a resource for Elvis Costello fans
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Elvis Costello is part of a group assembled by producer T Bone Burnett to create music for unheard 1967 Bob Dylan lyrics for Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, an album released on November 11, 2014.
The other members of the group are Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons). The group - "The New Basement Tapes", made their first live performances via three national television appearances in the USA in November. They performed on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on November 10, Ellen on November 14 and Jimmy Kimmel Live on November 19. They also played a concert in Los Angeles at the Montalban Theatre, and recorded a number of interviews and performances for radio broadcast.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "One intriguing facet of the current project is the collaboration among the participants. Each has come up with his or her own music for many of the lyrics, resulting in multiple versions of the same songs and allowing a perspective on the ways different artists respond to Dylan’s lyrics. Each artist takes the lead on the tracking of his or her song, and all provide suggestions and whatever instrumental and vocal support the others require, with Burnett overseeing final production."
Speaking to the London Evening Standard at an event in July to launch the album, Elvis said there had been a number of traps to avoid: "One is to go back in time, the other is to be intimidated and the third is to think that you are Bob and The Band because we're not. We're us, playing today with our own histories and our own preferences."
The making of the album is the subject of the documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, which will air on Showtime.
Five "lyric videos" have been released: Nothing To It (sung by Jim James), Married To My Hack (sung by Elvis), When I Get My Hands On You (sung by Marcus Mumford), Spanish Mary (sung by Rhiannon Giddens), and Liberty Street (sung by Taylor Goldsmith).
Wise Up Ghost by Elvis Costello and The Roots was released on September 16 2013 in the UK and September 17 in the US. Drummer Questlove tells Billboard: "We had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, 'Ooh! Wait a minute! Let's replace four of these songs with four better songs! And now we have the tightest 12-14 song collection out of about 20 songs that we made."
A press release claimed a small number of test pressings were distributed as white labels on Record Store Day on April 20, but no copies have surfaced online, and a Rolling Stone article suggests the album was not completed until June 2013. A video for "Walk Us Uptown" was released July 22, 2013.
EC and The Roots were joined by Diane Birch and La Marisoul to preview songs from the album live on September 16 at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City and appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon the following night and on September 19. New York radio station WFUV (90.7 FM/wfuv.org) broadcast a recording of the full Brooklyn Bowl concert on September 17.
Wise Up Ghost is available on CD and vinyl. There is also a Deluxe CD version with three extra tracks. The CD is available here: Amazon • Amazon.uk. The deluxe CD is here: Amazon • Amazon.uk. The vinyl double album is here: Amazon • Amazon.uk.
Wise Up: Thought, an EP of remixed tracks from Wise Up Ghost was released as a limited edition CD (2500 copies) on November 29, Record Store Day Black Friday. It was released digitally and on 10" vinyl on December 17. The EP contains seven tracks, five of them mixed by Karriem Riggins. More details here.
EC and the group - "The New Basement Tapes" will make their third live TV performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on November 19.
Elvis will be awarded with an Icon award at the Collective Honours 2014 in a ceremony at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on November 22 2014.
Elvis has suggested that he will play another show in London, England "early" in 2015, but no details are yet available
In November, Elvis joined the musicians involved in recording Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes to promote the album through a series of appearances on TV and radio shows, and a live concert at the Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles. Elvis played solo at a gala event at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
In October Elvis played a series of solo shows across Western Europe with support from Larkin Poe and Steve Nieve. He played a number of cities for the first time: in Uppsala on 4 October, in Leipzig on 10 October, in Mainz on 12 October, in Stuttgart on 14 October and in Linz on 26 October. The tour ended in London with a show where he was joined by Steve Nieve and shared the bill (and the stage) with Georgie Fame. The show was recorded for future radio broadcast by the BBC.
