If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then color Elvis Costello super impressed. The punk/new wave icon came to the defense of Olivia Rodrigo this week when the internet pointed out that the “Drivers License” star seemed to have taken some inspiration from his angsty 1978 anthem “Pump It Up.”

That sneery double entendr√©-laden broadside from Costello’s This Year’s Model album has a driving rhythm that sounds updated by Rodrigo on the equally bothered song “Brutal” from her debut album,¬†Sour. When someone tweeted that “first song on the album is a pretty much direct lift from Elvis Costello,” the bespectacled English icon — who, not for nothing, got the first part of his stage name from a certain other rock superstar — had a succinct, perfectly Costello response.

“This is fine by me, Billy,” he responded. “It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand new toy. That’s what I did.” Just to put a finer point on it, Costello included the hashtags “#subterreneanhomesickblues” and “#toomuchmonkeybusiness,” in reference to the, respectively, Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry songs that influenced “Pump It Up.”



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