My Aim Is True (1977)
I chose this record not so much for the guitar playing—well, a little bit for the guitar playing—but just for the songwriting, and how you can really write punk rock and roll tunes while still being intelligent about it.
Costello just hit me like a ton of bricks when I got into him. His lyrics blew my mind when I first heard them. And that record is so great because it’s so raw; it’s like a real snapshot of where he was at the time.
There’s not a bad tune on there, not even a mediocre one. They’re very catchy tunes, but very punky and just really angry, but also with really intelligent lyrics.
My Aim Is True was a huge influence on our first record. We all really love rhythm and blues and the immediacy of it—that sort of ballsy thing—but I also really love melodies; I’m a huge fan of Scott Walker and all those big-sounding Sixties records with beautiful melodies. Costello seemed to just get it right in the middle.