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News of new album When I Was Cruel
Jam!, 2002-01-29

 

 

Costello samples '60s Italian pop on new album

By JAM! Music

Elvis Costello's upcoming album "When I Was Cruel" is a "rowdy rhythm record" with contributions from members of his original backing group The Attractions, Costello says.

In a self-penned press release, Costello says the new album was composed entirely on "a Silvertone electric guitar, a 15-watt amplifier and a kid's beatbox with big orange buttons."

"I've been singing so many ballads with other people recently that I was in the mood again for a rowdy rhythm record," Costello says.

"We used a highly skilled team of musicians and engineers to ensure that we did not accidentally make a record that had been previously released."

Based on his description of some of the music, "When I Was Cruel" will be unlike any other Costello record. He said the track "When I Was Cruel No. 2" has a "rhythmic twist ... courtesy a clip taken from a '60s Italian pop record by the great singer Mina" and quotes lyrics from Abba's "Dancing Queen."

"Spooky Girlfriend," a song Costello debuted during his last tour, is "the tale of a deluded Svengali who turns out to be another show-business weasel." "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's A Doll Revolution)" is a "rock 'n' roll" "flip-side" of that story, while the song "45" is described as "autobiographical arithmetic" (Costello turned 45 in 2000).

The album's cover is just as odd: it's a photo of what appears to be two cartoonish bumblebees, taken at what looks like an amusement park.

"I could tell you more about songs like 'Tart,' 'Episode Of Blonde' and 'Alibi,' but then there would be no reason for you to listen, and that would be a shame," Costello said.

Production on the album is credited to The Imposter -- Costello, Ciaran Cahill, Leo Pearson and Kieran Lynch -- and was recorded at Windmill Lane Recording Studios in Dublin.

Attractions Steve Nieve (keyboards) and Pete Thomas (drums) are joined by bassist Davey Faragher (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker) in Costello's studio band, and horn parts were later recorded in New York City, the singer said.

Costello's last full album release was the Burt Bacharach collaboration "Painted From Memory." His last full album of his own compositions was 1996's "All This Useless Beauty."

Meanwhile, the next round in Rhino Records' ambitious reissue of Costello's early catalogue continues next month. Ice Magazine reports that "This Year's Model" (1978), "Blood & Chocolate" (1986) and "Brutal Youth" (1994) are all due Feb. 19 from Rhino. The three double-disc packages will feature a combined 32 bonus tracks, many being made available for the first time.

"This Year's Model" bonus tracks:

"You Belong To Me" (demo)
"Radio, Radio" (demo)
"Neat, Neat, Neat" (Damned cover, from the 1977 "Live Stiffs" tour)_
"Roadette Song" (Kilburn And The High Roads cover, from 1977 "Live Stiffs" tour)
"This Year's Girl" (fast version)
"(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea" (psychedelic version)
"Big Tears"
"Crawling To The U.S.A."
"Running Out Of Angels"
"Green Shirt" (demo)
"Big Boys" (demo)

"Blood And Chocolate" bonus tracks:

"Forgive Her Anything"
"All These Things" (The Uniques cover)
"Pouring Water On A Drowning Man" (James Carr cover)
"Running Out Of Fools" (Aretha Franklin cover
"Tell Me Right Now" (Joe Tex cover)
"Lonely Blue Boy" (Conway Twitty cover)
"Seven Day Weekend"
"Blue Chair"
"Baby's Got A Brand New Hairdo"
"American Without Tears No. 2 (Twilight Version)"

"Brutal Youth" bonus tracks:

"Life Shrinks" (for the soundtrack "War Of The Buttons")
"Idiophone"
"A Drunken Man's Praise Of Sobriety" (A W.B. Yeats poem set to music)
"Favorite Hour" (piano/drum version)
"You Tripped At Every Step"
"This Is Hell"
"Abandoned Words"
"Poison Letter"
"All The Rage" (demo)
"My Science Fiction Twin" (demo)
"Pony Street"
"Clown Strike"
"Just About Glad"
"Rocking Horse Road"
"13 Steps Lead Down"
"All The Rage"
"Sulky Girl"

The next phase of Rhino's reissue series will be the trio of "Imperial Bedroom," "Armed Forces", and "Mighty Like A Rose." (More on Elvis Costello)

Copyright 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc. All rights reserved.

 
         
 

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