Elvis Costello Chronicles, November 1982

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Elvis Costello Chronicles
  • 1982 November



The Elvis Costello Chronicles

Rick Howell

This is the current and revised attempt at documenting the recording career of Elvis Costello. Included within these pages are vinyl releases, live concert recordings, outtakes, demos, interviews and some hopefully relevant information.

Also, added to this edition are record company and tour promotional items, posters and memorabilia, as well as a section for video tapes and television appearances.

This is the first edition of the Chronicles to include a complete, track by track listing of all concert recordings. The "live" portion of this listing are taken from my personal collection. It is NOT a trade list and none of this material is for sale, that is a violation of FEDERAL and copyright law.

All remarks found in 'quotations' are to be found in the dead wax of various Elvis Costello records.

My personal thanks go to all those people who have assisted me in my collecting and assembling this work. All the people who attended and recorded the shows, TV appearances, and other material. This edition is dedicated to you, and of course to Elvis Costello, who has provided the world with a legacy of excellent music.

A special thank you goes to Chris Hunt and Bill Wolf who supplied contributions to the cover art.

Compiled by Rick Howell, Hopewell Junction, NY

■ Demos

Most notorious among the Elvis early demos are what have been billed The Honky Tonk Demos. This is a tape of six songs, performed solely on acoustic guitar. Charlie Gillett is a British disc jockey, and this tape was submitted to his radio show prior to Elvis' signing to STIFF. Included in this tape were:

"Cheap Reward" which contains lyrics that later surfaced in "Lip Service,"
"Wave a White Flag," Elvis' S&M number!!
"Blame it on Cain," "Mystery Dance" (with extra verse)
and two unreleased songs: "Jump Up" and "Poison Moon"
First broadcast August 15, 1976.

"Some people cant keep their fingers clean,
just clicking their heels to the beat of the scene
Tryin to keep careening till the first edition
of last night's obituary.
JUMP UP...hold on tight
cant trust a promise or a guarantee.
Cause the man round the curve
says he's never heard of you or me."

"Cut loose in a nightmare
cast off in my dreams
If home is anywhere that I can hang my hat
Then it's comin apart at the seams.
Starts like fascination... ends up like a trance
You gotta use your imagination
on some of that magazine romance.
And these bones, they don't look so good to me —
Jokers talk and they all disagree. One day soon,
I will laugh right in the face of the POISON MOON."

"I'm gonna walk right up to heaven dodging lightnin' rods,
I'm gonna have this very personal conversation with God.
I'll say 'You got the information — Why don't you say so?'
He'll say 'Well I been around and I still don't know.'
Why don't you tell me 'bout the MYSTERY DANCE...."

There is a second grouping of demos which contains solo acoustic performances of "Radio Sweetheart," "Living in Paradise" and "Radio Soul" (which was to later become "Radio, Radio." It should be noted that "Radio Soul" is much less vitriolic than its later version. It is more an assessment of radio's formats, not as much an attack.

"RADIO SOUL — it's a sad salvation
Right on the airwaves playin cross the nation
Don't get confused by the rhythm and blues
and go through the rock and roll
It's an all day and an all night station —
listen to your RADIO SOUL."

"Oh lookin down upon the earth, you still cant understand
How i can argue with the man who's got the money in his hand.
You talk as if you got no choice, you took all you could grab
Well it looks just like a bed, but does feel just like a slab!
You don't have to worry and you don't have to try...
lay down your body, It's a lullabye.
Here we are LIVING IN PARADISE...."

Another segment is a definite Elvis IBA appearance where he accompanies himself on guitar. Performed are "You Belong to Me," "Radio, Radio" and "Hoover Factory" (a song which remained unrecorded and unreleased until 1980). Aired October 3, 1977 on Capital Radio.

