Nick Lowe produced the album. Costello had recently signed his record deal and didn't have a backing band, so Lowe brought in the group Clover. Alex Call, who was their lead singer, told us the story: "Clover got together in the late '60s. It was four of us, we made two albums on Fantasy - we were buddies with Creedence Clearwater Revival. We got dropped, and then Huey Lewis and our keyboard player, Shawn Hopper, joined the band and we kind of made another run at it. In the mid-'70s, we were going down to Los Angeles a lot and playing a club called The Palamino.
The Palamino was this great Country and Western place. We were more of a rock band really, but we kind of were country. At one gig, Nick Lowe was there with Paul Carrack. Nick had been in the band Brinsley Schwartz, and The Brinsleys were big fans of the early Clover albums. So one thing led to another, and Jake Riviera, who was Elvis' manager, signed us to come to England, and we signed with Phonogram over there, which is Mercury here. Elvis Costello was at that time Dec McManus, he was using his real name. He was just this mild-mannered, meek little songwriter who would hang out around Stiff Records, which was our management office. Elvis once said, 'Man, I wish I could sing like you.'
He went to cut some demos, and they used Clover. Huey and I did not participate in those because they had no need for us, but I remember they went and cut at this little place called Pathways - a little 8-track studio so small that all you had just enough space to play your instrument. They went in that first session, and in one session they cut 'Alison
' and 'Red Shoes' and 'Less Than Zero
,' these classic songs. I remember hearing them at this rock 'n' roll house we lived in outside of Headley, South of London called the Headley Grange House. John McFee brought back a reel-to-reel tape on one of those old Wollensak tape recorders. He played this stuff, and I mean, I was ready to quit after hearing that - it was so astounding. They did like three 8-12 hour sessions, and that was My Aim Is True
That is a classic record, just unbelievable. We were managed by the same guys and we hung out a lot with Nick. Nick produced a lot of our early sessions there. We made two albums with Mutt Lange, and nothing happened with the band. We came close in England to breaking a single, but it didn't work and we ended up breaking up." (Check out our interview with Alex Call