Think shelling out more than $300 for a limited-edition box set of Elvis Costello’s music is a little ridiculous? Well, so does he.
In fact, Costello thinks the $339.98 list price of "The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook" is so excessive that the Imposters team turned to its official website, ElvisCostello.com, to vent that "the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire."
"All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless so we are taking the following unusual step," the site said. It is recommending that shoppers refrain from buying the set, which will be released on Tuesday, because of its high price.
Although the sitedescribes it as a "beautifully designed compendium [that] contains all manner of whimsical scribblings, photographs and cartoons, together with some rock and roll music and vaudevillian ballads," it balks at the price tag of the set, which is being released by record label Hip-O/Universal.
Instead, the band recommends that shoppers purchase the "Ambassador of Jazz," a set of 10 albums by Louis Armstrong that costs less than $150, according to the site. It adds that the Armstrong compilation's "music is vastly superior."
The Costello box set, which is selling for a reduced price of $202.63 on Amazon.com , contains music recorded during a two-night performance at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on May 11 and 12. Each set will come with an autographed card from Costello and a 40-page hardcover book among other extras.
The multi-platform bundle includes a CD, DVD and 10-inch vinyl EP, but fans who are patient enough to wait until next year will be able to buy them separately without the limited-edition extras and save some bucks.
"If you should still want the component items in the above mentioned elaborate hoax, they will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, unless you are one of those pirates who imagines they are evangelists or that other people’s rights absolve their own thievery, in which case this is between you and your dim conscience," the Costello site said.
Fans who heed the singer's advice need not worry about having a Costello-less holiday this year. Tickets for Costello and the Imposters' tour are still available in the U.S., U.K. and Europe during April, May and June of 2012.