NO one takes care of unfinished business like Elvis Costello, not even The Sopranos. He already has re-released "our worst record", 1983's Goodbye Cruel World, once before and now he is scratching again at this old sore. "With the benefit of a little more distance, I am able to say that it is probably the worst record I could have made of a decent bunch of songs," he says in his ever cussed, self-critical sleevenotes. Suffer the excesses of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley's clammy, faux-soul production on I Wanna Be Loved and The Only Flame In Town just one more time, then savour the stripped-back splendour of the demo and solo acoustic versions. It is like finding a wooden floor under gaudy linoleum. The expanded Almost Blue and Kojak Variety sets of covers, one country, the other rhythm and blues and ballads, show off his record collection... and his vocal limitations. Costello has three more albums awaiting exhumation to complete the set, and no doubt he will immediately start re-painting his Forth Bridge all over again.

What next? Perhaps versions with a DVD, like the 25th anniversary edition Of The Clash's third and best album, 1979's double set, London Calling. Don Letts's DVD documentary, The Last Testament, The Making Of London Calling is but one reason for re-discovering the visceral street sounds of Strummer and Jones. Add unpublished Pennie Smith photographs and the re-discovered, muffled Vanilla Tapes of rehearsal sessions with five previously unheard Clash compositions, and some day all anniversary re-releases will be as nourishing as this London Recalling.

Updated: 09:10 Thursday, October 21, 2004