■ STUDIO REHEARSAL TAPE. Information is sketchy and a bit vague, but as far as can be ascertained, the tape was recorded in early 1977 with back up band Clover, prior to the MY AIM IS TRUE sessions. Sound quality is excellent, though the material and performance is far from it. This was obviously throwaway material and bear little resemblance to the angry, highly literate, and eloquent writer/performer who emerged on the first album. Included are 2 stilted, lacklustre performances of ‘Third Rate Romance’, Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, also ‘Living in Paradise’, 2 takes of ‘Radio Soul’, ‘Pay it Back’, 3 takes of ‘Imagination is a Powerful Deceiver’, 2 takes of ‘I’m Packin’ Up’, and a song called ‘Please Don’t Stop the Band’. The back up throughout is strictly run of the mill and totally uninspired. Elvis’ performance is reserved and far from genuine. THESE RECORDINGS WERE NEVER INTENDED FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY, and it is a shame that they should emerge to embarras and haunt the artist. Someone has also made a bootleg record of this material and disguised it as a STIFF promotional disc. It isn’t.

‘Granada TV’. July 21, 1977. Elvis’ first British TV appearance. One song. ‘Alison’. Very good quality. Solo performance on guitar.

‘Hope & Anchor’ in London. July 27, 1977. Earliest documented Elvis & Attractions live performance, though they did play throughout early July, and Elvis performed solo at Dingwalls, as opening act for the Rumour. Length is about 60 minutes. Sound quality is fair to good, the vocals distort, especially backing vocals. Welcome to the Working Week*Sneaky Feelings*Blame it on Cain*No Dancing*Waiting for the End of the World*Night Rally*No Action*Chelsea*Miracle Man*The Beat*Red shoes*Less Than Zero*Lipstick Vogue*Watching the Detectives*Lipservice*Mystery Dance*Alison* and one very rare performance of Crawling to the USA (with lyric variations to the released one).

‘So it Goes’ ITV programme. August 2, 1977. Length is 10 to 15 minutes. Quality is very good. Programme includes a narration and segments of 2 ‘solo’ songs – ‘Radio Radio’ and ‘Alison’. Also includes band performances of portions of ‘Chelsea’ ‘Watching the Detectives’ and ‘Lipservice’. Live material taken from Eric’s Club in Liverpool. Air date December 3, 1977.

‘Eric’s Club’ in Liverpool. August 2, 1977. Origin unknown. Only one song – ‘No Dancing’. Sound quality is very good.

■ SINGLE RELEASE – “Less than Zero/Radio Sweetheart” on STIFF Records. BUY11. The first Elvis single. A portion of the copies of this single are available with a picture sleeve that sports a black and white photo of Elvis. There was a DUTCH issue of the single with identical picture, though backing is pure white, not grey, and the STIFF slogan is removed. There was a GERMAN version with enlarged photo and blue border around sleeve. STIFF 17787 AT. STIFF has subsequently made available a box set and a bag set of original singles which includes this picture sleeve. Some of the reissues have ‘Made in England’ printed on the label, some dont. Some original pressings of the single have the ‘organ intro’ version of the song, some have the version that appears on the LP. ‘elvis is king…..elvis is king on this side too!’

‘Nashville Rooms’ in London. August 7, 1977. Length is 55 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Working Week*Blame it on Cain*No Dancing*End of the World*Night Rally*Hoover Factory*No Action*Chelsea*Miracle Man*The Beat*Less than Zero*Red shoes*Lipstick Vogue*Watching the Detectives*Lipservice*Mystery Dance*alison

‘Bilzen Jazz Festival’ in Belgium. August 11, 1977. Outdoor concert, sound quality is poor. Length is 40 minutes. Working Week*Blame it on Cain*I’m Not Angry*End of the World*Night Rally*No Action*The Beat*Less than Zero*Red shoes*Lipstick Vogue*Lipservice*Watching the Detectives

JOHN PEEL SHOW – First Appearance. August 17, 1977. Length is 10 to 15 minutes. Sound quality is excellent. Songs performed: Red Shoes* Mystery Dance*Less Than Zero*and Blame it on Cain.

‘Nashville Rooms’ in London. August 21, 1977. Length is about 50 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Less than Zero*Blame it on Cain*End of the World*Night Rally*Working Week*Stranger in the House*Red shoes*You Belong To Me*Chelsea*Miracle Man*The Beat*Radio Radio*Lipservice*Watching The Detectives*Lipstick Vogue*Mystery Dance.

