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Old 01-16-2010, 06:37 AM   #131 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Unchained Ballad View Post
Well, this thread made me want to check out Elvis Costello.
And i've got to say, I've been listening to Trust today, and I have no regrets.
I'll have to give it a lot more listens, but i liked the dancing beat in Clublands and the Lover's Walk. I also enjoyed You'll Never Be A Man, Shot With His Own Gun (sounds very "poet like" to me for some reason), Fish 'N' Chips Paper, Gloomy Sunday (great song, great lyrics) and Boy With A Problem.
I can't believe i missed this great artist/lyricist. Looking forward to check out more of his work, although i want to find more gems in this one...i mentioned few highlights. I can't believe the only thing i knew from him was a version of She...
Ironically (or perhaps not, seeing as I'm a nasty old musical elitist), despite it being quite possibly his most popular song, I absolutely despise the man's version of She. I've never really liked most of Costello's attempts to be a torch singer. Almost Blue (the song), Shot With His Own Gun and a couple of decent tracks on North aside, whenever he tries it out by himself it always comes off as a bit boring He pulls that vibe off superbly over most of Painted From Memory with Burt Bacharach though.

On another note, good man for picking up Trust. Such a fantastic album, and definitely one more people need to know about. It was actually the first album of his that convinced me that there's so much more to the guy than his first three albums. It's just packed full of wonderful songs - White Knuckles and New Lace Sleeves are a couple of my favourite ever songs, never mind on that album. The Sad About Girls outtake is sheer bliss too. Either way, great to hear you're digging the guy - I love it when this thread actually fulfills its purpose

By the way, the DVD review I promised is coming up soon. I survived about six hours of pub golf last night, so consequently I'm in no state to type up reviews and all that stuff.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:37 AM   #132 (permalink)
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So then, I think it's about time I updated this again. Needless to say, this bit's kinda established-fans-only territory...

The Right Spectacle: the Very Best Of Elvis Costello (2005)

That's right, we're talking DVDs now! It probably goes without saying that at least most of my favourite singer/songwriters have an essential DVD of their collected promo videos to hunt down (usually without too much trouble if you live anywhere near an HMV or whatever) as a bare necessity alongside the full of extent of their discography. For example, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have the Videos, David Bowie has the easter egg-laden Best Of David Bowie, or whatever. This is basically the DVD you should look for as an Elvis Costello fan.

There are, of course, a few good reasons for this, but first let's look at the whole package. The material covered as far as music videos go is everything Costello released with the Attractions up to and including Brutal Youth and all that came in between; it covers 1978-94 then. That's basically 25-30 videos, many of which those harsh bastards who go by the name of WMG have had taken down from youtube over the years. On the flipside of that particular coin, each video comes with the option of a commentary from the man himself about the various stories behind each video. Besides all those little goodies, as a bonus a selection of about 15 (I keep using the word 'about' as I don't actually have the DVD itself to refer to at the minute...it's early on this side of the Atlantic too) live TV performances.

A pretty tasty little package then and, given how hard a good 90% of the contents are to find online, definitely one that's worth your time. Regarding the promos themselves, like the vast majority of promos by the vast majority of artists, a lot of them are just nice to have at hand as a fan and are otherwise fairly forgettable. The exceptions are the oddball Don Letts-directed clip for Everyday I Write the Book and the superb, song-enhancingly-good videos for Veronica and the otherwise pretty lame I Wanna Be Loved. A lot of the TV performances that make up the extras make for good viewing too (the one embedded below being one of the highlights), but the main thing that makes this DVD a winner are the video commentaries, which actually brings me on to something I've admired about Costello from day one; the very hands-on approach he always takes to the re-releasing of his material. With the commentaries on each video, not to mention all re-releases of his earlier albums coming with a similar kind of self-penned essay about them and a wealth of bonus material, it all makes for a bit more of an experience, or at least so for me.

So, yeah, if you're a fan of the guy and haven't already got it., you should make a priority out of this. If you already have, I like your style


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Old 02-24-2010, 07:30 AM   #133 (permalink)
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May not mean much to any of the less-obsessive followers, but I finally found this merry little ditty today;



Kinda weird, as it's a song I've been looking for since around about the dawn of time and it's been on youtube for over a year. I must be getting old! Lovely little song all the same though.