In September, Elvis and The Imposters played an outdoor show at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA and an indoor show at Sonoma State University, CA. Elvis played two shows with Steve Nieve, Dennis Crouch and Karriem Riggins backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. He played a show in Ann Arbor in Michigan, where he was unable to finish a show in June due to sickness. Elvis appeared on the Norwegian/Swedish TV Chatshow "Skavlan" with Anni-Frid Lyngstad from ABBA. He played solo shows in Tampere in Finland, Randers in Denmark on and Malmö in Sweden.
In July, Elvis played four solo shows in the UK in Swansea, Manchester, London and Bexhill-on-Sea and played a festival in Peer in Belgium. At the London show he was supported and joined on stage by Larkin Poe and the MacManus Brothers. Whilst in London he met journalists to promote Lost On The River:The New Basement Tapes.
In June Elvis played a thirteen-date North American solo tour. He also appeared at Massey Hall in Toronto and at the Montreal Jazz Festival. His concert in Ann Arbor, MI has been rescheduled to 8 September as he was unable to finish the show there due to illness.
On 5 June Elvis appeared again on the Late Show With David Letterman and played a new song: The Last Year Of My Youth. He also appeared on the Morning Joe TV show to promote his forthcoming shows at Carnegie Hall in New York.
On 2 June, Elvis compered the 2nd PEN New England Song Lyrics Awards For Literary Excellence at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum in Boston, MA. This year the ceremony honoured Randy Newman and Kris Kristofferson. EC performed a song with Rosanne Cash. T Bone Burnett and Allen Toussaint also performed.
On 2 May EC played a solo show in Dubai as part of the "Blended" concert series, on the same bill as his wife Diana Krall.
In April EC and the Imposters played festival dates in Australia - the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival in Fremantle, Australia with a guest appearance from John McFee; the 25th Annual Byron Bay Blues Festival and the Deni Blues and Roots Easter Festival. They also played shows in Melbourne and Sydney before going on to New Zealand where they played a show in Auckland and the inaugural Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival. The Imposters also recorded tracks with Australian artist Heath Cullen.
EC and Steve Nieve joined other Irish and Anglo-Irish artists in a Ceiliúradh (Celebration) at the Royal Albert Hall in London to mark the first state visit to England of the President of Ireland. The show was broadcast in Eire, live on the radio and later on TV. Highlights from the show were broadcast in the UK on BBC4 on 13 April.
In March, EC and the Imposters played a show in Atlantic City, NJ. EC and The Roots with La Marisoul played a show in Port Chester, NY and two shows at the opening of the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas, NV on 15 and 16 March. He also made a guest appearance with Jackshit during their show at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA. Elvis also recorded an interview for Newstalk ZB radio in New Zealand, to promote his shows in that country.
In February EC and The Imposters played a corporate conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
In December The Spectacular Spinning Songbook visited Japan for the first time with Elvis and the Imposters playing three shows in Tokyo and one in Osaka. The third night's show in Tokyo was broadcast on subscription television.
In November Elvis played a solo tour of the North East states of the USA. Over the course of 19 shows he played 201 different songs, including many that he had never played solo before. A listing of all the many different songs played on this tour is here.
In October, Elvis played the Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, California on the 26th and 27th. He also appeared at a charity concert 'Right To Rock' in New York, NY with Steven Van Zandt and Darlene Love.
In September, Elvis appeared at a concert at Town Hall, New York, NY, featuring music from the Coen Brothers' film Inside Llewyn Davis. He played three songs with different artists including T-Bone Burnett, Punch Brothers and The Secret Sisters.
Elvis played three songs at the launch of the Apple IPhone 5, at Apple Campus in Cupertino, California. One of the three songs was Radio Soul which had not been played since he performed it with Flip City in 1975.
Elvis made a return appearance at the annual Glastonbury Festival where he played the main (Pyramid) stage on the same night as The Rolling Stones. As is traditional, Elvis included a song - Out Of Time - by the headlining act in his set. His whole set was broadcast live online by the BBC. Parts of it were also shown on TV.
