Tag: Elvis Costello

Friday 9/17/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elvis Costello – Spanish Model (2021)

Spanish Model Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AllMusic.com)

On the face of it, Spanish Model seems destined to be a curiosity: it features the original Attractions backing tracks from Elvis Costello’s classic 1978 album This Year’s Model with new vocal overdubs by contemporary Latin artists. Costello came up with the idea after revisiting the original session tapes for This Year’s Model in 2018 — he and his co-producer Sebastian Krys were turning “This Year’s Girl” into a duet featuring Natalie Bergman — and finding the band sounded powerful in their own right with his lead vocals stripped away. He soon came up with the idea of recording a Spanish-language version of the album, recruiting musicians from around the globe — including Juanes, Nina Diaz, Jesse & Joy, Luis Fonsi, Fito Páez, and La Marisoul — to help translate and shape the original material into something fresh. Far from being an intellectual exercise, the resulting Spanish Model retains the vigor of the Attractions yet sounds brighter and openhearted in the hands of Latin singers. Some of the change in tenor is certainly due to the absence of a vitriolic young Costello. Back in 1978, he sang in a furious rush, spitting out insults and paranoia. The singers here take their time with the melody and the words, a shift that helps pull the compositions into sharp relief; they sound more pop and less punk in this incarnation. Even if the melodies feel more pronounced on Spanish Model, the barbed humor and spiky politics remain — “Night Rally,” performed here by Jorge Drexler, sounds prescient about 21st century fascism — and the decision to widen the net to include such non-LP songs as “Big Tears,” “Radio, Radio,” “Crawling to the USA,” and “Running Out of Angels” (all included as bonus cuts on subsequent reissues; “Radio Radio” was on the original U.S. version of the LP) helps broaden the musical and emotional palette of the album. The end result winds up not as a curiosity but rather a small wonder, revealing new dimensions of the original recording while opening up these songs for new audiences.

1 No Action Elvis Costello feat: Nina Diaz 02:12
2 (Yo No Quiero Ir A) Chelsea [(I Don’t Want to Go To) Chelsea] Elvis Costello feat: Fuego / Raquel Sofia 03:39
3 Yo Te Vi [The Beat] Elvis Costello feat: Draco Rosa 03:47
4 Pump It Up Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Juanes 03:28
5 Detonantes [Little Triggers] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez 02:42
6 Tú Eres Para Mí [You Belong to Me] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Luis Fonsi 02:50\
7 Hand in Hand Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Luis Humberto Navejas / Francisca Valenzuela 02:34
8 La Chica de Hoy [This Year’s Girl] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Cami 03:29
9 Mentira [Lip Service] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Pablo López 02:38
10 Viviendo en el Paraíso [Living in Paradise] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Jesse / Joy 03:59
11 Lipstick Vogue Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Morat 03:32
12 La Turba [Night Rally] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Jorge Drexler 02:42
13 Llorar [Big Tears] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Sebastián Yatra 03:10
14 Radio, Radio Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Fito Páez 03:09
15 Crawling to the U.S.A. Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Gian Marco / Nicole Zignago 02:47
16 Se Está Perdiendo la Inocencia [Running Out of Angels] Elvis Costello & the Attractions / Elvis Costello feat: Vega 02:07

Monday 12/28/2020 12:30am ET: Feature LP: Los Lobos – The Ride (2004)

The Ride is a studio album by Los Lobos. It was released on May 4, 2004, by Hollywood / Mammoth Records. It features numerous guest musicians, including Bobby Womack, Tom Waits, Rubén Blades, Dave Alvin, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples, and Garth Hudson. The album contains new material and also new versions of earlier Los Lobos songs.

