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Old 02-22-2009, 09:07 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Kojak Variety
1995, Warner Bros Records, Blue Wave Studios (Barbados)

1. "Strange" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) 2:39
2. "Hidden Charms" (Willie Dixon) 3:29
3. "Remove This Doubt" (Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr.) 3:52
4. "I Threw It All Away" (Bob Dylan) 3:23
5. "Leave My Kitten Alone" (Little Willie John, Titus Turner, Jay McDougal) 3:10
6. "Everybody's Crying Mercy" (Mose Allison) 4:05
7. "I've Been Wrong Before" (Randy Newman) 3:01
8. "Bama Lama Bama Loo" (Richard Penniman) 2:45
9. "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face?" (Bill Anderson) 3:49
10. "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man" (Drew Baker, Dani McCormick) 3:39
11. "The Very Thought of You" (Ray Noble) 3:42
12. "Payday" (Jesse Winchester) 2:57
13. "Please Stay" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) 4:49
14. "Running Out of Fools" (Richard Ahlert, Kay Rogers) 3:04
15. "Days" (Ray Davies) 4:54


Despite its release in 1995, Kojak Variety was actually recorded in 1989, just after Spike had been recorded and toured. At this time Costello was drawing up plans to record the followup, Mighty Like a Rose, which he wanted to be comprised of more live ensemble performances than Spike was. Consequently, he'd been hoping that he could get the Attractions into the studio again (but, as with Spike and King Of America, such plans went kaput because of a combination of financial squabbles and/or ill temper between the lot of them). Seeing as this time around a reunion with the Attractions was seeming more likely (if only for the moment), Costello organised a holiday in Barbados for himself and the Confederates, to say goodbye to the band who'd faithfully worked for him since 1985. Musicians being musicians though, this two-week holiday would see Costello and the Confederates go from jamming to banging out renditions of their old favourite blues, r'n'b, country, folk and rock standards, and from there to frantically looking for a nearby studio in which to record them.

So what we have here is another covers album then and one which, given the circumstances in which it was recorded, probably wasn't actually meant to be released. His earlier covers album, Almost Blue, was a statement of artistic intent; a prolific singer/songwriter letting the music industry and the media know that there was more to him than the angry young man he'd been labeled ad nauseum since he first burst onto the scene with My Aim Is True. It also led to the recording of one of the very best albums of all time. Kojak Variety doesn't really fit in that sense with the rest of Costello's discography. There are some nice enough cover versions, and they're all performed very well indeed, but this is a musician's record (i.e one which was recorded for the love, and is more fun to play along to than to listen to) and not one for the casual listener. To sum it all up, it basically sounds like someone recording a band down at the pub as they just hammer out some pretty obscure oldies.

It's a laid-back, casual covers album then, and was only put on the back-burner by Costello and Warner Bros because an album of original material was just around the corner. In the six years before its belated release, Kojak Variety was widely bootlegged as a lost album, though in truth it's far from a classic. It's good to just have a listen to on a quiet Sunday and pick out the songs you recognise, maybe even find out which albums the less familiar ones are on, but that's about it really. Not bad, but Costello's made much more interesting albums than this. This is strictly completists-only stuff.

5/10


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Old 02-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #62 (permalink)
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I think this thread should make editor's choice, to preserve it forever. Just sayin'...
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:19 AM   #63 (permalink)
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I agree. If bulldog agrees, I will move it.

EDIT: A worthy edition to this forum.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Right, time to keep this thing rolling then...

All This Useless Beauty
1996, Warner Bros Records, Windmill Lane (Dublin) & Westside Studios (London)


Following his curating the 1995 Meltdown Festival (during which he must have sang about 50 songs with almost as many bands and guests over eleven days), Elvis Costello originally proposed a double-album to Warner Bros, which would consist of songs he'd written down the years but had been to gather dust in the vaults 'til then. Also, a Case For Song (as it was initially entitled) would be a hotch-potch of pieces he's written for other artists, such has Hidden Shame for Johnny Cash, You Bowed Down for Roger McGuinn and so forth. Unfortunately, given that his last three records for them sank like stones upon release, Warner Bros rejected the proposal in favour of a more marketable twelve-song album.

