Remarkably, this was Costello's first American hit. He was a regular on the UK charts since his first release in 1977, but American singles were never his priority (he famously sabotaged his 1977 Saturday Night Live
performance by performing the subversive "Radio Radio
" instead of the presumptive hit "Less Than Zero
"). Despite an outpouring of support in America from independent record stores, college radio and music journalists, his only chart showings to this point were two singles that bubbled under on the Hot 100: "Watching The Detectives
" (#108) and "Accidents Will Happen
"Everyday I Write The Book" got a push from MTV, which gave the video some spins and helped introduce Costello to younger audience. Radio stations in the US remained lukewarm on Costello, as he didn't fit in on the Contemporary Hits or Rock playlists. Not that he was concerned; Costello's indifference to popular taste earned him even more respect from his American fans. It wasn't until 1989 that he managed another Top 40 hit, "Veronica
," which was once again driven by MTV.