tour, lurid speculation about the escalation of the then ongoing, Falkland War during an Australian tour, provokes the lyric response, "Shipbuilding", which is written for a melody by Clive Langer.

Co-production of Robert Wyatt's recording of "Shipbuilding". Langer records the accompaniment while Costello oversees the vocal session.

The Robert Wyatt rendition eventually reaches #36 in the U.K. single chart.

July 1982

Release of "Imperial Bedroom"

Album sleeve features a large scale pastiche Picasso's "Three Musicians", painted by the great graphic designer and artist, Barney Bubbles, under the nom de pinceau, "Sal Forlenza".

Summer 1982

U.S. and European tours range from Aberdeen to Zwolle. The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the Royal Albert Hall are both played for two-night stands.

Elvis Costello and the Attractions also occasionally join multiple artist bills at large outdoor events.

A racetrack show in Minneapolis sees the band follow, rising stars, Duran Duran and perform prior Blondie's final Twin Cites appearance with their original line-up.

A show at R.F.K. Stadium, Philadelphia has the band follow, Duran Duran and Flock of Seagulls but precede Genesis.

The full horror of the 80s is finally becoming apparent.

September 1982

"The Rolling Stone" cover story and interview with Griel Marcus runs under a cover shot by Annie Leibowitz and a sub-editor's headline, "Elvis Costello Repents"


Recording sessions for "Punch The Clock" at AIR and Genetic Studios, produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.

In addition to the Attractions, the tracks feature the T.K.O Horns and the vocal group, Afrodiziak.

A new recording of "Shipbuilding" is graced by a Chet Baker trumpet solo and a string arrangement by David Bedford.

The single, "Everyday I Write The Book" becomes the Top 40 U.S. chart placing, reaching #36, while it also reaches #28 in the U.K. charts.

May 1983

"Pills and Soap" credited to The Imposter, is released as a single and reaches #16 in the U.K. charts before being deleted.

August 3rd. 1983

Elvis Costello and the Attractions, the T.K.O Horns and Afrodiziak open the "Clocking In Across America Tour" in Allentown, Pennsylvania and reach Pier 84 in New York City on the August 7th 1983.

August 8th 1983

Appearance at the Red Parrot club, New York City with the Count Basie Orchestra for a never-aired NBC television special, "Swing it Again".

Songs performed included, "Lil Darlin'" and a duet with Tony Bennett on "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing"

September 1983

A version of "Walking On Thin Ice" is commissioned by Yoko Ono for, "Every Man Has A Woman" - a compilation album of her songs.

The Attractions and T.K.O. Horns are arranged and produced by Allen Toussaint at Sea-Saint Studios, New Orleans between scheduled concert dates.

"Clocking On Across America", closes with two shows at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles followed by shows at Irvine Meadows, Orange Country, the Greek Theatre, Berkeley and the Civic Center, San Francisco in the final seven days of the tour.