As a result, upon entering the studio with the Attractions again, a lot of songs were recorded and shuffled in and out of the final running order. All This Useless Beauty though is something more than a collection of Costello's works intended for other singers as well as the unreleased oldies, as good old Geoff Emerick produced a record which finds a much more mellow series of ballads providing the heart of the product, and certainly resulting in the most calm and easygoing Attractions album. There is the occasional more upbeat moment here and there, but we'll get to those later.

1. The Other End Of the Telescope
As with a lot of good albums, the opening track is the perfect indicator of the overall mood of the record ahead. The song, which was originally intended for Aimee Mann, is a gentle piece of balladry, with Costello's vocals and guitar along with Nieve's piano pushed to the front of the mix. A gorgeously melodic opener, featuring some more fine wordplay in the lyrics;

'You're half-naked ambition and
You're half out of your wits
Or several tiny fractions that
This portrait still omits
And it's so hard
To pick the receiver up when I call
I never noticed you could be so small
The answer was under your nose
The question never arose'
9/10

2. Little Atoms
Recorded in a very similar vein to the Other End Of the Telescope, Little Atoms is another little ditty which kind of floats out of the speakers at you due to the added spice of a Steve Nieve synth-loop punctuating the track. Another very fine song, which features just about the best line ever in 'if you still don't like my song, then you can just go to hell'. 8/10

3. All This Useless Beauty
This here's the first time a title-track would appear on the album to which it belongs, and it's another damn fine song at that, taking us through the record's very strong opening salvo. Needless to say, I just love the lyrics as well, this little bit in particular;

'She won't practice the looks from the great tragic books
That were later disgraced to face celluloid
It won't even make sense but you can bet
If she isn't a sweetheart or plaything or pet
The film turns her into an unveiled threat'
9/10



4. Complicated Shadows
Another one written with Johnny Cash in mind (which, incidentally, he turned down in favour of the aforementioned Hidden Shame), Complicated Shadows is one of the more up-tempo, electrified songs here. It's a well-rounded song, and one which actually allows Bruce and Pete Thomas to become noticeable all of a sudden, especially during the heavier instrumental bursts after each chorus. 8/10

5. Why Can't a Man Stand Alone?
As you can probably guess from the title, this is the angsty moment around these parts, which is complimented by another slower arrangement. Unlike the four tracks preceding it though, it doesn't really go anywhere musically, and is to me the only below-par moment on an otherwise very fine album. 5/10

6. Distorted Angel
Fortunately the quality picks up again here, with a song fairly similar to Little Atoms, in that it's a slow piece of music while not exactly straying into ballad territory, all the while being punctuated by a synth motif. Instrumentally, vocally and lyrically it's another good enough song. Not great exactly, but worthwhile. 7/10

7. Shallow Grave
On an album of previously-unreleased material, a Paul McCartney co-write or two from yesteryear was bound and pop up and, indeed, it does right here. In sounding a lot like Pads, Paws and Claws from Spike, Shallow Grave is by far the most furiously unrestrained song which made the final album, and one which sounds like it would have suited Brutal Youth a lot better. Still a great, heavy(ish) tune though. 8/10

8. Poor Fractured Atlas
But here the versatility of the Attractions as a backing band is again showed off nicely, as the album has a hangover-like moodswing from berserk to a soft, much more reined-in approach. Such a fragile arrangement you feel like it'll break if you go too near the speaker, and another very beautiful song. 8/10

9. Starting To Come To Me
Having first been demoed prior to the Mighty Like a Rose sessions, Starting To Come To Me finally saw the light of day here as a fully-realised slice of uplifting new wave, and it's really the only track which looks back at Costello's past achievements. Well, uplifting musically anyway, as this snippet should illustrate;

'In private she's seductive but in public she's prim porcelain and nervous
Afraid someone will recognise the shame in her eyes
You've still got the next-best disguise
You never know when to say no and when to comprimise
But it's starting to come to me'
7/10