I'm gonna up a fairly large new bootleg in the very near future. It was recorded with the Attractions, has an official release level of sound quality and is quite possibly my favourite Costello bootleg - definitely among my 5 favourite bootleg recordings ever. In other words, watch this space...
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:18 PM   #134 (permalink)
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The Bootleg Corner
#7


Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Royalty Theatre, London, 23/11/86


So I decided to do a bit more semi-enthusiastic digging through the vaults for something I could bump this thread with again, just like old times! This here is one of the finest performances from the Attractions as the band itself neared the end of its life-cycle (having already been ditched by bandleader Costello for the excellent King Of America album, not to mention a solo tour or two). The show itself is part of the promotional tour for what would turn out to be Costello's last album with the Attractions for some eight years (the uber-cool Blood and Chocolate). As a neat little gimmick for their stint at the Royalty Theatre in London, Costello proposed a five night-long gig, switching between different bands (with his own anti-Attraction, more country-fied backing band; the Confederates) and solo sets between nights, ending with one last performance with the Attractions. This gig is (I believe - I'd have to look it up again to be absolutely certain) the first of those gigs. Definitely the best bootleg recording of Elvis Costello and the Attractions - it's fiery, punchy performances like this (which actually improve a lot of the songs through live performance) that make you wonder why so little of their live work is officially available.

Here are the discs anyway. The tagging's gonna be a bit dodgy, but nothing too drastic...

Disc 1 link
1. Accidents Will Happen
2. The Beat
3. Tokyo Storm Warning
4. Watching the Detectives
5. Battered Old Bird
6. Honey, Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?
7. Temptation
8. New Lace Sleeves
9. Blue Chair
10. Jack Of All Parades
11. Uncomplicated
12. Lipstick Vogue
13. Beyond Belief
14. Clubland


Disc 2 link
1. I Want You
2. I Hope You're Happy Now
3. Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head
4. Lovable
5. Leave My Kitten Alone
6. Oliver's Army
7. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
8. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
9. Pump It Up
10. Poor Napoleon
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:27 PM   #135 (permalink)
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This thread hath been a godsend to my ploughing through his vast discography.I've started giving his albums to anyone who I think'll listen to them at all, and I have Bulldog to thank/blame.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #136 (permalink)
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^ Good to know I've been getting through. Posts like that make doing threads like this worthwhile - thanks for that. After all, if this thing was solely for my benefit, I could just talk to my mirror for a few hours a day for half the fuss Any favourites making themselves known to you by the way?

Here's another one straight from the top-drawer as well...

The Bootleg Corner
#8

Upon breaking up the Attractions, the prospect of some well-earned time off loomed large for Costello. A quick solo tour was on the cards first though, as this terrific bootleg will testify.

So then, not only does the following setlist (don't be alarmed by the file's size or the lengthy tracklisting - it's actually a pretty reasonable length of air-time) show us Costello on his own (for the most part) as a performer, thus presenting us with a very friendly, acoustic solo-set vibe, but following the introduction of the man's old chum Nick Lowe, things take on a more extraordinary edge as the Spectacular Spinning Songbook is introduced to the crowd. Basically, Costello would leave the stage while the roadies got the thing ready, come back as his alter-ego Napoleon Dynamite (no, really!) and, with the help of his mate Xavier Valentine (aka Nick Lowe in this case, although this would change from gig to gig - the Chicago Bears, Penn & Teller, even Tom Petty and Tom Waits on seperate occasions) would invite audience members on stage to spin to songbook - a giant roulette wheel with song titles written on it. From there they'd be invited to get jiggy in the go-go cage, relax in 'the society lounge' (an area of the stage with free cocktails and cable TV in abundance) or even to occupy the vacant drum-kit and provide Costello with a bit of rhythm. This kind of approach would, naturally, throw up a mix of obscure oldies and bizarre cover versions (including Prince's Pop Life and Abba's Knowing Me, Knowing You - sadly neither of those are on this bootleg) and serve up a gloriously random evening out.

It all makes for an absolutely wonderful bootleg with a great atmosphere about it, and another one of my absolute favourites for sure. All that aside, some of the solo acoustic renditions here are absolutely wonderful, with a bizarre rendition of Pump It Up to top it all off (which unfortunately fades out about half-way through). One for both the casual listener and more than enough obscurities to keep the veteran fan happy. Enjoy...

