Elvis Costello has announced The Complete Armed Forces, an expanded box set chronicling the creation of his 1979 album Armed Forces.

The set contains nine pieces of vinyl, including a new 2020 remaster of the original album, as well as a collection of B-sides, alternate versions, outtakes and demos. An abundance of live material also comes with the set, including 23 previously unreleased live tracks.

Further material includes seven custom notebooks with newly updated liner notes by Costello, along with facsimiles of first-draft, handwritten lyrics. The items provide deep insight into the creation of Armed Forces more than 40 years ago.

It will be available on Nov. 6

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“Most of this record was written in hotel rooms or on a tour bus, scribbled in a notebook which rarely left my side or failing this, from fragments and phrases scrawled on paper cocktail napkins or hotel notepaper,” Costello explains in the liner notes.

Rare photographs, memorabilia, comics and vintage-style posters and postcards complete the expansive collection. A complete track listing of The Complete Armed Forces, along with an unboxing video of the set, can be seen below.

In anticipation of the release, Costello has unveiled a three-track digital EP featuring unreleased live performances of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?,” “Goon Squad” and “Pump It Up,” taken from the set’s live LPs. It's available for streaming here.

Released on Jan. 5, 1979, Armed Forces marked a major turning point in Costello’s career. His third LP signaled an evolution in songwriting, as his punk-rock roots collided with a newfound pop sensibility. It remains Costello's only Top 10 U.S. album

Elvis Costello, 'The Complete Armed Forces' Track Listing
'Armed Forces' 12” LP
SIDE A
1. "Accidents Will Happen"
2. "Senior Service"
3. "Oliver’s Army"
4. "Big Boys"
5. "Green Shirt"
6. "Party Girl"

SIDE B
1. "Goon Squad"
2. "Busy Bodies"
3. "Sunday’s Best
4. "Moods For Moderns"
5. "Chemistry Class"
6. "Two Little Hitlers
7. "(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?"

Live at Hollywood High & Elsewhere 1978 12” LP
SIDE A
1. "Accidents Will Happen"
2. "Mystery Dance"
3. "Goon Squad"
4. "Party Girl"
5. "Stranger in the House"

SIDE B
1. "Alison"
2. "Lipstick Vogue"
3. "Watching the Detectives"
4. "You Belong to Me"
5. "Chemistry Class" (Live at the Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.)

Europe ‘79 – Live At Pinkpop 12” LP
SIDE A
1. "Goon Squad"
2. "B-Movie"
3. "Green Shirt"
4. "(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea"
5. "Opportunity"
6. "So Young"
7. "High Fidelity"

SIDE B
1. "Lipstick Vogue"
2. "Watching the Detectives"
3. "Big Boys"
4. "Pump It Up"
5. "You Belong to Me"
6. "(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?"

'Sketches for Emotional Fascism' 10″ LP
SIDE A
1. "Clean Money"
2. "Talking in the Dark"
3. "Wednesday Week"
4. "Tiny Steps"

SIDE B
1. "Crawling to the U.S.A."
2. "Big Boys" (Alternate Version)
3. "Green Shirt" (Demo Version)
4. "My Funny Valentine"

Riot At The Regent – Live In Sydney ’78 10” LP
SIDE A
1. "Oliver’s Army"
2. "Waiting For the End of the World"
3. "Big Boys"

SIDE B
1. "This Year’s Girl"
2. "You Belong to Me"
3. "Pump it Up"

Christmas In The Dominion – Live 24th December ‘78 10” LP
SIDE A
1. "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes"
2. "No Dancing"

SIDE B
1. "I Stand Accused"
2. "(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?"

“Oliver’s Army” 7″
SIDE A
1. "Oliver’s Army"

Side B
1. "Big Boys" (Demo)

“Accidents Will Happen” 7”
SIDE A
1. "Accidents Will Happen"

Side B
1. "Busy Bodies" (Alternate)

Nick Lowe & His Sound - “American Squirm” 7″
Side A
1. "American Squirm"

Side B
2. "(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?"

 

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