■ LP RELEASE ---- “MY AIM IS TRUE” on STIFF Records. SEEZ 3. British issue.
‘elvis is king’

US issue on COLUMBIA Records. CBS 35037. Includes ‘Watching the Detectives’. Jacket is slightly different color to the UK. LP also issued in AUSTRALIA. SEEZ 3. ‘Detectives’ is on side TWO (not ONE as in USA). Jacket says: ‘Features Watching the Detectives’ below the title and all words on jacket are outlined in black. A limited edition BLUE VINYL version of album issued in BELGIUM. COU-B/SEEZ 03. Label does not list ‘Waiting for the End of the World’, though song is on disc. JAPANESE version includes lyrics STIFF VIP 6581. SPANISH edition on STIFF TXS 3115, it is the only STIFF pressing to have Detectives on side ONE

‘Tiffney’s’ in Edinburgh. August 31, 1977. Length is about 50 to 55 minutes. Sound quality is only good. Working Week*Blame it on Cain*You Belong to Me*End of the World* Night Rally*Chelsea*No Action*I’m Not Angry*Miracle Man*The Beat*Red Shoes*Radio Radio*Lipstick Vogue*Watching The Detectives*Less Than Zero*Alison*Lipservice *Hoover Factory*MysteryDance.

■ SINGLE RELEASE—“Alison/Welcome to the Working Week”. on STIFF Records. BUY14. Issued with a black and white picture sleeve. Elvis on the front, and a torn photo of a woman (Alison?) on the back.
‘just good friends rock….elvis joins the FIB… elvis is king!’

‘Manqui Club in Falkirk, England. September 1, 1977. Length is about 50 minutes. Sound quality is only good. Welcome to the Working Week*Blame it on Cain*You Belong to Me* No Action*Pay it Back*Night Rally*Red shoes*Chelsea*Miracle Man*The Beat*Radio Radio*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Less than Zero*Alison*Lipservice*Mystery Dance.

‘Top of the Pops’ British TV show. September 1, 1977 air date. 1 song. Sound quality is very good. ‘Red shoes’.

‘Good Afternoon’ British TV show. Mid 1977. Length is 15 to 20 minutes. Sound quality very good . Includes an excellent interview and solo performances of ‘Hoover Factory’ and ‘Watching the Detectives’.

■ SINGLE RELEASE – “Red Shoes/Mystery Dance” on STIFF Records. BUY 15. No pic sleeve.
Issued in HOLLAND WITH pic sleeve, a brown/orange/white sleeve with a picture of Elvis on the front, and on the back, in large letters: STIFF-TODAY’S SOUND TODAY. STIFF 510.040.
‘help us hype elvis; he’s gonna be a star… elvis is king believe it!’

‘Nashville Rooms’ in London. September 4, 1977. Length is 65 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Features John McFee on encores. Working Week*You Belong To Me*No Action*Stranger In The House*Just Don’t Know what to Do with Myself *Red Shoes*Chelsea*I’m Not Angry*The Beat*Miracle Man*Lipstick Vogue* Detectives*Mystery Dance*Alison* Lipservice*Radio Sweetheart*Price of Love (the Everly Bros. song)*Radio Radio.

‘Swedish TV’. September 30, 1977. Length is about 10 minutes or so. Sound quality is very good to excellent. Elvis performs a solo version of ‘Watching The Detectives’, talks with the host, and then Bruce and Pete join him for Mystery Dance.

BBC Radio interview with John Tobler. September 1977. Length is about 15 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Very straightforward and informative. He discusses songwriting, recording the first album, the CBS convention, and STIFF. Interesting.

STIFFS PHONE INTERVIEW-on KSAN radio, San Francisco. The STIFFS (Elvis, Dury, Lowe, Edmunds and Wreckless Eric) talk on transatlantic telephone over the air. Ian Dury does most of the talking, Elvis says a bit, Wreckless is totally smashed!! Length is about 15 to 20 minutes. Sound quality is variable, as the phone line was not too good.