10. You Bowed Down
And here's another one of the faster songs as the pace stays relatively sharp towards the album's end. Led by Costello's electric guitar and featuring a curious slice of studio trickery in the bridge, it's a decent enough song, but nothing truly spectacular. 6/10

11. It's Time
This, however, is. Not to say there's anything at all wrong with the rest of the singing, but this song's the only place where the fiery, angry passion in Costello's older work with the Attractions is present for all to see, doing justice to lines like 'but if you do have to leave me, who will I have left to hate'. It's a brilliantly-written, loud and unpretentious piece of hard (well, kinda) rock, and one of the man's very very best. 10/10

12. I Want To Vanish
And it'd be the high-point of the album if it weren't for this little gem right here, another slice of brilliance which lies right on the other side of the speedometer. Another very fragile song, backed up by Nieve's wonderful piano-playing and fittingly mixed contributions from his pals in the Brodsky Quartet, Costello sings beautifully, armed with one of his finest lyrics;

'If you should stumble upon my last remark
I'm crying in the wilderness
I'm trying my best to make it dark
How can I tell you I'm rarer than most?
I'm certain as a lost dog
Pondering a signpost'
10/10

The Outtakes:
Almost Ideal Eyes: Something of a sister-song to Shallow Grave, it's a truly berserk and hyperactive piece of songwriting, and a very fine piece of work at that.

That Day Is Done: Recorded beautifully by Paul McCartney for his Flowers In the Dirt album some eight years earlier, Costello has a pop at this co-write himself here, and does a very fine job with it.

God Give Me Strength: Initially written for some bloke called Burt Bacharach, while it was recorded with the Attractions during these sessions, we'll be hearing more about this one later.

What Do I Do Now?, Mistress and Maid, World's Great Optimist, the Only Flame In Town, the Comedians, the Days Take Care Of Everything, Hidden Shame and Punishing Kiss: All of these are solo, acoustic demos, many of which are very fine songs indeed (look out for Hidden Shame and World's Great Optimist in particular). I'm sure a few of them were recorded by with Attractions, but as yet any such versions of these songs are yet to see the light of day.

So, summing up then...
On the face of it, a project such as this doesn't really promise an awful lot, but what we're instead faced with is one of Elvis Costello's much better albums, and a very real insight into the quality and quantity of his output. Overall, a very soothing, chilled and gentle album indeed, and definitely one I'd highly recommend.
8.5/10
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:22 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach
Painted From Memory
1998, Mercury Records, Ocean Way (Hollywood) & Right Track Studios (New York)



I reckon a bit of back-story is necessary here before I start yammering on about the actual album. In short, 1997 was a year of sweeping changes for Elvis Costello. For a start, during the promotional tour for All This Useless Beauty Costello found himself at loggerheads with Attractions bassist Bruce Thomas again. After the band grudgingly saw the tour to its conclusion then, the Attractions were split up again, and this time it would prove to be for good. As well as ditching the Attractions for the last time and getting thoroughly sick of the limitations of the rock band format, Warner Bros were also getting a bit tired of not seeing too much of a commercial return from Costello's albums, so it was agreed between both parties that the next release would be his last on their label. That release turned out to be Extreme Honey; a rather hastily-compiled best of album featuring just the one new song (a pretty rubbish one called the Bridge I Burned), scheduled for release in the Autumn of that year. In a nutshell, the guy was at a loose end; questioning the quality of his own writing and yearning for a new way to express himself musically.

