Elvis Costello: Classic or Dud

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Crafty, insightful, heart-rending word and songsmithery or speccy, no-mates, mannered-voice wankery? YOU decide.

Venga, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Ah yes: Dud! Crap voice, crap songs and indeed very boring. Nothing really interesting to add in the way of insults.

Omar, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic without doubt. Brilliantly twisted pop songs, and a voice like a velvet razor. It's late. I'll have more to say on this tomorrow.

Melissa W, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Although clearly wretched for the last 15 years or so, I have to say classic for "This Year's Model" and to a lesser extent "Get Happy!" and "Imperial Bedroom".

Dr. C, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

This seems a good opportunity to mention that Tanya's archives have been restored to life. Here she is on EC .

Me? I liked him for a very long time. But I'm not sure how much I do now. I'll have a think and get back to you.

Tom, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I heartily agree with Dr.C, although I'd like to add ARMED FORCES to his list under "classic."

alex in nyc, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic, no doubt. Now that he's a veteran rock star, though, so he can do whatever he wants. I must admit he hasn't impressed me with any of his projects in some time.

Armando, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Classic" seems to imply "dead" to me. I like Elvis Costello. Of course hes had his moments of barf, but on the whole I can't see why anyone wouldn't lik ehis music. Maybe people wouldlike his stuff more if it was sung by Bono or someone with more sex appeal and a singing voice. I used to think he was a bit lacking in innovation as far as his sound, but if you listen to "MIghty LIke A ROse" , its really experimental and odd. Not so good though, but still he tried. I guess hes what happens if you cross a nerd with Bob Dylan with Henry Macicni with....oh nevermind. I have become tedius.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

EC gets an amazingly bad press. My perspective on EC is - no, maybe I have perspectives, plural, on EC. Let's see:

1. Encountering him in 80s childhood: the almost capuccino-pop textures (I may be off the mark there) and heavy wordy satire of Punch The Clock seeped into me and made it my favourite EC LP for ever amen.

2. His eternal 'returns' and reinventions... come the end of the 80s I get mildly more clued up and start to work out how EC's career fits together, what he's been up to, what are the highs and lows... I decide, roughly, that he is pretty much a genius. People have said before that 'genius' is an unhelpful term, and I agree that it tells you little save that I admire EC. But what I mean is, a) I think he is the most accomplished lyricist in the history of pop over the last 40 or so years - at least amongst what I have heard. b) he is able to be comic and serious, elaborately tongue-in-cheek or straight-out sincere (but maybe I shouldn't exaggerate the range here - I'm not sure, I think there is an 'EC mode' somewhere). c) he is able to dip in and out of genres with rare distinction and understanding; he always shows huge (even excessive?) respect for the genres he uses. (This makes for a slight difference with Merritt, who clearly loves lots of the genres he essays but is still less 'respectful' towards them.) d) He has a rare melodic gift which gets rather eclipsed by his even rarer lyrical gift; he reminds me of McCartney, really. So, classic, classic, classic.

3. But hang on. I don't actually *listen* to EC that much. I have to admit that for all his brilliance, he's not always what I want to hear. Possibly there's a certain lack of... 'lightness' in his work - he's so 'full-on' about everything that I can't quite see him pulling off the nonchalant grace of, say, 'Ask', 'Here's Where The Story Ends' or 'The Saddest Story Ever Told'.

4. Then again - his 1998 collaboration with Bacharach, Painted From Memory, seems to me magnificent. Lyrical simplicity yet point; fabulous melodic dynamism; lush arrangements. From my particular POV, one of the most vital records of the last 10 years, and a great highlight of EC's entire career. In the end, I can only admire this fellow.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

pinefox, i think we've found our common ground. we're likely bound together for eternity as the only ilm posters who will readily admit an unabashed love for painted from memory.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Wait, I like Painted from MEmory. AT least most of it. AT times I feel liek it could have been produced better though. It sounds too LA for me, too modern. I like Bacharach's olde tyme stuff better, where the recourdings have no less bass. True som e of the songs on PFM are gross, (The Long Division) but who can deny the overall catchiness an d pop apeal of the rest? Leave it to these two to make pop music that is at once trite/candy and dark/dramatic.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, he was on the final episode of "3rd Rock" last night, so he's got to be good! I like a lot of his stuff, but I really hate some of it. "Veronica" pisses me off.

, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I liek Veronica. WHat's with Sting lately? Appearing on Ally MC Beal to sing "every Breath You Take? Going to Madonnas wedding? Is the same guy who wrote "Darkness" and "Walking on the Moon" ? I really have a special place in my heart for the Police, but egad, what has happened to the man? I hope Elvis COstello doesnt becoem liek him.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I hope Elvis Costello licks Sting.

proton, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It would be fun to see Elvis COstello and Sting in a xxx film. Especially if Liz Taylor was watching in the backgruond and Michal Jackson was trying to mount her

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

All of a sudden a boring thread (since the subject is fairly boring) has become brilliant.

I'll have to combine this with the 'records never played' answer. Somehow I have a near complete EC collection and I've never listened to any of it!

My favorite quote about him came from Bernard Sumner, god among men:

Interviewer: "What do you think of wordsmiths like Elvis Costello?"

Sumner: *deep breath* "Don't talk to me about that overrated fucking jerk."

Genius.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Another fine EC quote from ILM-er Taylor Parkes: "Most music journalists like Elvis Costello because most music journalists look like Elvis Costello."

Heh.

Venga, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it was David Lee Roth made that crack first...

Andrew L, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

yes, that's a popular crack. it probably dates back to bob dylan. the most recent artist i've heard it applied to is beck. but what can you do when it's so true?

fred solinger, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Point and laugh?

proton, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think that those supposedly good quotations are good at all. I think they're rubbish, and that Sumner and Parkes - talent though they may have for the particular things they do - are not really fit to wash EC's guitar.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

This implies somebody would *want* to wash EC's guitar. I'm content to let it rot away. As it is, Sumner has more soul in his 'soulless' voice than EC does for all his gurning and straining and stultifying reverence for the past. Taylor, meanwhile, is cool, and that's enough. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I recently got the Album Revenge :One True Passsion. Peter Hook sings just liek Bernard Sumner.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm not sure that Bernard Sumner is in any kind of position to be calling people overrated.

Ned - it must be really cool to have a complete collection of records by people you dislike.

I wouldn't mind looking like Beck, or even Elvis Costello, but I guess that just proves David Lee Roth's point - but I'm not a critic, so maybe it's OK.

Patrick, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It's *bizarre*, is what it is. I think they're around in some sort of attempt to convince myself that one day I'll like them more than I do, which right now is...not much. For all my bile (which I still think is well deserved towards him), I don't outright hate his stuff, I think it just might succeed better if done by others, same way I feel about Dylan. Except I won't have Dylan in the house and clearly I have all this EC stuff lying around. It must mean *something*.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it is a sign that you should send me Elvis Costello CDs so I can see if I like him, Ned.

Josh, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

To EC's admirers: You have to admit, despite its pithiness, that Sumner's response was entirely justified. Can you imagine how many times the man had been asked questions like "What do you think of WORDSMITHS like Elvis Costello?..." with the unstated but implied "...since YOU are so completely far from a wordsmith that you must be dripping with jealousy towards this lyrical genius!"

I find Sumner's voice far more compelling than EC's; like Ned, lyrics to me are not the be-all-end-all qualification for "good vocals." (Even though I'd take Sumner's lyrics over EC's...) But I can see why people like EC; he does have a knack for a hook (but so does Sumner--no pun intended ;-)--but I must say, I have two of his records, and I hardly listen to them, ever.

