Punch the Clock is an album released in 1983 by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. It was Costello’s eighth album, his seventh with the Attractions since 1978. The album featured Costello’s first US Top 40 hit, “Everyday I Write the Book.” It was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, who also produced Costello’s following album, Goodbye Cruel World.
It was ranked as the number 1 “Album of the Year” for 1983 by NME; thirty years later, the magazine ranked it at number 345 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”
Punch the Clock is an album often dismissed by die-hard Elvis Costello fans, and I’m not completely sure why.
But that’s a conversation for another day. In 1983, EC was touring behind the record, bringing a combo on the road that included the Attractions at its core (Steve Nieve, king of the keyboard jungle; Pete Thomas, the Empire State of stick; Bruce Thomas, the future of the four-string) but added to the mix the TKO Horns, all former members of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. (Appropriate, since the producers of Punch the Clock, Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley, had just a year before produced Too-Rye-Ay for Dexy’s, including the smash hit “Come On, Eileen”). On some dates, the backing singers featured on Punch the Clock, a duo known as Afrodiziak, also joined the band.