Elvis toured Ireland with The Imposters playing Cork, Derry/Londonderry as part of the celebrations of that city being UK City of Culture 2013 and at the Westport Festival where he was joined on stage by Glenn Tilbrook.
In May and June Elvis toured the UK with The Imposters and "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" on the '13 Revolvers tour. He played 18 dates, including three consecutive nights at London's Royal Albert Hall. See the Fan Forum for details. A tabulation of all the songs played on the Revolver tour in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and the songs that have featured on the Spectacular Spinning Songbook is here: The Revolver Tour.
On 26 May, Elvis and the Imposters appeared at the Sasquatch! Festival in Quincy, WA near Seattle. He was joined onstage by Natalie Bergman, half of American indie rock band Wild Belle. See the Gigography for full details of this and other shows listed above.
On 7 March, Elvis appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York for a charity concert honouring the music of Prince. He performed with Princess and The Roots who were the house band for the event. Elvis played a smaller rehearsal show at the City Winery in New York on 6 March, as a warm up for the Carnegie Hall show.
On 28 February, Elvis and The Imposters played at a charity event at Madison Square Garden in New York to raise funds for Teen Cancer America.
In January and February "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" visited Australia for the first time as part of a seven date tour. Five shows formed part of the "A Day on the Green" season, where Elvis and The Imposters were supported by Sunnyboys, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons and others. The remaining two dates in Melbourne and Sydney were Spectacular Spinning Songbook shows in theatres. Elvis and The Imposters also headlined a show at The Civic in Auckland, New Zealand in January, his first concert in that country since 1999.
Elvis and The Imposters appeared at 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's' benefit concert in New York on 10 November. They played a set with "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook", including a couple of songs with Michael J. Fox. See the Gigography for details.
Elvis appeared again at the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and played two shows with Jim Lauderdale and Bill Kirchen for the Sixth Annual Richard de Lone Special Housing Project benefit Concert on 6 October. On 16 October, Elvis appeared at the Little Kids Rock benefit concert in New York, NY, honoring Steven Van Zandt.
On 5 December 2011 Hip-O records released a limited-edition box – only 1,500 numbered copies worldwide – culled from the two dates Elvis and The Imposters played at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre in May 2011. The set includes a CD of 16 performances from both nights. An accompanying DVD showcases the second show on May 12 including a guest appearance from Susanna Hoffs. The box set also features a 10″ EP with an additional four songs, a 40-page hardbound book of photos and Costello’s journal entries while on tour, a 20″ x 30″ poster, a limited edition tour postcard and a commemorative card signed by Costello himself.
On his own website Elvis has complained that the box set is over-priced (at around 268 US Dollars) and suggests that such a sum could be better spent on a Louis Armstrong box set. The Hip-O box set is here: Amazon • Amazon.uk. The Louis Armstrong box set is here: Amazon • Amazon.uk
A CD only version of this album and the accompanying DVD have now been released at a more affordable price. These were scheduled for release on 24 January, then 6 March, and were finally released on 2 April 2012. You can order the CD here: Amazon • Amazon.uk and the DVD here: Amazon
The video trailer for the DVD release can be viewed here YouTube.
Elvis Costello's album National Ransom was released on October 25 2010 internationally and November 2 2010 in the U.S, but the digital download offered on www.nationalransom.com became available on October 24 2010. It was recorded with producer T Bone Burnett in Nashville and Los Angeles over an 11 day period earlier in 2010.
Musicians include all members of The Imposters and The Sugarcanes, plus Vince Gill, Marc Ribot, Buddy Miller, and Leon Russell. Elvis told Scotland's The Herald, "The ensemble ranges from two players to nine pieces and while some songs are very intimate and quiet, others are not."
A promotional single from the album: I Lost You was released internationally on October 18 2010.