Dylan I like, though. He sounds quite fragile ("Har-har-har, that's 'cause he can't sing in tune!" NOT FUNNY, CLICHE-WIELDING ASSHOLES!), as opposed to EC, who comes across to me as pretty smug a lot of the time. Of course, Bright Eyes sounds fragile, and I don't know if I could name one vocalist whose teeth I'd rather kick in...

Clarke B., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have two of Costello's records, that is... sorry about the jumbled punctuation and ambiguous pronouns.

Clarke B., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Bernard Sumner and Elvis Costello BOTH get by not on being majestic voices of beauty but rather projecting a personality.

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

barney has a personality?

fred solinger, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes. He comes across to me as a depressed, peachy, preppie sort of insecure type. At times bitchy yet always revealin g his inner vulnerability. " I kno w, you know, we belive in the land of love"

Mike Hanley, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Maybe you're right about them both getting by on projecting a personality, Mike. It might be the case I just like Sumner's personality better than Costello's--at least the way it comes across on record. There's always been something a bit sinister and unsettling (not in a good way) in EC's voice to me, and if I could pin down exactly what that is, I'd probably be better off. Lemme think on that one...

Clarke B., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I want to marry Tanya. That was some funny mocking.

My Aim Is True is a great record that took me a long time to get into. In fact, it's one of my favourites, despite the pub-rock backing group. I always thought they were the perfect band for the 50s Punk Buddy Holly thing he was being marketed as at the time. The lyrics are great, too: "now that your picture's in the paper / being rhythmically admired"? Brilliance. I haven't listened to any of his other stuff except "Pump It Up" and "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea" and "Veronica" and they're all good too. Hey Ned, how much for the collection?

Dave M., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i find ec's voice quite compelling and engaging; it has color and there are certain songs of his that i can't imagine another singing because of the way he tackles it.

that said, he's not luther vandross and when he sings out of his range, it's at best endearing, at worst really, really, really bad.

i like e.c. because he's got a lot of pop smarts, see for example his nicks of everyone from abba to stax. i can listen to him rather than, say, dylan because not only does he have fine lyrics but he takes an active interest in the recording process and is an underrated melodist.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Rhino is doing a whole reissue of Costello's back catalog, so everything should be readily available again soon

JC, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I hate Elvis Costello because I was named after one of his bloody songs. Fuck that. Doesn't stop me from keeping all his albums, but jesus, naming after a song is a dud.

Ally, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Sorry, not for sale. I await the day I understand. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I never offered to pay you for them, Ned. ;)

Josh, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

No, but Dave M did. So ha. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I reckon Clarke B. is on the money here with a couple of his points. Firstly, Barney Sumner may not be the world's best lyricist but in terms of music Costello isn't fit to press the demo button on New Order's drum machine. And secondly, the Bright Eyes singer has got the most kickable voice this side of Alanis Morissette. It's even worse when you see him live and he's emoting through his artfully positioned floppy fringe.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I look nothing like Elvis Costello, except, for perhaps, except for my glasses. But I love him nonetheless. The early stuff (through Imperial Bedroom) is magnificent. Trust, in particular, has the cleverness-as-dodge arise into a theme of its own, and I find that very emotionally powerful and resonant. Almost Blue is notable only for "Good Year For The Roses" but oh what a track it is. Armed Forces has some of the best inner-sleve artwork, ever, and careens between overdone wordplay, earnest emotion, and cutting lines like "she has a chemistry class, I want a piece of her... mind" which I adore. Blood & Chocolate, and King of America are both standout albums, but he really comes back with Brutal Youth whose tunes are so well crafted as to be nearly unforgettable. I mean, the content is take-or-leave-it lyrically, with some very notable exceptions, but the music is always top-notch.

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mike, the reason Sting doesn't write songs like "Darkness" anymore is that Stewart Copeland actually wrote that one.

tarden, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it is bizarre to claim that Sumner or Parkes are more talented than EC. I can hardly believe that anyone really believes that.

the pinefox, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i don't really have any interest in who is the most talented. but i know the following...

