News on new album When I Was Cruel
- John Sakamoto
Costello gets 'Cruel' on April 16
By JOHN SAKAMOTO
-- Executive Producer, JAM! Showbiz
Elvis Costello's first solo album in more than five years, "When
I Was Cruel", is scheduled to be in stores on April 16, according
to a spokesperson for Universal Island Def Jam.
The 15-track album will be Costello's 17th proper studio release
(not counting compilations or collaborations) and the first under his
own name since 1996's "All This Useless Beauty".
One insider who has heard the album described it as more of a
straightahead "pop" release than Costello's most recent work.
"Just listening to it, it really sounds like The Attractions are
on the album."
"When I Was Cruel" will indeed feature two of the three
Attractions: keyboardist and Costello's longtime touring partner Steve
Nieve, and drummer Pete Thomas. Missing will be bassist Bruce Thomas,
with whom Costello has had a long, fractious relationship. He will be
replaced by Dave Faragher.
"I guess I'd just say this record is rowdier, and there's
more rhythm in it than the last couple of records I made," Costello
told USA Today recently, adding that he almost titled the album "I'm
In The Mood Again" or, jokingly, "I'm In A Mood Again".
Asked when he was last cruel, Costello quipped, "When was
The prime candidates for the album's first single are the lead-off
track "45", which Costello played on tour back in the fall
of 1999, and "Alibi".
Other songs on the new album -- including "Dust" and
"Spooky Girlfriend" -- have been featured in more recent Costello
Despite the half-decade gap between solo albums, Costello has
hardly been idle. Since "All This Useless Beauty", he has
collaborated with legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach (1998's "Painted
From Memory") and classical singer Anne Sofie von Otter (2001's
"For The Stars").
He has also been the subject of three best-ofs, overseen another
round of catalogue reissues, and contributed to a slew of movie soundtracks,
including "Notting Hill", "Austin Powers: The Spy Who
Shagged Me", and "The Family Man".
Here is the complete track listing for "When I Was Cruel":
2. Spooky Girlfriend
3. Doll *
4. Cruel 2
5. Soul For Hire
6. 15 Petals
8. Dust 2
13. Blue Window
15. Radio Silence
* This could well be "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's The Doll
Revolution)", a track Costello reportedly wrote for a proposed
TV series about supermodel secret agents.
For more information about some of the songs on "When I Was
Cruel", check out the first-rate Bright
Blue Tunes website (http://www.astheygo.com/newsongs.htm) and the
remarkably in-depth fansite www.elviscostello.info.
(More on: Elvis