Archive for the ‘Elvis Costello’ Category
Rumer’s 2010 single “Some Lovers,” from Bacharach and Steven Sater’s musical of the same name, is the most recent track on Universal U.K.’s new box set Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter. Yet 2010 melts into 1965 like a ray of sunshine on the “cloudy Christmas morning” in the song lyric. Sleigh bells gently underscore wistful flugelhorns as it begins, with Rumer’s dreamy, comforting vocals gracefully gliding over the bittersweet melody. “Everything we touch is still a dream,” she sings, and for three minutes or so, it is. Even shorn of its lyrics, “Some Lovers” would radiate the warm glow of nostalgia without ever seeming dated. And it’s just one of 137 tracks found on the box’s six CDs, all standing as a testament to the songwriter’s signature style, remarkable consistency, and uncanny ability to render emotions through his musical notes. The music of Burt Bacharach is sophisticated in its composition but simplicity itself in its piercing directness. So why is this handsomely-designed, large box less than the sum of its (formidable) parts?
Anyone Who Had a Heart has been released to coincide with Bacharach’s memoir of the same name, and is also available in two 2-CD configurations, one each for the United States and the United Kingdom. The 6-CD version follows in some rather large footsteps: that of Rhino’s 1998 box set The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection. As expertly curated by Patrick Milligan and Alec Cumming, that sublime 3-CD box was the first to trace the arc of Bacharach’s career in context, and it played a mighty role in his career renaissance. Yet over the ensuing fifteen years, Bacharach has continued to write with a frequency that would impress his much younger colleagues, so the time was certainly right for an updated package. (The Look of Love concluded with Bacharach and Elvis Costello’s 1996 recording of “God Give Me Strength.”) The ambitious Anyone Who Had a Heart is the first box since The Look of Love to take on the entirety of Bacharach’s career, though Hip-o Select’s 2004 Something Big: The Complete A&M Years collected all of his solo work for Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ label with a handful of rarities included for good measure. But the new box is best enjoyed as a complement to The Look of Love, not an update or expansion.
The first four discs of this box are dedicated to a chronological account of Bacharach’s work, from 1955’s “(These) Desperate Hours” to 2010’s “Some Lovers.” The fifth disc is essentially a single-disc distillation of the Hip-o box set, dedicated solely to Bacharach’s own, primarily instrumental recordings of his songbook. The sixth disc shows the breadth of his influence as it presents an entire collection of jazz interpretations (both vocal and instrumental). The fifth and sixth discs present an expanded view of his career not found on The Look of Love. The first four discs cover the same territory as the Rhino box, but best it with 95 tracks vs. 75. However, the approach by producers Kit Buckler, Paul Conroy and Richard Havers is a more idiosyncratic, less focused one. Whereas The Look of Love concentrated on original versions of songs – most of which Bacharach produced and/or arranged – Anyone Who Had a Heart casts a wider net to give great attention to cover versions. This approach does allow for stylistic variety but leaves the listener with a less definitive account of “the essentials.” The new box is successful in fleshing out the periods that bookend Bacharach’s career, addressing his earliest and most recent songs with more depth than the 3-CD format of The Look of Love allowed.
Hit the jump as we explore the Art of Bacharach! Read the rest of this entry »
Led Zeppelin,Celebration Day (Swan Song/Atlantic)
The one-off reunion nobody expected and everyone loved – a 2007 gig at the O2 in London – is now available in a variety of formats for your listening enjoyment. (Odds are this isn’t the last LZ catalogue bit you’ll see in the next year.) (2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/1DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (2CD/1DVD/Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (Blu-Ray Audio: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Frank Zappa, 8 album reissues (Zappa/UMe)
A good chunk of the fifth and final wave of Zappa album remasters (the other three in the wave have been moved back to December 18), including the first-ever CD release of the Mothermania compilation and four volumes of You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore. The link above has more info and pre-order links!
The Jam, The Gift: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMC U.K.)
10cc, Tenology (UMC U.K.)
ABBA,ABBA: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMC U.K.)