1. i would much much rather listen to new order than elvis costello.

2. i would rather read taylor parkes than listen to elvis costello.

gareth, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Tarden really? Shit! NO wonder. He also wrote "Oh mY GOd" which is marvelous IMO. BUt I assuem his post Police stuff has been rot.

Mike Hanley, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm not interested in measuring talent, pinefox, that's a slippery slope of biased judgment. I *am* interested in saying that New Order mean a hell of a lot more to me than someone who's been bemoaning the 'death of proper songwriting' or whatever since 1975.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Really Ned ? Does Elvis Costello complain about that, or is it just something about his image that makes you think he would ?

Patrick, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

my only concern is that ned calls bernard sumner "god among men." i mean, _up_ and _closer_ were #1 and #13 on my 40-records list and _1981/1982_ was on there too but the man who sang "i saw some people look down on me/i hope they like what they see" a divine being? possibly understandable if you were talking about peter hook but only possibly.

sundar subramanian, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

See also: my comments about his rapping on the electronic/electronica thread. No one who can rap that poorly can be considered a god -- he's not even in the Ben/Glory category.

Nicole, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Based on some of the interviews I've read over time (hey, I even read RATM interviews at points, I like seeing what they're going to come up with next to amuse me), he pretty much says as much. I recall one piece from around the time of _Spike_ or the like where he compares acid house's then explosion in the UK to the punk scene when he started, but then complained about both that most of what would be released wouldn't last the test of time. The implicit comparison was that he on the other hand was Crafting Lasting Quality. Yawn.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

RC being a creep in person (as opposed to just in print) is the least surprisingly thing I've ever heard.

Police, Academy (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 27 June 2018 23:03 (one year ago) link

here's a question: I feel like I once heard, somewhere, a bouncy reggae cover version of "the beat" by someone. but I can't seem to locate that now. ring any bells?

akm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018 23:20 (one year ago) link

it's by Elvis Costello on TYM iirc

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 27 June 2018 23:24 (one year ago) link

man y'all are making me want to dive back into this catalogue again. I don't think I've heard much past Blood & Chocolate but I remember liking that one a lot.

tbh it's been really tough for me to listen to Elvis Costello these last few years. I had a friend who was really big into him - I brought My Aim is True to one of our poker nights and he absolutely loved it, we'd listen to that CD pretty much every time we got together. saw EC w/ him at Summerfest and it was awesome. he died of an overdose 4 years ago. I heard "Watching the Detectives" in a mall a few months after that and felt like I was getting PTSD. I had to run away. It was so weird. I've been kind of scared to hear his music again.

frogbs, Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:20 (one year ago) link

I do not like the Dean, can't speak for anyone else
Alfred has his poster above his bed iirc

― The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I'm glad I piss everyone off. His fans are skeptical of if not downright hostile toward me. We haven't agreed consistently in over thirty years.

― morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:43 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

alfred it was just a light zing, i just recalled you seemed like a big fan, which i obviously exagerrated in my memory, apologies!

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:56 (one year ago) link

Get Happy is the peak for me. Hook after hook after hook, and the wordplay is out of control.

opportunity & secondary modern, both sooo great. watch yr step is like a chorus-less retread of secondary modern.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 28 June 2018 15:07 (one year ago) link

love opportunity, probably my favorite on get happy!!

i hear the similarity beween watch your step and secondary modern, but i disagree about watch your step being a retread, possibly my fav song on trust.

supreme court justice samuel lance-ito (voodoo chili), Thursday, 28 June 2018 15:14 (one year ago) link

you lack lust, you're so lacklustre

akm, Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:37 (one year ago) link

I wish you luck with a capital F

can'tdelabra (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:46 (one year ago) link