Which is where Burt Bacharach comes in. In 1996, Costello opted for Bacharach's help with God Give Me Strength (a song he'd tried and ultimately failed to record with the Attractions during the All This Useless Beauty sessions), intended as it was for the soundtrack of the Allison Anders film Grace Of My Heart. Immensely pleased with the result, the pair extended this collaboration to a full-length album. At Costello's request a core session band was formed, which included drummer Jim Keltner and Steve Nieve back behind the keyboards. The result is, naturally, twelve Costello/Bacharach co-writes, often being Costello's words to Bacharach's music (although he'd chip in with a few musical ideas here and there) in what must have been the refreshing experience of not having to lead proceedings in the studio for a change. These results are, at the very least, interesting, as we're given an album which is easygoing yet brimming with emotion, with Costello's singing as on form as it got as he rises to the challenge of working his voice around Bacharach's typically complex and intricate melodies and orchestrations. It's no classic by any means but, enough of my rambling, let's break it down into each song...

1. In the Darkest Place
There's probably no finer indication of Costello's capacity and often-overlooked skill as a singer than on a lot of this album, and this track is a clear sign of that, as the man stretches his vocal range to breaking point over some glorious instrumentations led by Bacharach's loungehall-esque piano. It just sort of breezes by softly, getting by on Costello's terrific singing and Bacharach's wonderful melodic arrangements. 10/10

2. Toledo
The following track has a similar kind of quality, and although the vocals are reined in a whole lot more, the arrangements and melody behind them are again beautiful. Plus there's a kind of dreamy, romantic edge brought to the table on the back of lyrics such as the first verse here;

'All through the night you telephoned
I saw the light blinking red
Beside the cradle
But you don't know how far I've gone
Now I must live with the lie
That I made
But if I call, I know I won't have to say it
You'll hear my voice - something is bound to betray it'


Lyrically, it's an intriguing little story about a man who's run away from his prior life, and is neither too wordy to bend the melody concerned or too brief to turn it into nonsense. Anyway, another great song. 9/10

3. I Still Have That Other Girl
Nominated for a 'best male vocal' Grammy, this song is indeed home to a very ambitious vocal performance over Bacharach's piano followed by soaring string arrangements at each chorus to compliment the vocal. It's a nice, pretty song and very well-performed indeed, but overall not as intriguing as the two which preceded it. 7/10


4. This House Is Empty Now
Another truly beautiful song this, boasting a gorgeous melody and some terrific singing which do so well to reflect the melancholy in the lyrics;

'These rooms play tricks upon you
Remember when they were always filled with laughter
But now theyre quite deserted
They seem to just echo voices raised in anger
Maybe you will see my face
Reflected there on the pane
In the window up above for long
In broken home
Yet this house is empty now
Theres nothing I can do
To make you want to stay
So tell me how am I supposed to live without you'


Unfortunately it's also host to a polished guitar solo which damn near ruins an otherwise truly brilliant song. In fact, dotted around this album are similarly cringey moments which could only really have been included at the whim of Bacharach. Believe me when I say the live version in the video below makes for a huge improvement. 7/10


5. Tears At the Birthday Party
This is much more like it though. In the bright, bubbly melody and the chirpy piano chords which punctuate it, we're given a much more jolly and uplifting number than the four songs which came before it. Catchy, very memorable, superbly sung, blissfully written - another one of Costello's finest. 10/10


6. Such Unlikely Lovers
Despite a catchy horn arrangement to kick things off and underpin parts of the rest of the song, not mention yet more great singing, things start to take a turn for the less interesting here. Another more upbeat moment, but it's really nowhere near as good as the brilliant Tears At the Birthday Party. 6/10

7. My Thief
From less interesting to just plain mediocre, this syrupy, crooning torch-song is simply very uninspiring, not very well-composed and just a bit of a corn-fest really. 4/10

8. The Long Division
Things improve slightly here, but overall the weaker section of the album is continued here. Again, Costello's voice and the horn arrangements are the saving grace of a song with an unusually weak set of lyrics and a moog-break towards the end which just doesn't really belong. 5/10

9. Painted From Memory
Another full-on crooner here, the vocals are again dead-on form, but again an otherwise emotionally-rich, tender and bright piece of chamber music threatens to be undone occasionally by the overdone, drippy sentimentality of Bacharach's orchestral arrangements. 6/10


10. The Sweetest Punch
But all of a sudden the overall quality of the album takes a turn for the better here, with a much more uncluttered instrumental approach opted for which doesn't distract from the vocal performance at hand which, as you might have gathered by the fact that I've mentioned it under just about every song here, is the common strong-point of this album. The lyrics are fairly decent too, even if Costello simplifies his writing style a little to fit snugly into Bacharach's melodies.

