Elvis Costello has taken the unusual step of warning fans off buying his latest album which - in a time when there isn't a recording artist out there not feeling the pinch from the ongoing march of internet piracy - would seem to be somewhat counter productive. However all becomes clear if you go to Costello's official website, where the legendary songwriter has expressed his dismay that distribution stockists have slapped a 200 pound plus price sticker on the December limited-edition release of 'The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook'. The book contains a slew of photos, drawings and notes, as well as live recordings and visual footage.
However, taking to his official site, Costello posted under the pseudonym of The Right Reverend Jimmy Quickly and urged his fans to "steal this record". The 57 year-old, whose recorded more than 30 studio albums alone in his career, went on to add "Unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire."
In another unusual twist, Costello went on to recommend a specific alternative to buy, pointing out that it cost under $150 and contained "vastly superior" music. "If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving," he commented, "we can whole-heartedly recommend, 'Ambassador Of Jazz' . containing ten re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived - Louis Armstrong." His label will be thrilled.