Sud Ouest, February 7, 2011

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Elvis Costello met un terme à sa carrière discographique !


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 Stéphane Jonathan

C'est un journal australien - "The Australian" - qui l'annonce dans son édition d'aujourd'hui sous la plume d'Iain Shedden."Elvis Costello a décidé d'arrêter de publier des albums".

Au cours de sa longue carrière (entamée en pleine tourmente punk, en 1977), Elvis Costello a publié la bagatelle de 32 albums studio. Dont plusieurs chefs d'oeuvres ("This Year's Model", "Get Happy", "King of America", "Blood and Chocolate", "Brutal Youth", "All this Useless Beauty"...).

Costello déclare: "je n'ai plus de contrat me liant avec une maison de disques et je ne cherche pas à en trouver un nouveau".

Il continuera toutefois les concerts, et à enregistrer des morceaux, qu'il compte diffuser par "d'autres canaux, d'autres moyens, d'autres façons".

On peut imaginer qu'il continuera de rééditer régulièrement son back catalogue et de sortir des lives inédits.

Cette année, Elvis Costello & The Imposters (le nom de son groupe historique The Attractions a été modifié après le remplacement d'un de ses membres historiques, le bassiste Bruce Thomas) repartent en tournée mondiale.

Ils donneront notamment une série de concerts aux USA avec un dispositif qui avait fait sensation au milieu des années 80: "The Spinning Songbook", également appelé "The Wheel", est une grande roue de loterie sur laquelle figurent les titres d'une quarantaine de chansons. Des spectateurs sont invités à monter sur scène, à tourner la roue pour tirer au sort des chansons. Les spectateurs sont ensuite invités à danser dans une "go-go cage" ou à s'installer au comptoir d'un bar sur scène, pendant que le groupe joue sous leurs yeux les chansons désignées par le hasard !

En 1986, ce dispositif s'était installé deux soirs consécutifs à l'Olympia de Paris. Le soir où j'ai assisté au concert (le second soir), la roue s'est arrêtée trois fois sur la même case ("Mystery Dance"). Le groupe a respecté le réglement et joué la chanson trois fois... mais dans trois versions différentes: l'un punk rock, l'autre country, puis comme une ballade ! La grande classe.

ci dessous: une vidéo excellente d'un concert pour la télévision allemande, dans le cadre du légendaire "Rockpalast", à la toute fin des années 70)

"Rockpalast" on YouTubeRockpalast - 9:14

Pour ceux qui lisent l'anglais, voici l'article du "Australian":

"Elvis Costello has retired from making albums. The acclaimed English songwriter, due to visit Australia with his band The Imposters in April, told The Australian today that the album format had reached "the end of the line" and that his album from last year, National Ransom, would be his last.

"There are no more albums" said Costello. "That's done now. I think that we've come to the end of the line with albums. There will be new songs and new places to put them and ways to release them, but I don't have a recording contract and I'm not seeking one."

Costello's declaration is a reflection of the dramatic shift in the way people consume music in the 21st century. Sales of CD albums have slumped dramatically worldwide in the past 12 months, a decline in sales not compensated for by new digital music formats such as iTunes.

"You're swimming against the tide with the structure of things," the singer said. Costello added that he would continue to write new material, but was uncertain about how he would go about recording or releasing it.

"There are new ways to consider making your music available," he said, "but for now I have a plan to stay out of the way of that kind of thing maybe for five or 10 years or something."

Costello said that his lifestyle was a consideration in his decision to stop making albums. He is married to singer Diana Krall, with whom he has four-year-old twin boys.

"I have a lot of other responsibilities, some of them that aren't anything to do with music," he said. "You can't spend your entire life enjoying yourself in everything you do. You have to choose."

Aside from his recording career, Costello has become popular in recent years as a television host on his music chat show Spectacle, which screen in Australia on the ABC. However, he doesn't plan to make any more of those either. "Like recording, we could come back to the idea," he said.

The singer and songwriter has made 32 studio albums in a career that began with My Aim Is True in 1977. Among his best-known collections are Armed Forces, King of America and Blood and Chocolate. He has released material in a variety of genres, from pop to jazz, and with collaborators as diverse as Burt Bacharach and the Brodsky Quartet.

Costello has hinted before that he would stop recording (and performing), as long ago as the 1990s, but he has been prolific as a recording artist since then. He's emphatic, however, about ending his affair with albums.

"I don't feel that it (the album format) is dead," Costello said.

"It's just not what I want to do. And I made a really good one to end on."

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Sud Ouest, February 7, 2011


Stéphane Jonathan reports on Elvis' retirement from making albums.

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