Black Sails In The Sunset

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Vain boys are gonna have to swallow their pride this time
So let the punishment fit the crime
It's under the table
Under your skin
Into the cable
Is this the death of the glory you're in?

Black sails in the sunset
White noise going yakety-yak
All the money in the world will never bring your body back
Is it some mysterious dance nobody can do?
Thought I knew all the steps quite clearly
I don't have a clue

You're Cinderella with a ball and chain
And the shoe seems to fit you
You tell the truth sometimes
But you wouldn't know it if it hit you
Is this some new trick
Wired up in your head?
Do you make me sick
Or was I just force fed?


Black Sails In The Sunset
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe in association with Roger Bechirian
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Recordedlate 1980-early 1981, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedAugust 1986
AlbumsTrust (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1994 (fades early)
Trust (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003
SinglesTokyo Storm Warning, 1986
CollectionsOut Of Our Idiot, 1987
Singles, Volume 3, 2003
PromosPunch The Clock, Trust & Get Happy!! Sampler, 2003

First known performance:
January 28, 1981, College Park, MD
Last known performance:
February 19, 2023, New York, NY
     (13 known performances)

Alternate versions

Black Sails In The Sunset (Alternate Version)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals
Steve Nieve - piano
RecordedOctober 1979, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJuly 28, 2003
AlbumsTrust (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2003

Black Sails In The Sunset (Live 1996)
Performed byCostello & Nieve
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal, guitar
Steve Nieve - piano
RecordedMay 22, 1996, New York, NY
ReleasedDecember 3, 1996
AlbumsCostello & Nieve, 1996
PromosLive At The Supper Club, New York, 1996
Tokyo Storm Warning singleTokyo Storm Warning UK 7" single front sleeve.jpg

Out Of Our IdiotOut Of Our Idiot album cover thumbnail.jpg

TrustTrust album cover large.jpg

Costello & NieveCostello & Nieve album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 3Singles Volume 3 album cover.jpg


Steve Nieve performed live, 2020-03-30, The Daily Improvisation, France - instrumental version 2020 FaceBook 00:00
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2016 YouTube

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