‘Apollo’ in Glasgow. October 13, 1977, the STIFFS tour. Length is about 40 minutes. Sound quality is poor, and there is a speed problem that makes the tape pretty worthless. Working Week*Blame it on Cain*Red Shoes*End of the World*Radio Radio*Hand in Hand*Less than Zero *Alison*Miracle Man*Lipstick Vogue* Detectives*I’m Not Angry*Mystery Dance.

‘Salford University’. October 21, 1977. STIFFS tour. Length is about 40 minutes. Sound quality is good. Wreckless Eric was sick that night, so Elvis does one of his songs, and Ian Dury’s sax player joins on Roudette’s song. No Action*Red Shoes*Blame it on Cain*End of the World*Night Rally*Hand in Hand*Chelsea*Lipservice*Whole Wide World*Roudette’s Song*Less Than Zero*Radio Radio*Miracle Man.

‘Civic Hall’ in Guilford. October 31, 1977. the STIFFS tour. Length is about 50 minutes. Sound quality is good. No Action*Red shoes*No Dancing*Lipservice*Sneaky Feelings*Less than Zero*Big Tears*Sunday’s Best (with full band accompanying)*Stranger in the House*Little Triggers*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Miracle Man*Lipstick Vogue*Watching the Detectives*Mystery Dance.

■ LP Release ------ “LIVE STIFFS” on STIFF Records (Arista in the USA). STF 0001. A compilation of the live STIFFS tour with songs by every artist. Elvis does 2 songs with the Attractions – the Burt Bacharach/Hal David ‘Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself’ and ‘Miracle Man’. LP reissued in Belgium on BLUE VINYL limited edition. COU STF 0001. There is a promo Arista sampler double LP with ‘Miracle Man’ ALS 06. LP reissued in UK on MUSIC FOR PLEASURE label MFP 50455 with different cover and liner notes by Andy Murray.

VIDEO- “If It Ain’t Stiff, It Aint Worth a F***”. The STIFFS tour film, a short documentary about the tour, with live footage, travelling in the bus footage, and general silly behavior. Elvis does ‘”Watching the Detectives’ and also appears in the grand finale.

■ PROMOTIONAL ONLY SINGLE-“Excerpts from STIFFS Greatest Hits”. On STIFF Records. FREEB 2-A. British promotional single. Includes excerpts from BUY 13 thru BUY 24 STIFF singles. Also features a wild narration by a rock dj. ‘where perfection is no accident …. and the lord said-go out and SELL.’

the first trip to America

‘Rock Around the World’ interview. Late 1977. A syndicated radio rock show which mixes interviews with music, either live or studio. This is available on a disc which is distributed to radio stations only. Length is about 15 minutes. Only recorded music was used. Sound quality is excellent. The disc is RARE.

■SINGLE RELEASE-“Watching the Detectives/live medley Blame it on Cain-Mystery Dance”
 STIFF Records. BUY 20. British issue. Full colour pic sleeve, Elvis and band in stripes. Issued in various European countries as well:
 GERMAN issue has ‘textured sleeve’. STIFF 6.12193.
 SPANISH edition says ‘Estereo’ on sleeve, and the label is red and black and white, not just b/w as in Britain. STIFF MO1819.
 DUTCH version has black sleeve photo with white background, instead of blue and white stripes. STIFF SPS 510.042.
‘i think you know what i mean…. ….little triggers but big tears’

‘Old Waldorf’ in San Francisco. Broadcast on KSAN. November 15, 1977. Includes the complete early show and a portion of the late show with the songs not performed in the early set. Length is about an hour and sound quality is excellent. Early show: Pump it Up*Working Week*Red Shoes*Blame it on Cain*End of the World*The Beat*Less Than Zero*Alison*Miracle Man You Belong To Me*Lipstick Vogue*Watching the Detectives*Mystery Dance. Late set includes: No Dancing*Living in Paradise*I’m Not Angry*Alison* Chelsea.

‘The Whiskey’ in Los Angeles. November 18, 1977. Length is about 45 minutes. Sound quality is good at best. I’m Not Angry*Big Tears*Chelsea*Less than Zero*Radio Radio*Living in Paradise*Little Triggers*Lip service*You Belong To Me*Miracle Man*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Mystery Dance.