His vocal on Watch Your Step is one of his best.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:57 (one year ago) link

possibly nieve's most measured and beautiful piano/organ

supreme court justice samuel lance-ito (voodoo chili), Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:59 (one year ago) link

my 50yo Fall-mad housemate played me his 'my aim is true' LP the other night. it took a few goes round, but its such a fun album!

meaulnes, Friday, 6 July 2018 11:39 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

New album with the Imposters coming. I like the two songs he shared this week.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 27 July 2018 16:48 (one year ago) link

Under Lime being the better of the two.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 27 July 2018 16:51 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

yeah Under Lime is a great song; haven't liked his stuff for quite some time. However, the album cover is in the running for the worst cover of all fucking time.

akm, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 17:12 (one year ago) link

Scroll past the bellend 2001 posts

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 23:07 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/ode-to-elvis-costellos-stellar-backing-bands-the-attractions-the-imposters-invisible-hits/

Thanks for this tylerw. Great to see Nieve and the Thomases get their due. That Rockpalast show is incredible.

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Thursday, 11 October 2018 18:17 (one year ago) link

the rockpalast show has probably the definitive version of "the beat"

nba jungboy (voodoo chili), Thursday, 11 October 2018 18:20 (one year ago) link

Well it turns out that “Under Lime” might be the only song on the new album that I like.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 22 October 2018 22:41 (one year ago) link

sounded good, the album, but the tempos are too slow and the trademark ec melodies a little too fussy.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 22 October 2018 22:45 (one year ago) link

need to give the new one a little more time, but i like that it doesn't sound like EC is coasting — some interesting moves/arrangements.

tylerw, Monday, 22 October 2018 22:51 (one year ago) link

Could be the best album since All This Useless Beauty. But then again When I Was Cruel with 20 minutes shaved off it would be really something

PaulTMA, Monday, 22 October 2018 22:57 (one year ago) link

What would your 40 min ‘When I Was Cruel’ look like? Have to agree it drags on a bit.

Got ‘Look Now’, it’s good. No idea how it holds up to his recent material as the only other EC record I’ve bought since ‘When I Was Cruel’ was ‘Wise Up Ghost’, which I remember liking but haven’t gone back to much.

michaellambert, Monday, 22 October 2018 23:06 (one year ago) link

I think this is his best album in a while, but I don't love it.

akm, Monday, 22 October 2018 23:30 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

Current tour setlists look awesome, I wished I caught him here last week.

"All this Useless Beauty" (listening this morning) is such a nice collection of songs, I wish less of it was so mannered. I remember the tour behind it (the last as the Attractions). It came to Chicago the same night as the big Sex Pistols reunion, but I was all, fuck that, I want to see the Attractions again. But even the show was kind of mannered, so I guess EC was just in a mannered mode.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 13:23 (one year ago) link

A mannered out of time.

(Open gole, soz)

Mark G, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 14:32 (one year ago) link

It came to Chicago the same night as the big Sex Pistols reunion

Weird, I don't remember those being on the same night. I'd seen Elvis with Steve Nieve a few months prior, which was pretty wonderful.

The Pistols played a fine show, but the Aragon was crazy oversold. They shoehorned what felt like an additional 500-1000 people in there, and it was really uncomfortable and annoying.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 16:36 (one year ago) link

Yeah, EC played at the Rosemont Theatre. Maybe it was the night the Pistols came back? The second reunion show? I think I saw that EC& Nieve show, too, either at the Park West or the I think the Cadillac Palace Theatre (both of which were EC&Nieve nights).

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 17:23 (one year ago) link

has he ever played "Opportunity" live? did he not play a lot of Get Happy when it came out?

flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:03 (one year ago) link

I think I saw that EC& Nieve show, too, either at the Park West or the I think the Cadillac Palace Theatre (both of which were EC&Nieve nights).

I saw the one at Park West, and it was a perfectly intimate atmosphere for that show.