1. “La Venganza de Los Pelados” (featuring Café Tacuba) 4:51
2. “Rita” 5:20
3. “Is This All There Is?” (featuring Little Willy G.) 4:43
4. “Charmed” 5:00
5. “Somewhere in Time” (featuring Dave Alvin) 4:15
6. “Wicked Rain” / “Across 110th Street” (featuring Bobby Womack) 8:14
7. “Kitate” (featuring Tom Waits and Martha Gonzalez) 3:29
8. “Hurry Tomorrow” 4:33
9. “Ya Se Va” (featuring Rubén Blades) 4:54
10. “Wreck of the Carlos Rey” (featuring Richard Thompson) 5:58
11. “A Matter of Time” (featuring Elvis Costello) 2:55
12. “Someday” (featuring Mavis Staples) 4:39
13. “Chains of Love” 5:47
14. “Phone Call from Rita” 0:31

David Hidalgo – vocals, guitar, accordion, fiddle, requinto jarocho
Louie Pérez – vocals, guitar, drums, jarana
Cesar Rosas – vocals, guitar, bajo sexto
Conrad Lozano – vocals, bass, guitarron
Steve Berlin – keyboards, woodwinds

Cougar Estrada – drums, percussion on all tracks
Victor Bisetti – additional percussion
Little Willy G. – vocals (3)
Dave Alvin – vocals (5)
Bobby Womack – vocals (6)
Tom Waits – vocals (7)
Martha Gonzalez – vocals (7)
Rubén Blades – vocals (9)
Richard Thompson – vocals (10)
Elvis Costello – vocals (11)
Mavis Staples – vocals (12)
Elfego Buendia – vocals (1)
Alejandro Flores – quinta guapanguera, requinto (1)
Emmanuel de Real – jarana, keyboards (1)
Joselo Rangel – guitar (1)
Garth Hudson – keyboards (1, 11, 13)
Mitchell Froom – keyboards (2)
Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar (2, 5, 11)
Rev. Charles Williams – piano (6), organ (6), clavinet (12)
Francisco Torres – trombone (7)
Alberto Salas – piano (9)
Lonnie Jordan – organ (12)

Friday 11/13/2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Elvis Costello & The Attraction (1979) 2020 Super Deluxe Edition

Armed Forces is the third studio album by British musician Elvis Costello, released in the UK by Radar Records and in the US by Columbia in 1979. It was his second album with the Attractions, and the first to officially credit the Attractions on the cover. The album had the working title Emotional Fascism.

The North American version omitted the track “Sunday’s Best” and replaced it with Costello’s version of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” which had been released the previous November as the B-side of Lowe’s “American Squirm” single. Initial pressings of the album in the UK and US also included a promotional three-song EP, Live at Hollywood High.

Armed Forces has appeared on various “greatest albums” lists in both Q magazine and Rolling Stone magazine.

1. “Accidents Will Happen” 3:00
2. “Senior Service” 2:17
3. “Oliver’s Army” 2:58
4. “Big Boys” 2:54
5. “Green Shirt” 2:42
6. “Party Girl” 3:20
7. “Goon Squad” 3:14
8. “Busy Bodies” 3:33
9. “Sunday’s Best” 3:22
10. “Moods for Moderns” 2:48
11. “Chemistry Class” 2:55
12. “Two Little Hitlers” 3:18
13. “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” 3:32

Numerous LIVE tracks and versions of these tunes.  Over 40 tracks featured.

 

Wednesday 8/26/2020 12pm ET: Feature Artist – Elvis Costello


Declan Patrick MacManus, OBE (born 25 August 1954), known professionally as Elvis Costello, is an English singer-songwriter. He has won multiple awards in his career, including Grammy Awards in 1999 and 2020, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist. In 2003, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Costello began his career as part of London’s pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and new wave movement that emerged in the mid-to-late 1970s His critically acclaimed debut album My Aim Is True was released in 1977. Shortly after recording it, he formed the Attractions as his backing band. His second album This Year’s Model was released in 1978, and was ranked number 11 by Rolling Stone on its list of the best albums from 1967 to 1987. His third album Armed Forces was released in 1979, and features his highest-charting single, “Oliver’s Army” (number 2 in the UK). His first three albums all appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Costello and the Attractions toured and recorded together for the better part of a decade, though differences between them caused a split by 1986. Much of Costello’s work since has been as a solo artist, though reunions with members of the Attractions have been credited to the group over the years. Costello’s lyrics employ a wide vocabulary and frequent wordplay. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a “pop encyclopedia”, able to “reinvent the past in his own image”.

