He might be willing to mug with Muppets, but when it comes to record companies ripping off his fans, Elvis Costello isn't fooling around -- and he recently proved it with a sarcasm-drenched post on his official site, prompted by the eyebrow-raising price tag on his new deluxe live box set, 'The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook.'

Saying "the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire," Costello told fans that he's "unable to recommend" the 'Songbook' box, and took the "unusual step" of recommending an alternative use for his fans' money.

"If you want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving," offered Costello, "we suggest 'Ambassador Of Jazz' -- a cute little imitation suitcase containing ten remastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived, Louis Armstrong. The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats.

"Frankly," he quipped, "the music is vastly superior."

Besides, continued Costello, you can probably still see the actual tour in action -- and for less than what the deluxe version will cost. "Tickets are currently on-sale for the Spectacular Spinning Songbook appearances in the U.S., U.K. and Europe during April, May and June of Spring of 2012. More dates will be announced in the very near future."

And if you really need to hear officially released versions of the stuff on the box, just be patient. Costello promises "they will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year."

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