Elvis Costello Reforms His 1972 Band for New Record

by Emily Morgan

As a follow up to Elvis Costello’s most recent album, The Boy Named If, the music legend is dropping a new EP with his old band, Rusty. Costello and his former bandmate, Allan Mayes, have joined forces to release the debut EP or, as Costello calls it, “the record we would have cut when we were 18 if anyone had let us.”

Costello and Mayes released one of the six new tracks, “The Resurrection of Rust,” during Costello’s tour stops in the UK. It will be available for everyone else on June 10. Besides Mayes, Costello’s usual band members from the Imposters make appearances as far as instrumentals go. However, the songs are from decades ago. 

The songs featured are strictly from Rust’s 1972 setlists, including “Surrender to the Rhythm” and “Don’t Lose Your Grip on Love,” a medley of two Neil Young songs. Other songs include “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” and “Dance, Dance, Dance,” the latter is a song by Kentucky songwriter Jim Ford. “I’m Ahead If I Can Quit While I’m Behind” is a 1971 original written by Costello. D.P. MacManus wrote “Warm House,” and one more original co-penned by Costello, MacManus, and Mayes called “Maureen and Sam.”

Costello joined Rusty at the beginning of 1972. At the time, the group played dozens of gigs, mainly in Liverpool clubs in the UK. However, despite playing shows, the group never laid down records in a studio until their 50th anniversary. During their time together, Costello has always assumed Mayes would go on to become a household name. However, things didn’t work out that way. 

Elvis Costello joins forces with 1972 band to release unheard songs

“Allan had always been the more accomplished, presentable performer — even then, I looked like a sack of spuds that had been left out in the rain,” Costello wrote in a statement. According to Costello, Mayes wrote him in 2021 to tell him that the 50th anniversary of their band was on the horizon. 

“So, when he asked me if I wanted to celebrate this anniversary by getting together to play a few songs that we used to know, I said, ‘Absolutely not!… Let’s make the record we would have cut when we were 18, if anyone had let us.’ And this is what you will hear on ‘The Resurrection Of Rust.'”

Their decision to rekindle their band is similar to that of Mudcrutch, a fellow band from the ’70s that included the late Tom Petty. The group got back together in 2007 to finally record a debut album and hold a tour. 

Although three of the Mudcrutch members were also part of the well-known Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the two albums they released before sudden Petty’s death put a brief spotlight on Randall Marsh and Tom Leadon.