Elvis Costello is one of the biggest talents to come out of London's mid-1970s pub rock scene. His earliest records were of such high caliber and from such a different viewpoint than the music emanating from punkified London that even today his music is liable to knock an unsuspecting listener on her or his arse. Retro-flavored ravers and ballads rooted in R&B, soul, old time rock 'n' roll and even lounge were packed into explosive two-minute gems that, for all the world, couldn't care less about any type of anarchy anywhere. Costello's songwriting has always been his biggest asset. His lyrics reach beyond cleverness and often approach Shakespearean density and flexibility. Throughout the years, his career has gone through a number of changes and his audience has aged with him, but his talent remains as formidable as ever.