December 26, 2009 – 4:36 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Cleveland 1977 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Cleveland Agora, Cleveland, December 5, 1977. Very good pre-FM recording.

With those oversized glasses, Elvis Costello may look like Buddy Holly but he sure didn’t sound like Holly. And maybe Costello did see himself as a punk but he sure attacked his songs with venom and a sense of urgency, it’s like reminding himself that it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

Still fresh from the rush of the Live Stiffs Tour (October 3 to November 5, 1977), where the newcomer Costello emerged as leader of the pack (ahead of Ian Dury no less), by December, Costello was in the United States promoting his debut album, My Aim Is True.

If the setlist was more or less the same during this period, the surprise was the inclusion of the relatively rare No Dancing and Big Tears. While fans are generally familiar with much-bootlegged El Mocambo set (March 6, 1978), here it is the ferocity with which Costello engages his songs that becomes etched in the listener’s mind - even Watching The Detectives seethes with danger and excitement - and, together with the fine recording, makes this a keeper.

Thanks to the person who shared these tracks, and created the artwork, on the internet.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Welcome To The Working Week (1.7MB)
Track 02. Red Shoes (3.3MB)
Track 03. Hand In Hand (3.0MB)
Track 04. Waiting For The End Of The World (5.8MB)
Track 05. No Action (3.0MB)
Track 06. Less Than Zero (4.1MB)
Track 07. The Beat (4.9MB)
Track 08. No Dancing (3.5MB)
Track 09. Big Tears (4.3MB)
Track 10. Blame It On Cain (4.3MB)
Track 11. Little Triggers (3.6MB)
Track 12. Radio Radio (3.9MB)
Track 13. You Belong To Me (3.5MB)
Track 14. Pump It Up (3.9MB)
Track 15. Lipstick Vogue (6.2MB)
Track 16. Watching The Detectives (7.7MB)
Track 17. Miracle Man (4.8MB)
Track 18. Mystery Dance (3.2MB)

Elvis Costello – guitar, vocals
Steve Nieve – keyboards
Bruce Thomas – bass
Pete Thomas – drums

The 2001 edition of My Aim Is True comes with a bonus disc of rare material including demos and alternative versions of songs. Click here to order Elvis Costello albums.

  1. 10 Responses to “ELVIS COSTELLO - CLEVELAND 1977”

  2. hey bigo, thanks! i will play this walking. just fixed the tags. i looked and on jan 10 i got the riviera theatre show bigo restarted.

    12.5 is my dad’s b-day. now you remember the nels cline singers show you offered too with the same date, but 30 years later.

    i have a johnny cash at msg, nyc, ny 12.5.96 which isn’t a boot, but official release. it’s good. i play it every year on my dad’s b-day.


    ps it’s actually (the angels wanna wear my) red shoes. some put parenthesis some don’t. i put them.

    By Ed Saad on Dec 26, 2009

  3. I have never really “gotten” Elvis however his television show is outta-site.

    By sluggo on Dec 26, 2009

  4. Superb show. Thanx…

    By Timmy on Dec 28, 2009

  5. Thanks for this great show.

    By Brad Price on Dec 31, 2009

  6. Thanks once again, Big O.

    And hey, Ed? We get it. You “will play this walking,” and you “just fixed the tags.”

    You don’t need to post these two phrases every single time. WE GET THE IDEA.


    By Heli0tr0pe on Jan 8, 2010

  7. I loved those days, we were all angry young men/women. When’s the next new music train gonna arrive?

    By Creatist on Mar 24, 2012

  8. Thanks for the restart on this classic show, Big) - you rock :)

    I will play this while walking and I just fixed the tags.

    By HarryHole on Jul 2, 2013

  9. AWESOME!! Thank you!! Elvis and the Attractions were white-hot and snarling.

    By Paul on Dec 11, 2013

  10. The download link doesn’t work for tracks 04 07 12 14 & 15. Too bad

    By mrbelette on Nov 24, 2016

  11. Links are broken for tracks 3, 6, 11, 13 & 17.

    By Jeff Powell on Nov 3, 2017

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