Elvis Costello credits his seemingly endless late-'70s North American tours with the Attractions for inspiring his 1979 breakthrough set, Armed Forces. Out now is Costello's six-disc boxed set edition of the classic album. In addition to all the studio tracks recorded during the album's sessions, the package includes three live recordings ranging from the summer of 1978 to the summer of ‘79.
During his new chat with Apple Music Essentials, Costello explained that the long hours on the road and experiencing so much of America's culture so quickly, informed many of the key ideas for the groundbreaking album: “Looking outside the window was the thing I did, because it was a bus window for the next two years and America was passing by at speed. And once we got onto a tour bus and we could watch movies while we were traveling, those movies got into our attitudes to things. Y'know, we'd watch the same movies over and over again until we could recite them. Both day and night, lots of things passing by seemed like the beginning of a song; a chance encounter. . . y'know, some sort of romantic escapade in the small hours. Y'know, some sort of misadventure.”