I...don't know what the Cadillac Palace Theatre is...(looks it up)...oh shit! That was the Bismarck! I saw Frankie Goes To Hollywood there in '84.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:17 (one year ago) link

XP

There is a live version from 1979 prior to the recording of Get Happy. The 1980 tour could be a weird one, lots of cover versions jostling with old favourites as well as songs from GH and AF.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:20 (one year ago) link

He opened with Opportunity when I first saw him in 1996.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:33 (one year ago) link

is that 1979 live version on youtube?

flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:40 (one year ago) link

would love to see that, opportunity is my favorite get happy track

twin sinema (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 18:44 (one year ago) link

XP - Not quite what you're looking for but kinda interesting, a rough and ready version from '79, it's well known that EC had grown wary of stylistically repeating himself with the new songs he'd been writing and rolling out on the AF tour, so this version is before they changed the arrangements which made them more beholden to older soul music.

https://youtu.be/wuTcUvsdWiQ?t=24m28s

MaresNest, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:44 (one year ago) link

Oh and check out the version of High Fidelity too, it is kinda insane.

MaresNest, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 00:47 (one year ago) link

holy shit this heavy version of Opportunity is incredible, thank you!!!

flappy bird, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 01:06 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

So I just now see that Steve Nieve had been doing online Facebook shows at home with his son and wife. Today, they have Elvis Costello on zoom or something, and they just collaborated on "45" and on "13 Steps." Nieve is gonna take a break after today, and then resume it in 3 days or so.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 May 2020 17:50 (one month ago) link

Costello is proposing they do a longer set together next Saturday May 9 and include songs he hasn't sung before.

Now Steve Nieve is doing a Johnny Cash song "25 Minutes to go" by himself on piano. His son (?) sometimes joins on drums. Son also sang Green Day "21" with Steve N on piano, after Steve N did a music hall /broadway type take on Alice Cooper "18."

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 May 2020 17:57 (one month ago) link

I've watched that before, after having been led there by EC's recommendation. I thought his French wife was playing the drums, at least when I was tuned in.

My Chess Hustler (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 3 May 2020 18:04 (one month ago) link

She was just working the camera today and emceeing. Or did Costello say Sunday for next week? Not sure . I guess details will be out by the end of the week on one of their Facebook pages.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 May 2020 18:06 (one month ago) link

googling tells me her name is Muriel Teodori, and her son does music under the name A.J.U Q. He was also sharing this on his Instagram live

curmudgeon, Sunday, 3 May 2020 18:19 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

I wish it was just Costello (singing from Vancouver) and Naive (in France?) on these Facebook lives from Naive's page . Son's voice is too bombastic, and Teoderi is just kinda annoying. Costello singing Roy Acuff, Psychedelic Furs, and Pogues "A Pair of Brown Eyes" was nice, as long as the son and Mom weren't involved

curmudgeon, Monday, 18 May 2020 04:10 (two weeks ago) link

Costello doing “It’s All over now Baby blue” with just his acoustic guitar also was nice .

curmudgeon, Monday, 18 May 2020 19:09 (two weeks ago) link

Nieve is proper spelling , oops

curmudgeon, Monday, 18 May 2020 19:10 (two weeks ago) link

I once had a copy of one of Nieve's (very out of print) solo albums that had iirc a jazzy piano take on "Ghost Town." You can hear it and a lot of other stuff here:

https://soundcloud.com/steve-nieve-official/sets/keyboard-jungle-and-a

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 18 May 2020 20:26 (two weeks ago) link

That was yesterday? The Color Tour or something, which they were going to try last weekend but had technical difficulties because of a storm or something?

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 18 May 2020 20:32 (two weeks ago) link

I had heard a rumor over the summer they were coming back to NYC but then it didn't happen they stayed in Vancouver, yeah.

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 18 May 2020 20:34 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, I found one of his solely albums last year.

Oh, and he has spelled it "Naive" and "Nieve" over the years. Neither are his real surname..

Mark G, Monday, 18 May 2020 22:39 (two weeks ago) link


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