I recently came across an incredibly well done 10-part podcast called “Elvis Costello- The First Ten Years.” No secret as to the subject matter, right? You get to hear from Elvis as he talks about the makings of his first albums, from 1977’s “My Aim is True” all they way up to his 1986 release “King of America.” Great anecdotes about the production process, Nick Lowe, The Attractions, coming to America, etc. Admittedly, my high school and college years were dominated by The Police, The Pretenders, Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, so this hit me a bit harder than it might have hit someone who didn’t worship these guys in my teens. But that is completely the point.
I’ll save the hagiographies for some other post and keep this one focused on my analysis of the excellent use of new media to reconnect with old audiences, find new ones and drive sales for some new (old) product.
In addition to providing first hand insights into a seminal and transformative era in rock music in the 70s from bands like Crosby, Stills and Nash to New Wave pioneers like Elvis, the podcast is beautifully produced offering snippets of referenced songs that are just long enough to make you want to run back to your CDs (or vinyl in my case) and listen to them again.
The whole thrust of the series is to reintroduce Elvis to older fans like me and to let us know that a bunch of those albums are being reissued as deluxe editions or remastered versions. He is also on tour and he has a new website. My only criticism is that there is no place to channel the enthusiasm of die hards like me. If you go to elviscostello.com, there is no blog or place to talk back, build a community or leave comments. The website was created by his label (Verve), but that is no excuse for letting the most important component of this campaign slip by.
Nevertheless, the recently released part 11 of the 10-part series (?) features wonderful analysis and personal reflections from author Bill Flanagan in time for the March 4 release of the Deluxe Edition of “This Year’s Model.”
Missed opportunity to community build- FAIL. All in all, however, I would give them an A- for this effort. Intelligent, well-produced content. Great sales strategy. Enhanced content that adds value to the consumer.
It’s great to be back in high school again. Thanks, Declan.