Elvis Costello – King of America

Mobile Fidelity continues their excellent job of remastering the Elvis Costello catalog with his tenth album.  Never charting higher than #39 in the US, this record received more than its share of critical acclaim. Though it was not terribly successful for EC in terms of sales, it joined a string of quirky releases going forward, with only the 1989 Spike showing much chart activity (Spike would be Costello’s last gold record of his career).This record is also pivotal in the sense that it features a bit more of a country groove, something else that he would dabble in going forward, including an interesting and somewhat eclectic rendition of the classic “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

MoFi is to be commended for taking this imprint much further than my original 1B Columbia pressing.  It features more air and a wider soundstage throughout, with the mix more opened up, though it is still somewhat lacking in front-to-back depth.  The only complaint with this one, especially in light of the fact that it is an “Original Master Recording,” (which means MoFi used the original master tape in its production) is this: while dynamics are improved over the original, as well as overall tonality – especially the acoustic guitars – is that they didn’t split this up into two slabs of vinyl as they did on Get Happy.  – Jeff Dorgay

MoFi, 180g. LP