'You only saw red
After I said, "How can we continue?"
Hidden from your view
In the blue corner that I painted myself into
Then we started to fight
And it changed everything
Here's the ring'
7/10

11. What's Her Name Today?
It's basically that vein of songwriting and arrangement which is carried over to the penultimate song; the fragile, relatively unembellished orchestration and band instrumentation not doing anything to threaten a decent, if not unforgettably memorable song. 7/10

12. God Give Me Strength
And here's the song that the whole project began with. Despite its pretty damn corny title, it's certainly a very good song. Where we've seen the strengths and weaknesses of the Costello-Bacharach songwriting partnership at work on this album, this song rolls al of the plus points into one gentle, soft and beautifully-flowing package. Not quite one of the best songs Costello's ever sung, but definitely worth hearing. 8/10


The Outtakes.
As far as I know, no studio outtakes from these sessions exist. Either that or they haven't seen the light of day for nosy little collectors like me to have a listen.

So, summing up then...
The album as a whole is a bit of a mixed bag. Where there are awe-inspiring moments there are a few weaker and lacklustre ones to even things up. It was certainly a somewhat ambitious and artistically refreshing move for Costello to work with Bacharach's music over an entire album, and one which raised a few eyebrows in the industry (the album won a 'best pop duet' Grammy or something along those lines), despite the fact it didn't sell very well at all upon release. Unfortunately, the lack of sales would find Costello becoming disillusioned with his label yet again and not singing on another album for some four years. Anyway, definitely not for fans who exclusively listen to his first three albums, but if you can indeed take a bit of soppy easy-listening I'd recommend rolling a cig or two, brewing a steaming cuppa coffee, putting your feet on the desk and giving this a try.
7/10
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:25 AM   #66 (permalink)
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I think I've left this thread alone for long enough...

When I Was Cruel
2002, Island Records, Windmill Lane Studios


The cliche goes that a painter always paints, a writer always writes and a songwriter always writes songs. Therefore, after a good few years of doing bugger all with his musical output (although he'd written a few songs for Anne-Sofie von Otter the year before), Costello decided it was time to get his arse back in the musical ring. This, of course, meant hiring a band to take to the studio with. Keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas of the Attractions were called into service again, but this time there'd be no papering over the cracks of Costello's relationship with Bruce Thomas. Instead, former Cracker bassist and regular session musician (having worked with the Monkees, Dusty Springfield and Sheryl Crow among other) Davey Farragher filled in as the bassist for the sessions, and has worked as such for Costello ever since. His joining Costello's backing band, with his much more laid-back style than Bruce Thomas', led the the Attractions being rechristened the Imposters.

The dynamics of the backing band aside, Costello was, as I said earlier, looking to make an emphatic return to the music scene. But, what could have ended up as a rerun of a familiar sound as Brutal Youth had been took a completely different turn. What we get instead is more of an artistic departure than a homecoming - there may be faint echoes of earlier works on this album, but in the main we have a defiant, forward-thinking and at times unsettling body of work, defined as it is by its bleak lyrical visions and sparse beats. It's also far less melodious (in the main) than the man's previous work, relying on heavy rhythms, haunting synths and (sometimes) electronic drumbeats. Not what you'd expect from the guy then.

