With Elvis Costello's upcoming show at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, we thought it was a good time to look at his best songs. Of course, there's some stuff from Costello's groundbreaking first three albums, but there's also some gems from later in his career.

While it's hard to choose just 10 songs for the list considering Costello's massive body of work, we'll give it a shot. We had to leave out favorites like "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," "Clubland," "Veronica," "Man Out of Time," "A Good Year for the Roses," and on and on ... Apologies to fans of those songs and all many, many other great tunes we left out, but here are our top 10:

  • 10

    Every Day I Write the Book

    Punch the Clock, 1983

    "Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal,

    I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel."

  • 9

    (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes

    My Aim is True, 1977

    "How can you say that I'm too old,

    when the angels have stolen my red shoes?"

  • 8

    Deep, Dark Truthful Mirror

    Spike, 1989

    "The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie from

    your tongue trips..."

  • 7

    I Want You

    Blood & Chocolate, 1986
  • 6

    (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea

    This Year's Model, 1978

    "She gave a little flirt, gave herself a little cuddle 

    But there's no place here for the mini-skirt waddle 

    Capital punishment, she's last year's model."

  • 5

    Watch Your Step

    Trust, 1981

    Sound advice, host Tom Snyder notes when introducing Costello on this episode of Tomorrow Coast to Coast. The song didn't do much on the charts, but some of his best songs didn't.

  • 4


    My Aim is True, 1977

    "My aim is true."

  • 3

    Oliver's Army

    Armed Forces, 1979

    The song went to No. 2 in the UK, and became his biggest selling single. A reference to 17th Century British military leader Oliver Cromwell, the song laments the fact that the working class are all-too-often called upon to do the dirty work of their leaders.

  • 2

    Almost Blue

    Imperial Bedroom, 1982

    "Not all good things come to an end, now it is only a chosen few."

  • 1

    Radio, Radio

    This Year's Model, 1978 (U.S.)

    Any song that gets you banned from Saturday Night Live has to be good, right? Famously, in 1977, Costello (filling in for the Sex Pistols) was supposed to play "Less Than Zero" on SNL, but after starting the song decided to play this instead. SNL wasn't happy (because he messed up the timing of the show), and told him he couldn't come back. He didn't for more than a decade. Here's some hard-to-find video of that performance:

  • 1

    Radio, Radio (Reprise)

    Saturday Night Live, 1999

    When he did return to SNL in 1999, Costello was able to recreate his famous moment with the Beastie Boys, delivering a rocked out version of Costello's hit after stopping just a few seconds into "Sabotage." Always props to Steve Nieve, but Ad-Rock is loving the keyboard in this one.