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In 1977, when Kiss were the kings of rock, how big did your cojones have to be to pose knock-kneed on your first album cover? Yet Elvis Costello’s dweeby My Aim Is True stance portended menace, too, as if the 22-year-old dead ringer for Buddy Holly might just bite your head off while he’s buckling. Songs like ”Miracle Man” and ”(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” introduced a cuckolded, cocky character who landed the beauty of his dreams only to watch her grow cold, meriting his own mellifluous contempt. Who’d have known such romantic impotence could add up to one of rock’s most potent debuts?

It might’ve been even more powerful had Aim been recorded with his feisty group the Attractions — which formed later that year — instead of Clover, Huey Lewis’ pre-News band. This anniversary edition rectifies that ripple in the space-time continuum: In addition to the original album, there’s a bonus concert disc featuring super-charged Attractions takes on nearly every Aim track, plus half of This Year’s Model, the group’s 1978 masterpiece. The August ’77 show was only their 13th gig together, but with Steve Nieve’s organ ladled over everything just as the gods intended, it feels as assuredly ferocious as their 1,300th. Hearing them rip through ”Mystery Dance” and Model‘s ”Lipstick Vogue” as virtual kids will make you weak in the knees all over again. A
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