"This is my first foray into comedy records," says Elvis Costello, half joking about his new album, Spike. The title, he says, refers in part to the album's "spiritual mentor," Spike Jones — an old-time musical comedian. "Some of it's very black humor, and some of it's sort of white-faced humor," says Costello. "The glib thing to say about this record will be that it's eclectic, simply because there are a lot of different kinds of musicians and instruments played on it. But that's really not the point. I'm hoping that people won't concentrate on the fact that it has a large and varied personnel."
That might be unavoidable. The album boasts an impressive roster of players, including Costello's wife, Cait O'Riordan; Paul McCartney; Chrissie Hynde; Allen Toussaint; Roger McGuinn; T-Bone Wolk; the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, from New Orleans; and an Irish lineup featuring Christy Moore and members of the Waterboys and the Chieftains. Kevin Killen and T Bone Burnett coproduced the album with Costello.