1. 45
There are, though, a few numbers which hearken back to the sound of Costello's older work, the album opener here. An unusual moment on this record, and pretty misleading as an opener, given its stuttering melody and vocal harmonies. A nice enough song, though nothing truly incredible. 7/10


2. Spooky Girlfriend
This gives you a better idea of the mood and textures which dominate the album though. The repetitive, synthetic rhythm, the lack of much audible guitar, the heavy bassline and a nice oddball lyric present Costello's new direction by the numbers. 8/10

3. Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)
Here's another return to more familiar territory, with a short, sharp piece of riff-driven rock. Again, pretty simplistic and straightforward alongside its bedfellows here but, again, a decent enough tune. 7/10


4. When I Was Cruel no: 2
And then there's this. Driven by a hypnotic drum machine beat, swathes of guitar and the haunting textures of Nieve's piano and a bizarre synth loop, it's an absolute killer of a song which would grace any best of compilation. It's true that lacks melodic invention (which drags a few of the cuts here down somewhat), but on the back of an intriguing lyric and the sonic soundscapes presented, at seven minutes it's not a second overlong. 10/10


5. Soul For Hire
The vein of synth-driven songcraft is carried over to the next track, the dense and floating Soul For Hire. It's not as rhythmically static as the title track and is another one of the most experimental and left-of-field Costello songs you're likely to hear. Unfortunately, despite the atmosphere that the heavy studio treatment gives it, not to mention a few interesting tempo changes, this is one of a few instances where it seems the man is trying perhaps a little too hard, making for one of the weaker cuts on the album. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination though. 6/10

6. 15 Petals
This same kind of songwriting though is given in interesting twist here, boasting the same synthesized atmospherics and a rolling drumbeat but this time overdubbed with Costello's horn arrangements. It adds a unique colour and a new texture to a song that could easily have turned out like Soul For Hire (and perhaps the preceding track should have been given this very treatment), yielding some pretty successful and deceptively upbeat results. 8/10

7. Tart
A terrific bassline, cryptic lyrics, but otherwise there's not so much to this number really. While being another fairly ambitious cut, it's a little too slow overall, perhaps a tad underthought, and not exactly what I'd call an album highlight. 5/10

8. Dust 2...
After the more forward-thinking string of songs which preceded it, this one hearkens back to an older sound, featuring a catchy riff and drum-heavy rhythmic sound, though unlike a certain two songs before it, this one is twisted into a much darker and far-reaching shape by a very rare Elvis Costello guitar solo. His lyrics are on form as well; a bleak and dark vision of I'm sure you can guess what upon a listen or two;

'If dust could only talk
What would we hear it say
Before it's brushed aside
Just as it's swept away
It's just the evidence
It's of no consequence
It's only flesh and bone
Why don't you leave it alone?'
8/10

9. Dissolve
The following number is another one which follows the typical rock song structure (with a harmonica thrown in for good measure), except this one uses a dirty, razor-backed guitar riff as its spine. Although not varying much musically or in its time signature, Costello's temple-vein-throbbing vocal delivery helps the cut above mediocrity, as well as the tight and efficient musicianship from the Imposters. 8/10

10. Alibi
Another contender for high-point of the album here. Rolling by on an easygoing yet pumping bassline and a frankly magnificent lyric, at six minutes it may try some listeners' patience a little, but for me it just oozes the venom and malice of Costello's greatest lyrics, which is another example of lyrical brilliance really benefiting a song's quality. This is probably my favourite bit of it;

'You were happy when you were poor
And more honest and that's your
Alibi, alibi
Sister is a whore, brother isn't sure
Alibi, alibi
You don't fit the body that you're trapped in
Alibi, alibi
Papa's got a brand new
Alibi, alibi'
10/10

11. ...Dust
Here's the sparse, distant continuation of Dust 2.... Although it features the added flavour of horn overdubs, it's a bit too slow and not as musically intriguing as its first part, and another one of the not-so-great moments on the album. 6/10

12. Daddy Can I Turn This?
And it's followed by this rather out-of-place song, which bursts into life with a prominent guitar riff. It's one more uptempo rock song but, frankly, not a very interesting one, and it's outdone nicely by the next song... 5/10

13. My Little Blue Window
...which is another one which sticks out like a sore thumb on this particular album, being led by Costello's acoustic guitar (and being one of the only places where such an instrument is actually audible). Although it sounds blatantly like an outtake from Brutal Youth or All This Useless Beauty, it's definitely the most melodic and straightforward pop song on the record, and serves as a great little slice of light relief from the more difficult moments on When I Was Cruel. 9/10