Costello has co-written several original songs for motion pictures, including “God Give Me Strength” from Grace of My Heart (1996, with Burt Bacharach) and “The Scarlet Tide” from Cold Mountain (2003, with T-Bone Burnett). For the latter, Elvis was nominated (along with Burnett) for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

 

Thursday 5/28/20 12am ET: Feature LP 1: Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True (1977)

My Aim Is True is the debut album by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. The album was recorded at Pathway Studios in Highbury, London Borough of Islington in 1976, over the course of six four-hour studio sessions, in a total of approximately twenty-four hours. It was the first of five consecutive Costello albums produced by Nick Lowe and cost £2,000 to record. The backing band was made up of members of Clover, but they were uncredited on the original release due to contractual difficulties; some early publicity for the album identified the backing band as “The Shamrocks”.

In 1977, Rolling Stone magazine named the album one of the best of the year. In 2000 it was voted number 266 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums. In 2003, the TV network VH1 named My Aim Is True the 80th greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 168 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. In 2004, it was ranked 37 of the top 100 albums of the 1970s by Pitchfork which said the album was “held by many as the most impressive debut in pop music history.” In 2007, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

1. “Welcome to the Working Week” 1:22
2. “Miracle Man” 3:31
3. “No Dancing” 2:39
4. “Blame it on Cain” 2:49
5. “Alison” 2:54
6. “Sneaky Feelings” 2:09
7. “Watching the Detectives” 3:38

1. “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” 2:47
2. “Less Than Zero” 3:15
3. “Mystery Dance” 1:38
4. “Pay it Back” 2:33
5. “I’m Not Angry” 2:57
6. “Waiting for the End of the World” 3:22

Tuesday 5/26/20 12:30am ET: Feature LP: Elvia Costello & The Attractions – Armed Forces

Armed Forces is the third studio album by British musician Elvis Costello, released in the UK by Radar Records and in the US by Columbia in 1979. It was his second album with the Attractions, and the first to officially credit the Attractions on the cover. The album had the working title Emotional Fascism.

The North American version omitted the track “Sunday’s Best” and replaced it with Costello’s version of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” which had been released the previous November as the B-side of Lowe’s “American Squirm” single. Initial pressings of the album in the UK and US also included a promotional three-song EP, Live at Hollywood High.

Armed Forces has appeared on various “greatest albums” lists in both Q magazine and Rolling Stone magazine.

1. “Accidents Will Happen” 3:00
2. “Senior Service” 2:17
3. “Oliver’s Army” 2:58
4. “Big Boys” 2:54
5. “Green Shirt” 2:42
6. “Party Girl” 3:20
7. “Goon Squad” 3:14
8. “Busy Bodies” 3:33
9. “Sunday’s Best” 3:22
10. “Moods for Moderns” 2:48
11. “Chemistry Class” 2:55
12. “Two Little Hitlers” 3:18
12. “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”

Tuesday 5/26/20 12am ET: Feature LP: Elvis Costello and The Attractions – This Years Model (1978)

This Year’s Model is Elvis Costello’s second album and his first with the Attractions, released in 1978. It was mainly recorded at Eden Studios in West London.

It was voted the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. In 2000 it was voted number 152 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums. In 2000, Q magazine placed This Year’s Model at number 82 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 1987, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 11 on its list of the best albums of the period 1967–1987. In 2003, the album was ranked number 98 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. In 1985, Robert Smith of the Cure cited it as one of his five favorite albums.

2. “This Year’s Girl” 3:17
3. “The Beat” 3:45
4. “Pump It Up” 3:14
5. “Little Triggers” 2:40
6. “You Belong to Me” 2:22

1. “Hand in Hand” 2:33
2. “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” 3:07
3. “Lip Service” 2:36
4. “Living in Paradise” 3:52
5. “Lipstick Vogue” 3:42
6. “Night Rally” 2:41
7. “Radio Radio” 3:05

Tuesday 12am ET: Feature LP: Elvis Costello – The Very Best of Elvis Costello (1999)

The Very Best of Elvis Costello is a compilation album on two compact discs by Elvis Costello, sampling his recorded work from the years 1977 through 1998. First issued on Polygram Records on 21 September 1999, it was re-released less than two years later on Rhino Records as the first entry in their comprehensive Costello reissue series. A one-disc version was also released.

