Elvis Costello

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Elvis Costello

Postby EddieV » Thu May 25, 2006 3:41 am

what do you all think of him. Of course he was working with Macca during Flowers and Off The Ground, but as a solo artist.

I´ve got three album with him: Spike, Brutal Youth and Mighty As Rose.
They are all great especially Brutal Youth.

what do you think??
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Postby 2 of 3 » Thu May 25, 2006 6:53 am

I think he's as talented as Macca as a songwriter. Eddie, you should pick up some of his earlier stuff, though my favourite is King of America. :)
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Postby maccastheman » Thu May 25, 2006 8:21 pm

I put Elvis right up there with Macca, Dylan, Van Morrison, Prince, and Neil Young when it comes to incredible songwriting.

Like many folks here, I didn't really get into him until he started working with Macca. (Or rather when I discovered that he worked with Macca) It was around 1993. (The dreaded Off The Ground Album :shock: :wink: :D )

I was a freshman in college, and around the same time there was an infomercial on TV called "Sounds of the '70." I used to watch it almost every night it came on, lol. There was a segment in there where they played "punk rock." ("Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads, "Because The Night" by Patti Smith, and "Radio, Radio" by Elvis Costello)

After watching that video I didn't understand the Elvis Costello thing at all. He just looked silly and I didn't really understand the song.

After I really, really got into "Mistress and Maid" as well as "My Brave Face," I decided to pick up the Rykodisc Best of. I really began to appreciate his songwriting after that. I particularly liked "Watching the Detectives," "Alison," "Oliver's Army," and "Everyday I Write the Book."

Then I got the first four albums and they really blew me away. I don't think any other artist's first four albums are quite as strong as these. (Including the Beatles - if it weren't for Beatles for Sale... :wink: )

The following albums are my favorites:
My Aim Is True - Great bare bones rock and roll

This Year's Model - New Wave at its finest

Armed Forces - Contains my favorite EC song "Oliver's Army"

Get Happy - Great R&B/Stax/Motown sound - with great songs to boot!

Imperial Bedroom - Great production from the Beatle's Engineer Geoff Emerick.

Punch the Clock - Funky horns and great background singers throughout. Plus contains one of the greatest and most subtle anti-war songs ever, "Shipbuilding."

King of America - "Brilliant Mistake" is a great song. Very rootsy album

Spike - One of his most eclectic albums - ranging from the Macca collaboration "Veronica" to Allen Toussaint's incredible piano playing on "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror."

Brutal Youth - Great return to rock and roll after the Juliet Letters (Interesting but not one of my favorites)

All This Useless Beauty - His most underrated album IMHO. Contains a lot of songs he wrote for others including his versions of "You Bowed Down" written for Roger McGuinn, "The Other End of the Telescope" written for Aimee Mann/Til Tuesday, and the incredible "Complicated Shadows" written for but never recorded by Johnny Cash. It was also the last album he recorded with the Attractions. On top of all of that it featured the Macca collaboration "Shallow Grave." I saw him on the tour for this album. It was the last tour he did with the Attractions. It was kind of bittersweet.

Painted from Memory - The great collaboration with Burt Bacharach. My favorite song is still "God Give Me Strenght."

The Delivery Man - Great concept album recorded in Mississippi and featuring the song "Monkey to Man."

My Flame Burns Blue - Live album released earlier this year. Very jazzy, very upbeat, and very cool. It reminds me of Henry Mancini. Especially the version of "Watching the Detectives."

The River in Reverse - Collaboration with Allen Toussaint. Not out yet, but did get a sneak preview in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago when they performed several of the tracks live. The title track is very strong. Some of the best lyrics ever by Mr. Costello.

Wow. That's a lot of great albums. And those are just my favorites. He's just so incredibly talented and versatile. One of the most fun artsts to follow. You never know what he'll do next, but you know it will be interesting and most likely good.
Last edited by maccastheman on Thu May 25, 2006 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 2 of 3 » Thu May 25, 2006 8:59 pm

Nice going MTM....might as well lock the thread now. :wink:


I see we're on the same page as far as Costello is concerned. :)
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Postby maccastheman » Thu May 25, 2006 10:01 pm

Yes indeedy!!! If you are a music lover, I don't know how you can't like Elvis Costello. 8)
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Postby 2 of 3 » Thu May 25, 2006 10:09 pm

True. :) I read somewhere, that his writing style is most compared to Cole Porter. I'm not sure if they meant musically, or lyrically....but I do know Elvis would have chewed off his own leg at the hip, for Sinatra to record one his songs.
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Postby EddieV » Fri May 26, 2006 3:53 am

Thanks on the information. Someone knows their musicstory.

Have you seen him live?
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Postby maccastheman » Fri May 26, 2006 4:55 pm

I've seen him twice - the first time was on the very last tour he did with the Attractions. That was a great show, but it felt kind of weird. I knew Elvis and the bass player (Bruce Thomas) weren't getting along that well, and it kind of showed. Still, Elvis was a blast to watch. He's a great live performer and he's very witty. At one point in the show he said, "I can't help but wonder what songs Elvis Presley would have covered had he been alive in the '80." The he did a spot on impression of Elvis doing "Rio" by Duran Duran as well as "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2.

I saw him for the second time just a couple of weeks ago in New Orleans. He was a special guest during Allen Toussaint's performance. (He was billed as a special guest in the program, so it wasn't a surprise) He was incredible. The two of them together were just magical. I can't wait to get the new album they recorded together. It comes out in about 10 days. He didn't do any of his own material, just about 6 or 7 songs from the new album. Then he came out for an encore as well. His outfit was really cool - a purple suit. Allen Toussaint was wearing a yellow suit. They looked pretty cool together.

I would have killed to have been at the show he did in Memphis last year at a club on Beale Street where they recorded the live DVD. I strongly reccommend you get the DVD if you don't already own it. It's called Club Date. The concert is incredible and the documentary is also really cool. They show him touring Memphis as well as the Mississippi Delta where much of the music that inspried The Delivery Man came from. There's even a little segment in there about my original home state, Arkansas. :wink:

Anyway, it would be really cool to catch him in a club like that in the future. 8)[/i]
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Postby james1985 » Fri May 26, 2006 7:14 pm

never listened to Elvis. Any advice on what my first port of call should be were I to investigate?
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Postby 2 of 3 » Fri May 26, 2006 7:32 pm

James, Armed Forces is a good place to start, if you don't want to get his first album. There are so many good songs on there, it's just scary.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSmNIecf ... ostello%20
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