‘The Whiskey’ in Los Angeles. November 19, 1977. Length is about 45 minutes. Sound quality is poor. This is the legendary Elvis show where he nearly took on a drunken heckler during ‘Detectives’. Elvis picked up a glass, broke it, and proceeded to antagonize the nuisance. Working Week*Blame it on Cain* End of the World*Night Rally*This Years Girl *Less than Zero*You Belong to Me *Mystery Dance*Red shoes*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Miracle Man.

KROQ interview. California. November 20, 1977. Length is about 15 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Features Elvis, Attractions and Jake Riviera.

‘Jed’s’ in New Orleans. Broadcast on WNOE FM. November 23, 1977. Sound quality is very good. Not great for a radio tape, incomplete, as well. Length is about 30 minutes. Stranger in the House*Roudettes Song*alison*Blame it on Cain*The Beat*No Dancing* Waiting for the End of the World*No Action*Less than Zero.

‘Electric Ballroom’ in Milwaukee. December 1, 1977. Length is about 35 minutes. Sound quality is fair. Working Week*Red shoes*End of the World*No Action*Roudettes Song*Less than Zero*The Beat*Big Tears*I’m Not Angry.

‘Top of the Pops’ British TV show. December 1977. 2 separate appearances. Sound quality is very good. ‘Watching the Detectives’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Go to Chelsea’.

‘Riviera Theatre’ in Chicago. Broadcast on WXRT. December 3, 1977. Sound quality is excellent. Length is about 45 minutes. Working Week*Red shoes*End of the World*No Action*The Beat*Less than Zero*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Lipstick Vogue *Detectives*Pump it Up*Miracle Man*Mystery Dance.

■ SINGLE RELEASE – “Mystery Dance/Pay it Back” ORANGE VINYL Belgian pressing. reissue. Many of the STIFF records were issued in this series. Sleeve is black with the titles written on it. STIFF COU-B 640.131.

“Watching the Detectives/Live Medley” YELLOW VINYL Belgian pressing. reissue. STIFF COU-B BUY 20. Identical pic sleeve to original.

WMMS interview. Cleveland. December 5, 1977. Length is about 20 to 25 minutes. Sound quality is good to very good.

‘Agora Club’ in Cleveland. Broadcast on WMMS. December 5, 1977. Length is about 55 minutes. Sound quality is excellent. Working Week*Red shoes*Hand in Hand*End of the World*No Action*Less than Zero*The Beat*No Dancing*Big Tears*Blame it on Cain*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Pump it Up*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Miracle Man*Mystery Dance.

‘Hot Club’ in Philadelphia. Broadcast on WMMR. December 7, 1977. Length is about 45 minutes. Sound quality is excellent. Working Week*red shoes*End of the World*No Action*Less than Zero*The Beat*Roudettes Song*Blame it on Cain*Little Triggers*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Pump it Up*Miracle Man*Mystery Dance.

‘Hot Club’ in Philadelphia. December 7, 1977. Late Show. Length is about 50 minutes. Sound quality is fair to poor. Includes a very rare performance of ‘Neat Neat Neat’. No Action*Red Shoes*Hand in Hand*End of the World*Night Rally*Less Than Zero*Neat Neat Neat*Big Tears*Radio Radio*Lipservice*Living in Paradise*You Belong to Me*Detectives*I’m Not Angry.

‘Paradise Club’ in Boston. Broadcast on WBCN. December 9, 1977. Length is about 45 minutes. Sound quality is excellent. Pump it Up*Red Shoes*End of the World*No Action*Less than Zero*The Beat*Roudette’s Song*Big Tears*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives.

‘Paradise Club’ in Boston. December 10, 1977. Length is about 65 to 70 minutes. Sound quality is good. Tape is hampered by mike cut outs which are most prevalent in the only known live performance of ‘Dr Luther’s Assistant’!! This version varies from the version eventually recorded and released in 1980, though the basic melody is the same. No Action*Red Shoes*Hand in Hand*The Beat*Stranger in the House*Chelsea*Blame it on Cain*Dr. Luthers Assistant*Living in Paradise (apt!)*Alison*Radio Radio*Lipservice*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*You Belong To Me*Miracle Man*No Dancing*Mystery Dance*Pump it Up,

‘Oxford Alehouse’ in New Haven. December 11, 1977. Length is about 30 minutes. Tape is incomplete. Sound quality is very good. A rare performance of Sunday’s Best*Blame it on Cain*Little Triggers*Radio Radio*Pump it Up*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*You Belong to Me*Miracle Man.

