This Year's Model

This Year's Model is the second studio album by the English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, released on 17 March 1978 through Radar Records. After being backed by Clover for his debut album My Aim Is True (1977), Costello formed the Attractions — keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Pete Thomas (no relation) — as his permanent backing band. Recording sessions took place at London's Eden Studios in eleven days between late 1977 and early 1978. Nick Lowe returned as producer, and Roger Béchirian acted as engineer. Most of the songs were written prior to the sessions, and debuted live during the latter half of 1977.

This Year's Model
A young man wearing glasses and a suit-and-tie behind a camera on a tripod against a brown background
Original UK cover.[lower-alpha 1] The original US and Swedish covers use slightly different shots.
Studio album by
Released17 March 1978 (1978-03-17)
RecordedDecember 1977 – January 1978
StudioEden (London)
ProducerNick Lowe
Elvis Costello chronology
My Aim Is True
This Year's Model
Armed Forces
Singles from This Year's Model
  1. "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
    Released: 3 March 1978
  2. "Pump It Up"
    Released: June 1978
  3. "This Year's Girl"
    Released: 1978 (US)

Embracing new wave, power pop and punk rock, the songs draw from bands such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. The lyrics explore subjects such as technologies of mass control and failing relationships, but in a manner that some reviewers found misogynistic. Echoing the lyrics of some of the tracks, the cover artwork, designed by the English graphic artist Barney Bubbles, shows Costello behind a camera on a tripod, emphasising his role as an observer.

The accompanying singles "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Pump It Up" were commercially successful and the album reached number four on the UK Albums Chart. The American LP was released in May 1978 through Columbia Records. Substituting "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea" and "Night Rally" for "Radio Radio", it reached number 30 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tape chart. This Year's Model also received critical acclaim; reviewers highlighted strong songwriting and performances, while also admiring Costello and the band as artists. The album appeared on year-end lists in both the UK and the US.

In later decades, This Year's Model has been acclaimed as one of Costello's best works, some critics commenting on its influence on punk and new wave. It has appeared on several lists of the greatest albums of all time and has been reissued multiple times with bonus tracks. In 2021, Costello spearheaded a new version of the album titled Spanish Model, which featured songs from This Year's Model sung in Spanish by Latin artists over the Attractions' original backing tracks. It received favourable reviews and charted on several Billboard charts.

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