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Wise Up Ghost by Elvis Costello and The Roots was released on September 16 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. A video for "Walk Us Uptown" was released July 22.
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. A vinal release is scheduled for December 17. The EP contains seven tracks, five of them mixed by Karriem Riggins. More details here.
December — The Spectacular Spinning Songbook is visiting Japan for the first time beginning on December 11 with three shows in Tokyo and one in Osaka. The third night's show in Tokyo will be broadcast on subscription television. See the concert schedule for more details.
March/April - EC will direct "My Festival" at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Italy from 30 March to 10 April 2014. This will feature eight different nights of music. These will include the Metropole Orchestra conducted by Vince Mendoza and Allen Toussaint. The festival will also include film screenings and interviews with EC. More details and details of ticketing to follow.
April - EC and the Imposters will play the 25th Annual Byron Bay Blues Festival, the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival and the Deni Blues and Roots Easter Festival in Australia. Tickets for these events are now on sale. EC and the Imposters will also play shows in Adelaide and Sydney and will make a return visit to New Zealand to play shows in Auckland and Queenstown.See the concert schedule for more details.
July - Elvis is due to play a solo show on 17 July in Bexhill On Sea, England. Tickets went on sale on 11 December. It is likely that this will form part of a solo UK (or European) tour. Further dates will be added to the concert schedule as they are announced.
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 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. The tour also included dates in Wales and Scotland and some seaside towns such as Blackpool, Brighton and Southend-on-Sea. 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.
"The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" tour visited Australia for the first time as part of a seven date tour in January and February. 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.
In Motion Pictures — a collection of fifteen Elvis Costello songs that have appeared in films — was released November 19 from Universal. It is available at Amazon or Amazon.uk. More details at Direct Current.
The Elvis Costello Wiki and Fan Forum are non-profit and volunteer-operated by fans in their spare time. Donations help pay server and equipment costs.
"Solo shows are inevitably the most intense because it's you and the audience and nothing else," ... "More than in any other type of concert you might play, the lyrical content is important in a solo performance because when you don't have the distraction of a big arrangement, or the volume of a band, you're making the feeling and the meaning of a song really the key."”.
Elvis, Nov.'13 - Hartford Courant, CT
Record Mirror, April 1981. Illustration by David Street
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