‘Bottom Line’ in New York City. December 13, 1977 late show. Length is 55 to 60 minutes. Sound quality is good. Working Week*Red shoes*Hand in Hand*End of the World*Night Rally*Less than Zero*The Beat*Big Tears*Little Triggers*Radio Radio*You Belong To Me*Miracle Man*Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*I’m Not Angry*Pump it Up.

‘Bottom Line’ in New York City. December 14, 1977. late show. Length is 30 minutes. tape is incomplete. Sound quality is very good. Elvis does some great intros to the songs, and there is an interesting break in Alison. Working Week*Red shoes*Hand in Hand*End of the World*Chelsea*Less than Zero*Roudettes song*The Beat*Alison*No Dancing*You Belong To Me.

WLIR interview. Garden City, Long Island. Broadcast December 15, 1977. Length is about 30 minutes or so. Sound quality is excellent.

■ SINGLE RELEASE – “Alison/Miracle Man”. CBS Records. American issue. This is a notable single for a couple of reasons. The ‘A’ side is a ‘doctored’ version of the song, with strings and a female backing chorus. Very schlocky. The ‘B’ side is a live version with the Attractions, not the version on the live STIFFS album, though. No picture sleeve. CBS 3-10641. There is a mono/stereo promotional dj copy available which only includes ‘Alison’. White label. CBS 3-10641.

‘4 Acres Club’ in Utica, New York. Broadcast on WOUR. December 15, 1977. Length is about 65 minutes. Sound quality is excellent. Elvis’ comments between songs are interesting. He also makes reference to the fact that since he’s playing ‘to the people’ rather than the media like in larger cities, he does 2 encores. Pump it Up*Red shoes*End of the World*No Dancing*The Beat*Less than Zero*Roudettes Song*Living in Paradise*Little Triggers*Radio Radio*You Belong To Me*Miracle Man*Detectives*Lipstick Vogue*Mystery Dance*Lipservice*I’m Not Angry.

‘Stone Pony’ in Asbury Park, New Jersey. December 16, 1977. 2 sets. Length is about 90 minutes. Sound quality is very good. Includes a rare performance of the old Everly Brothers song ‘Price of Love’ as well as ‘Really Mystifying’. A great show!!

Lipstick Vogue*Detectives*Mystery Dance*Pump it Up*Hand in Hand*Price of Love*Red shoes*Roudettes Song*Red shoes*Just Don’t Know What do to with myself*Radio Radio*Really Mystifying*End of the World*Detectives*You Belong to Me*Miracle Man*I’m Not Angry*No Action*Less than Zero*The Beat*Blame it on Cain*Alison*Radio Radio*You Belong to Me*Miracle Man.

NBC TV ‘Saturday Night Live’. A live appearance on American Television. December 17, 1977. The Sex Pistols were originally slated to appear, but couldn’t get work permits, and as a last minute addition, Elvis was invited. True to form, Elvis’ American TV debut was controversial. Elvis was allotted time to do 2 songs which were to be ‘Detectives’ and ‘Less than Zero’. Detectives was done as planned, then they did the first few bars of ‘Less than Zero’, and Elvis abruptly stopped the band and said ‘No, this isn’t right’ and promptly launched into his scathing indictment of the media – ‘Radio Radio’. Much to the dismay of producer Lorne Michaels. Length is about 10 minutes or so. Sound quality is very good. a fitting end to the first visit to America…

■ SINGLE RELEASE- “Watching the Detectives/live medley”. On CBS Records in America. Not issued with picture sleeve. CBS 1-10696. There is also a mono/stereo white label dj promo copy with just Detectives. CBS 3-10696.

Remaining text and scanner-error corrections to come...


The Elvis Costello Chronicles, 5th revision, November 1982

Rick Howell documents the recording career of Elvis Costello.



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