Mendelsohn: I don’t have any history with Elvis Costello, Klinger. I’m not going to ply you with excuses—what it comes down to is I’m lazy and unless I have a reason to listen to a certain artist, I normally do my best to ignore them. Well, thanks to our foray into the Great List, I now have a reason to listen to Costello. And I’ve been listening to This Year’s Model, over and over and over again, mostly because that’s what is required of me. But I’ve also left it on repeat because all of those sweet, sweet 35 minutes of pop-driven blasts of rock and roll are now running in a non-stop loop through my grey matter. This entire album is just one big hook, which is impressive. But I also think that this record is hitting me right because after the last few records we’ve talked about, This Year’s Model is simple, refreshing, and still surprisingly modern. I imagine you are going to tell me that you’ve been a Costello fan since before he was an Elvis, so tell me, does it still hold up?
Klinger: Oh, good lord does it ever hold up. You know, I knew we’d hit an Elvis Costello album at some point in the top 100 (although I’m surprised it took us this long), but I think This Year’s Model came in first for the same reason Rick Santorum somehow ended up a Republican presidential front-runner for a while there—luck of the draw. One could make a case for just about any of Costello’s first five LPs: the more traditional-sounding My Aim Is True, the lusher Armed Forces, the soul-derived Get Happy, or Trust, which to my ears boils the others down into one overarching statement of purpose. It’s absolutely astonishing to me that Costello was able to achieve this sustained level of output in the span of just three and a half years.