14. Oh Well
As the album nears its climax things take a much more experimental turn, starting with the slow and effect-heavy Oh Well. Although in most places the slower and more experimental cuts drag the album down slightly, the shortness of this particular song (bubbling just under 3 minutes as it does) makes sure this isn't the case. The lyric is interesting and darkly humorous enough to keep one's attention too;

'I had a dream once or so I thought
I'd be a pilot or an astronaut
I had a dream like that until I found
Even an astronaut goes into the ground
Life is just passing us, bye-bye
Oh well'
7/10

15. Episode Of Blonde
The penultimate song is another one of Costello's very best; a skewiff song with an unusual melody, punctuated by Nieve's jazzy bursts of piano and horn overdubs, ending up with some sort of crossbred, mutated form of jazz-rock, holding up a glorious lyrical rant. Sheer class in other words. 9/10

16. Radio Silence
The album does end on a bit of a weak note though, with another failed, synthetic experiment on Costello's behalf which finishes things on a bit of an uninteresting damp squib rather than a bang. 4/10

The Outtakes.
When I Was Cruel no: 1: The only known outtake from the Windmill Lane sessions in the earlier incarnation of the title track, which itself is a gorgeous piece of music and could easily have graced the album's final tracklisting.

So, summing up then...
While as an experiment it's not entirely successful, When I Was Cruel is nevertheless an admirably experimental comeback album - when Costello could so easily have churned out the album everyone would have expected of him (like Brutal Youth was), he took a daring and adventurous step into a new artistic territory here. Although there are a few duds here and there, overall it's a very good album indeed, and another one you should be on the lookout for.
8/10
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:53 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Good morning!
I was just enjoying listening to these two fantastic musicians on YouTube and I am trying to find the DVD that has the song, "Anyone Had A Heart' sung by Elvis Costello. I have scoured the Internet and although Sessions at West 54th Painted From Memory comes up, that particular song isn't on the CD or DVD.
I have been a fan of Mr. Costello since he arrived on the scene and have most of his albums.
Any advise on where to locate this particular song would be most appreciated. I have iTunes and for some reason the iTunes store is limited on these types of sessions.
Would you please email me if you know where I can obtain the album with that song on it?
gone.tothedogs@yahoo.com

Thank you!
Sandra Johnson
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:54 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Good morning!
I was just enjoying listening to these two fantastic musicians on YouTube and I am trying to find the DVD that has the song, "Anyone Had A Heart' sung by Elvis Costello. I have scoured the Internet and although Sessions at West 54th Painted From Memory comes up, that particular song isn't on the CD or DVD.
I have been a fan of Mr. Costello since he arrived on the scene and have most of his albums.
Any advise on where to locate this particular song would be most appreciated. I have iTunes and for some reason the iTunes store is limited on these types of sessions.
Would you please email me if you know where I can obtain the album with that song on it?
gone.tothedogs@yahoo.com

Thank you!
Sandra Johnson
Hey up.

Unfortunately I have no idea where to locate the albums in question, as I've been looking for them myself for quite some time now. That said, I do know you'll find Anyone Who Had a Heart on these bootlegs;

The Look Of Love [Radio City Music Hall, New York, 13/10/98]
The Royal Festival Hall [Royal Festival Hall, London, 29/10/98]

Ebay's probably your best bet, as I haven't been able to find these myself. If I find anything out though, I'll email ya.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:54 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Looking at this thread made me run a search on this ungodly lard hard drive of mine and I found My Aim is True and I love it!


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Old 03-24-2009, 06:03 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Looking at this thread made me run a search on this ungodly lard hard drive of mine and I found My Aim is True and I love it!


=]
It's a good 'un ain't it? I wouldn't call it a classic, because the man's done much better, particularly when he came into his own as a writer some years down the line. Get Happy, Trust, Imperial Bedroom and Spike are the bare necessities for me - muchly under-appreciated my most music-lovers, and it's a damn shame too.
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