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About the book
  • Published: 18 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241968123
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $29.99

Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink

From his controversial early television appearances, to becoming one of the industry's elder statesmen, Costello's memoir - which he has written himself - is a one-man history of British music. A warm, deep and surprisingly funny insight into an amazing life, it is rich with anecdotes about fame, music and the creation of his famous songs.

'Fantastic' Nick Hornby
'Beautifully written' Sunday Times
'Truly remarkable' Rolling Stone
Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.

Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four.
Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company. Unfaithful Music describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.
This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.

  • Pub date: 18 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241968123
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $29.99

Praise for Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink

“Beautifully written, extraordinarily moving. It covers all the bases - his childhood in Twickenham and Liverpool; his musical apprenticeship and eventual breakthrough; the riotous early tours with The Attractions; and his later incarnation as a musical sage”

Sunday Times

“Bristles with details of Costello's many encounters with such legends as Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. Every pages exudes his deep love of modern music”


“Wildly eccentric, wise, warm, rueful, compelling”

Mail on Sunday

“His book is almost essential as an idiosyncratic history of 20th-century pop music”

Sunday Express

“Costello can conjure a whole era with a handful of words. His understanding of music and a musician's place in it is never less than extraordinary”

New Statesman

“Fascinating, utterly authentic, reveals much about Britain's most brilliant songwriter of the postpunk era”

Sunday Telegraph

“Utterly definitive”

Observer, Books of the Year

“Wryly comic tales that surely deserve the full Penguin Classic treatment”

GQ, Books of the Year

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