home - bibliography - biography - clips - concert reviews - discography - faq - gigography - guestbook
info services - links - lyrics/chords - pictures - recent - shop - trading - upcoming - what's new

Bibliography: Articles


Press release for The Delivery Man and Il Sogno
Shore Fire Media, 2004-08-12



Two new albums by Elvis Costello will be released September 21: ‘The Delivery Man’ (Lost Highway Records) with his band the Imposters, and 'Il Sogno' (Deutsche Grammophon), his first full-length orchestral work.

Costello and the Imposters (drummer Pete Thomas; keyboardist Steve Nieve; and bassist Davey Farragher) recorded most of ‘The Delivery Man’ in April 2004 at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, MS. The sessions were produced by Dennis Herring and Costello. One cut, “Monkey to Man,” which Costello has said is a sequel to New Orleans songwriter Dave Bartholomew’s 1954 single “The Monkey,” was recorded during a day trip to the to the nearby Delta town of Clarksdale, MS and will be the first single and video from the album.

Several songs are written in the voices of characters found in the narrative of the title track. These include guest vocal appearances by Lucinda Williams on “There’s a Story in Your Voice” and Emmylou Harris on “Nothing Clings Like Ivy” and “Heart Shaped Bruise.” The album also contains a ukulele-accompanied duet with Harris on the Oscar-nominated “The Scarlet Tide,” which Alison Krauss recorded for the ‘Cold Mountain’ soundtrack. ‘The Delivery Man’ features the pedal steel guitar playing of John McFee, who appeared on Costello's first album 'My Aim is True' and also on the 1981, Nashville-recorded 'Almost Blue.’

Costello co-wrote “Either Side of the Same Town” with legendary soul producer and songwriter Jerry Ragovoy.

'Il Sogno' was originally commissioned by Italy's Aterballeto dance company in 2000 for their adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Costello says, "I was extremely surprised to be asked, I had little or no understanding of the world of dance. When asked 'Who is your favourite dancer?,' I replied honestly, 'Cyd Charisse.'"

Following the ballet's premiere in Bologna and staging in a number of other Italian houses, Costello began to adapt the score for this recording. “In the end, I tried to create a piece of music to which people would respond without the visual cues that come from the dancers. I took out a lot of repetitions demanded by the choreography, re-orchestrated some passages, and composed several new transitions and resolutions,” he explains.

Describing the nature of the music contained in the score, Costello said, "There are elements of humor—when it came to writing music for the supernatural beings in the story, I thought it is only appropriate that they should be swinging faeries. However, there are also passages representing confusion, jealousy, anger and turmoil. These cues have the edges, angles that I go looking for in rock and roll but the way they are achieved is utterly different. I hope there are also moments of tenderness."

'Il Sogno' was recorded by The London Symphony Orchestra at London’s Abbey Road Studio One in 2002, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and with guest soloists drummer Peter Erskine and saxophonist John Harle.

Elvis Costello headlined the Lincoln Center Festival this July with a trio of thrilling shows (including the North American premier of ‘Il Sogno’), offering previews of the upcoming releases and reinterpreting older material. Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote in a review of all three shows, “Mr. Costello is ceaselessly curious about music. He is inquisitive enough not just to listen widely, but to learn the makings of every idiom that moves him, from lieder to New Orleans rhythm and blues. In the three nights at Lincoln Center he was a crooner, a howler, a swinger, a brooder, an orchestral composer and a guitar twanger.”

Costello said, "All the music comes from the same place. It's just the trigger that's different."


home - bibliography - biography - clips - concert reviews - discography - faq - gigography - guestbook
info services - links - lyrics/chords - pictures - recent - shop - trading - upcoming - what's new