Elvis Costello Unveils 'The Complete Armed Forces' Box Set

Get ready for a ridiculous amount of bonus material
Elvis Costello Unveils 'The Complete Armed Forces' Box Set
Elvis Costello is looking back at his classic 1979 album Armed Forces with a seriously huge new reissue. The set is called The Complete Armed Forces, and it's made up of three 12-inches, three 10-inches and three 7-inches, meaning there's a ridiculous amount of bonus material included.

In addition to the original album, The Complete Armed Forces throws in various B-sides, demos, outtakes, alternate versions and a pile of previously unreleased live tracks. Of course, all the material has been newly remastered.

The live material will come as Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere 1978, Europe '79 – Live at Pinkpop, Riot at the Regent – Live in Sydney '78 and Christmas in the Dominion – Live 24th December '78. The demos and B-sides collection, meanwhile, will be called Sketches for Emotional Fascism

The box set will be available in black or colour 180-gram vinyl. It will feature new liner notes written by Costello, in addition rare photos, memorabilia and concert ephemera. It will also include prints of Costello's handwritten lyrics.

"Most of this record was written in hotel rooms or on a tour bus, scribbled in a notebook which rarely left my side or failing this, from fragments and phrases scrawled on paper cocktail napkins or hotel notepaper," Costello writes in the lines notes.

Right now, you can check out a new three-song live EP below. It gathers various tracks from the collection, including live takes on "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?," "Goon Squad," and "Pump It Up."

"Riot at the Regent is a souvenir from our days Down Under and a second snapshot of the Attractions in action during six months either side of the recording of Armed Forces," Costello writes. "We played right up to Christmas Eve and certainly sound full of cheery spirit on Christmas in the Dominion, playing a version of 'No Dancing' in an apparently spontaneous arrangement that sounds as if we had just heard Blondie's 'Heart of Glass' on the radio and decided to rework my song with a similar approach before closing the stand with the same song with which we had opened it: 'Peace Love & Understanding.'"

The Complete Armed Forces will arrive on November 6 via UMe. You can watch an unboxing video below, as well as check out those live tracks. The sprawling trackist is down there as well.





The Complete Armed Forces:

Armed Forces 12-inch LP:

SIDE A

1. Accidents Will Happen
2. Senior Service
3. Oliver's Army
4. Big Boys
5. Green Shirt
6. Party Girl

SIDE B

1. Goon Squad
2. Busy Bodies
3. Sunday's Best
4. Moods for Moderns
5. Chemistry Class
6. Two Little Hitlers
7. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere 1978 12-inch LP:

SIDE A

1. Accidents Will Happen
2. Mystery Dance
3. Goon Squad
4. Party Girl
5. Stranger in the House

SIDE B

1. Alison
2. Lipstick Vogue
3. Watching the Detectives
4. You Belong to Me
5. Chemistry Class (Live at the Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.)

Europe '79 – Live At Pinkpop 12-inch LP:

SIDE A

1. Goon Squad
2. B-Movie
3. Green Shirt
4. (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea
5. Opportunity
6. So Young
7. High Fidelity

SIDE B

1. Lipstick Vogue
2. Watching the Detectives
3. Big Boys
4.  Pump It Up
5. You Belong To Me
6. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Sketches for Emotional Fascism 10-inch:

SIDE A

1. Clean Money
2. Talking in the Dark
3. Wednesday Week
4. Tiny Steps

SIDE B

1. Crawling to the U.S.A.
2. Big Boys (Alternate Version)
3. Green Shirt (Demo Version)
4. My Funny Valentine

Riot At The Regent – Live In Sydney '78 10-inch:

SIDE A

1. Oliver's Army
2. Waiting for the End of the World
3. Big Boys

SIDE B

1. This Year's Girl
2. You Belong to Me
3. Pump It Up

Christmas In The Dominion – Live 24th December '78 10-inch:

SIDE A

1. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
2. No Dancing

SIDE B

1. I Stand Accused
2. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

"Oliver's Army" 7-inch:

SIDE A

1. Oliver's Army

Side B

1. Big Boys (Demo)
"Accidents Will Happen" 7-inch:

SIDE A

1. Accidents Will Happen

Side B

1. Busy Bodies (Alternate)

Nick Lowe & His Sound – "American Squirm" 7-inch:

Side A

1. American Squirm

Side B

2. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

Pre-order The Complete Armed Forces.