Classic Rock

Elvis Costello celebrating 50th anniversary of pre-fame band Rusty with new EP

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EMI/Capitol Records

Elvis Costello has reunited with an early musical collaborator, singer/guitarist Allan Mayes, to record an EP celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rusty, the band they played in together in 1972 and ’73.

The six-song collection, Rusty: The Resurrection of Rust, will be available via digital formats on June 10, while a CD version will be released in the U.S. on July 1. In England, Costello began selling CD copies of Rusty at a series of in-person events that began Sunday, May 29. A vinyl LP will be issued at a later date.

The EP features versions of songs that were originally part of Rusty’s live repertoire, including two tunes Nick Lowe wrote for his 1970s pub rock band Brinsley Schwarz — “Surrender to the Rhythm” and “Don’t Lose Your Grip on Love” — and an arrangement that incorporates Neil Young‘s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.” The latter track features Costello’s debut performance on electric violin.

The Rusty EP also includes two original compositions — “Warm House,” which Costello penned in 1971, and “Maureen and Sam,” which Costello and Mayes co-wrote.

Costello and Mayes recorded the EP with backing from Costello’s band, The Imposters.

Costello — then known as D.P. McManus — joined Rusty on New Year’s Day 1972. The group played dozens of venues in and around their hometown of Liverpool, England, during the next year, but split up without ever recording.

Costello says the EP came about after Mayes — who now lives in Austin, Texas — contacted him to remind him that the 50th anniversary of him joining Rusty was approaching.

Costello notes that when Mayes suggested they get together to play some old songs, Costello responded, “Absolutely not! Let’s make the record we would have cut when we were 18, if anyone had let us.”

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