Elvis Costello is leaving Warner Brothers, his record label for nearly a decade, and waving good-bye with a smile on his face. Costello's difficult tenure at Warner has been filled with burdensome criticism about being too musically diverse and obscure for his fans, about collaborating with Paul McCartney, and about failing to sell millions of records. After the poor sales of All This Useless Beauty (1996) and with Costello's unhappiness with Warner's promotion of his albums, Elvis was at the end of his rope. Extreme Honey: The Very Best of the Warner Bros. Years, is not only here to fulfill contract obligations, but to document Elvis Costello's enormous talent.
If anyone has listened to any of Elvis Costello's previous greatest hits packages, like Girls Girls Girls (Columbia, 1989) and The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions 1977-86 (Rykodisc, 1994), you already know that his music is a very diverse but enjoyable ride. Extreme Honey is no different. This 18 track album contains material from Costello's previous albums dating from 1989. The mix of songs on this package is enjoyable beyond belief. The new song, "The Bridge I Burned," which is produced by MacManus Pere et Fils, features Costello's son, Matt MacManus and Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey.
The liner notes give a brief look back at the Warner Bros. years, a glimpse at future projects (including an album with Burt Bacharach), and Costello's comments on his former record label ("My time at W.B. has had ups and downs. The good people know who they are. The bad people know where I live.")
If you're looking for good music, buy Extreme Honey and get happy.