A digital 4 track EP, National Ransack, with tracks from the National Ransom Sessions was available as a pre-order Bonus. The offer was found on www.nationalransom.com. The album can be purchased as mp3, flac or Apple lossless downloads in addition to CD and vinyl. Three tracks are delivered immediately when download is purchased. This version of the album excluded the Japanese/iTunes bonus track I Hope. It is now available for download.
An alternate version of the title track has been posted on YouTube with an accompanying video under the title "The Return Of The Imposter". This has been promoted through Twitter and other social media and has featured in some of Elvis' solo concerts. See it here: YouTube.
Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years
Hip-O released the compilation Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years February 08, 2011 (U.S.). No release date for the UK has been announced. This collection was originally scheduled for release in August 2010, but appears to have been delayed to avoid a clash with promotion for National Ransom. Amazon • Amazon.uk
Season One of Elvis' TV series Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 17 '09 in the US and Canada. The series is also available from iTunes US, which has a free excerpt featuring Elton John and Diana Krall available in HD or standard definition.
Season Two aired in the US from December 9 '09 with guests including Bono, The Edge, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith, Ray LaMontagne, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Levon Helm, Allen Toussaint, Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, and Bruce Springsteen. It is available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray (see below).
The Costello Show, a series of live CDs from the archives, began with the September 29 '09 reissue of Live At The El Mocambo and continues on January 12 '10 with the complete Hollywood High concert from 1978.
Appearance on Other Artists Albums
Elvis appears on Jamey Johnson’s recent album which is a collaborative celebration of Hank Cochran’s music. Elvis and Jamey duet on “She’ll Be Back”. Livin’ for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran also includes appearances by Willie Nelson, George Strait, Alison Krauss,and many others, each singing a duet with Johnson.
Elvis appears on the soundtrack album of the horror musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County - a collaboration between Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T-Bone Burnett. The album was released in both single CD and CD + DVD deluxe format, on 4 June 2013, via Hear Music and is available here: Amazon • Amazon.uk.
The Ricky Gervais film The Invention Of Lying included Elvis' version of Sitting, the 1972 hit by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. There has been no word about a soundtrack album. Blu-ray: Amazon • Amazon.uk, DVD: Amazon • Amazon.uk
Kats Karavan: The History Of John Peel On The Radio, a 4CD box set released on October 26 '09 in the UK, included High Fidelity from a BBC session recorded 1980-02-25. Amazon • Amazon.uk
Elvis and Questlove are on the cover of the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine dated September 2013. Inside there is an article previewing Wise Up Ghost.
Stephen Colbert hosted a Christmas special in 2008 on Comedy Central. “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!” was shown on Nov. 23 as a one-hour program and featured musical performances by artists including John Legend, Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Feist.[]
Long, thoughtful , very informed analysis of all things Costello . Quote- he gives us a place to find parts of ourselves in his seemingly endless catalog of beauty and bile
Welcome To The Voice see also New Releases
Sting Barks, Elvis Costello Rasps in Paris Pop Opera Premiere[]
'Elvis Costello's richly atmospheric score,..swells and swirls with emotion, taking audience and dancers along for a heart-snapping ride.'
'...a spectacularly bad-ass ballet'
Dai Griffiths' book Elvis Costello (Icons of Pop Music) is an in depth examination of many facets of Elvis' career, along with witty asides like "Costello is Marmite on slightly burnt toast."
Special Guest - Elvis Costello
Elvis guests on some albums.
In conjunction with the offering of the Elvis Costello Jazzmaster guitar, Fender.com has added Elvis Costello to its lineup of Fender Artists.
The Elvis Costello Heritage Trail
A fan walks the streets of Elvis' U.K. upbringing.
David Hepworth's interview with Elvis conducted on February 16th 2008 appeared in the April '08 edition of The Word Magazine - FULL TEXT
Elvis and Amsterdam recorded The Searchers' 1964 hit Don't Throw Your Love Away for Covers And Collaborations - The Number Ones Album, released February 4, 2008 in the UK. Listen to the song now at Amsterdam's MySpace page.