“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” – 3:31
“Oliver’s Army” – 2:57
“Watching the Detectives” – 3:43
“Alison” – 3:21
“(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” – 3:07
“Accidents Will Happen” – 3:01
“Pump It Up” – 3:13
“I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” – 2:05
“Radio Radio” – 3:06
“Clubland” – 3:43
“A Good Year for the Roses” – 3:35
“Man Out of Time” – 5:25
“I Wanna Be Loved” – 4:46
“Everyday I Write the Book” – 3:52
“Brilliant Mistake” – 3:41
“The Other Side of Summer” – 3:53
“Tokyo Storm Warning” – 6:23
“Sulky Girl” – 5:04
“So Like Candy” – 4:35
“Veronica” – 3:07
“She” – 3:05
“Big Tears” – 3:10
“Beyond Belief” – 2:33
“Lipstick Vogue” – 3:31
“Green Shirt” – 2:44
“Pills and Soap” – 3:43
“Tramp the Dirt Down” – 5:41
“Shipbuilding” – 4:51
“High Fidelity” – 2:28
“New Lace Sleeves” – 3:47
“(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” – 2:46
“Talking in the Dark” – 1:57
“New Amsterdam” – 2:13
“I Hope You’re Happy Now” – 3:07
“Riot Act” – 3:34
“My Funny Valentine” – 1:29
“Indoor Fireworks” – 4:09
“Almost Blue” – 2:49
“I Want You” – 6:43
“God Give Me Strength” – 6:10
“That Day Is Done” – 5:10
“I Want to Vanish” – 3:14

Tuesday 9pm: Feature LP: Elvis Costello and The Imposters – Look Now (2018)

Elvis Costello had already taken a few steps from the “angry young man” persona that dominated his first two albums by the time he began work on 1982’s Imperial Bedroom, but that was the disc where his evolution from brash upsetter to gifted pop craftsman began in earnest.

In 2017, Costello staged a concert tour in which he re-imagined the songs from that LP, and while that may or may not have put those tunes and their style back into his mind, 2018’s Look Now certainly is an extension of the mature and literate pop songwriting that he first fully embraced in that material. Look Now often feels like a cross between Imperial Bedroom and Painted from Memory, Costello’s 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, and not just because Bacharach co-wrote three tracks with Costello. (Another pop tunesmith in the classic tradition, Carole King, also helped compose one of the tunes, “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter.”)

Look Now isn’t rock & roll so much as it’s pop that blends the craft of classic Brill Building tunes of the ’60s with the narrative maturity of classic Broadway musicals and the sort of ballads that were once the purview of classic jazz vocalists. If you’re the sort of Costello fan who lives in hope that he’s going to make another This Year’s Model or Blood & Chocolate someday, Look Now will not be your cup of tea. But if you’re in the mood for a set of world-class songs dealing with grown-up themes and performed with nuance and a master’s touch, you could hardly do better.

As a vocalist, Costello’s phrasing and ability to inhabit a character has rarely been more assured, so much so that he sings a few songs from the point of view of a female protagonist and makes them work (including “He’s Given Me Things” and “Unwanted Number,” the latter written for the film Grace of My Heart).

The arrangements are artful and evocative, with subtle applications of strings and backing vocalists and pianist Steve Nieve once again reminding us why he’s been one of Costello’s most valued musical partners since the late ’70s. And while there are just enough sharp angles in “Under Lime” and “Mr. & Mrs. Hush” to remind us this is indeed Elvis Costello, Look Now is the work of a man with enough talent to take his muse in any direction he pleases and give us something memorable.

In 1978, the Arrogant Young Mr. Costello famously said, “I’m not going to be around to witness my artistic decline,” and 40 years on, Look Now proves he’s still living up to that claim. Ctsy Allmusic.com AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

1 Under Lime 5:35
2 Don’t Look Now 2:28
3 Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter 4:16
4 Stripping Paper 3:52
5 Unwanted Number 3:33
6 I Let the Sun Go Down 4:26
7 Mr. and Mrs. Hush 3:46
8 Photographs Can Lie 3:38
9 Dishonor the Stars 3:18
10 Suspect My Tears 4:49
11 Why Won’t Heaven Help Me? 3:22
12 He’s Given Me Things 4:11