Elvis Costello & the Spectacular Spinning Songbook
San Diego, 18/4/87

1. Sally Blue Brown
2. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
3. [banter]
4. Green Shirt
5. [banter]
6. Heathen Town
7. Uncomplicated
8. Inch By Inch
9. New Amsterdam/You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
10. American Without Tears
11. American Without Tears no: 2 (Twilight Version)
12. Radio Sweetheart/Jackie Wilson Said
13. I Want You
14. [Nick Lowe intro]
15. (What's So Funny 'bout) Peace Love and Understanding?
16. [Napoleon Dynamite intro]
17. [spinning songbook 1]
18. Honey, Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?
19. Everyday I Write the Book
20. Alison
21. [spinning songbook 2]
22. Watching the Detectives
23. Taxi
24. Just a Memory
25. Girls Talk
26. Pump It Up

^ Pic's the link.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:42 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
^ Good to know I've been getting through. Posts like that make doing threads like this worthwhile - thanks for that. After all, if this thing was solely for my benefit, I could just talk to my mirror for a few hours a day for half the fuss Any favourites making themselves known to you by the way?.
Thus far Imperial Bedroom has overtaken Armed Forces(You've disgracefully underrated it, it's at least a 9), and I've obtained Blood & Chocolate and a compilation of the Warner years so as to have some idea of where to go next.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:52 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Thus far Imperial Bedroom has overtaken Armed Forces(You've disgracefully underrated it, it's at least a 9), and I've obtained Blood & Chocolate and a compilation of the Warner years so as to have some idea of where to go next.
Armed Forces is a bit too polished for my liking. Some of the man's best singles are on it, but otherwise most of the album's too much of a blatant stab at a high chart position, which'd be fine if some of the songs weren't a bit weak (Big Boys, Busy Bodies, Moods For Moderns and so on). It's not that it's a terrible album, but it's kinda overshadowed by Get Happy and Trust. I used to love the album myself (it was the first Costello album I ever bought), but there are much better parts of his discography.

Best of luck hunting down the discography anyhow. If you have any trouble, just ask and I'll upload any albums you want - as far as I know, a few of them are pretty difficult to find, at least online.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:03 PM   #139 (permalink)
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The avalanche of bootlegs continues! I think I'll only put one more up after this next one. I'm sure that's something I've said in this thread before though. Anyway, without further ado...

The Bootleg Corner
#9

Another one from after the first breakup of the Attractions, this one stems from a time when, for once, Elvis Costello was neither touring nor recording. A lifelong Beatles fan, it can't have taken much thinking about it when Costello accepted Paul McCartney's invitation to write a few songs together. This bootleg (for the most part) consists of most of the results of those demo sessions. Each song that the pair co-wrote would appear in a variety of places, including Costello's coming albums Spike and Mighty Like a Rose, not to mention McCartney's albums-to-be Flowers In the Dirt and Off the Ground.

In the eyes of most Costello and McCartney fans, this is one of the most valued bootlegs out there and it's easy to see why, let alone wonder why on earth this thing's never seen an official release. The songs that'd make future albums by either songwriter are presented here in an intimate and very raw form, and one that improves on a lot of the officially-released studio renditions that'd pop up in future (particularly the ones that'd end up on McCartney's albums, seeing as the songs he re-recorded himself would end up being a tad overproduced).

Half of these songs are live (I have absolutely no idea where and when they were played - presumably just before and/or after the demo sessions), half are nice grainy, lo-fi demoes featuring both songwriters. The songs Tommy's Coming Home and 25 Fingers would never see an official release. Definitely worth having for curiosity's sake, and the versions of My Brave Face, So Like Candy, Veronica and Step Inside Love are absolutly glorious too.

Anyway, enough waffling - here's the link...

Paul McCartney & Elvis Costello - The McCartney/MacManus Collaborative Demoes (1988)

Linky!
1. Back On My Feet
2. Don't Be Careless Love
3. The Lovers That Never Were
4. Mistress and Maid
5. My Brave Face
6. My Brave Face [alt. take]
7. One After 909
8. Pads, Paws and Claws
9. Playboy To a Man
10. Shallow Grave
11. So Like Candy
12. Step Inside Love
13. That Day Is Done
14. Tommy's Coming Home
15. 25 Fingers
16. Veronica
17. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
18. You Want Her Too
19. You Want Her Too [alt. take]
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:12 AM   #140 (permalink)
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Looks amazing Bulldog! I loved Flowers in the Dirt, so I'll be sure to download this.
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