Naked Eyes, Burning Bridges: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)
Kelly Clarkson, The Hits: Chapter One (RCA/19)
Elvis Costello, In Motion Pictures (UMe)
The Beach Boys, Live in Concert: 50th Anniversary (SMC)
Art Pepper, Neon Art Volume 3 (Omnivore)
The third and final volume of Omnivore’s Art Pepper colored vinyl series; this one features part of a 1981 live show on yellow wax.
t.A.T.u., 200 Km/H in the Wrong Lane: 10th Anniversary Edition (Cherrytree/Interscope/Universal Russia)
The lure of the screen has long been impossible for Elvis Costello to resist, beginning with his appearance in 1979’s Americathon and continuing right through the present day. The artist born Declan Patrick MacManus has appeared onscreen in motion pictures from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me to Spice World, and written songs for even more films. Although the prolific artist hasn’t released a new studio album since 2010’s National Ransom, Universal is seeing to it that there’s some Costello under the tree at Christmastime. On November 19, the label will release In Motion Pictures, a 15-track collection of songs that have appeared in films over the years, including some penned specifically for the silver screen.
Curated by the part-time Coward Brother himself, In Motion Pictures offers tracks both familiar and rare. Most of the tracks have been anthologized elsewhere, though a couple of tracks might entice Costello collectors. One such song is 2011’s “Sparkling Day,” written and performed by Costello for the Anne Hathaway-starring tearjerker One Day. The soundtrack did not receive a CD release in the United States, so this compilation marks its commercial U.S. debut in a physical format. Another comparatively rare track is “You Stole My Bell,” previously included only on the soundtrack to Nicolas Cage’s 2000 holiday film The Family Man.
From Costello’s film debut in Americathon comes “Crawling to the U.S.A.,” originally featured on the movie’s soundtrack (alongside “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea”) and later included on various compilations and appended to the Rykodisc, Rhino and Universal reissues of This Year’s Model. Other early songs heard here include “Accidents Will Happen” from 1979’s Armed Forces, memorably referenced in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 fantasy E.T., “Miracle Man” from Costello’s album debut My Aim is True and “Lover’s Walk” from 1981’s Trust album. The latter songs were featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III and Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things, respectively. Elvis scored a U.K. Top 20 hit, his first in sixteen years, with 1999’s “She,” a Charles Aznavour chanson recorded for the comedy Notting Hill. The ballad, of course, appears on In Motion Pictures. Another renowned composer is represented with Costello’s recording of “Days,” the Ray Davies song, from director Wim Wenders’ 1991 Until the End of the World.
In 1996, Elvis Costello accepted an invitation from director Allison Anders to team up with one of his longtime heroes for her Brill Building-inspired film Grace of My Heart. Costello and Burt Bacharach supplied Anders with one of the best movie songs ever to have been denied an Academy Award nomination: their powerfully dramatic “God Give Me Strength.” The collaboration between Costello and Bacharach led to an acclaimed joint album, 1998’s Painted from Memory, as well as concert appearances and further pairings. Costello contributed vocals to Bacharach’s 2005 Columbia album At This Time and has been a loyal friend to Bacharach, appearing at numerous tributes over the years. The duo also appeared onscreen together serenading Mike Myers’ Austin Powers with “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” from 1999’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Alas, their groovy rendition of the song from Bacharach and Hal David’s Promises, Promises (a highlight of the movie and also a staple of Costello’s 1999 live performances) hasn’t been included on the new compilation.
After the jump: what else is missing from In Motion Pictures? Plus: the full track listing with discography, and a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »
Johnny Cash, Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth (Columbia/Legacy)
Three complete gospel albums – one of which was never released – and a heap of unreleased material make this one to look out for if you like The Man in Black at his sacred best.
Morrissey, Viva Hate: Deluxe Edition (Liberty/EMI)
If you can call it that, an expanded edition of Moz’s debut album, remastered with one bonus track, one edited track and one excised track.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! (Hip-O/UMe)
The standalone CD and DVD contents of that box set that everyone rightfully hated, including Costello himself.
Doris Day, With a Smile and a Song (Turner Classic Movies/Sony Masterworks)
Just in time for the legend’s birthday! A two-disc set of highlights personally selected by Day, devoted equally to her songs in film and on standalone albums.
fIREHOSE, “lowFLOWs”: The Columbia Anthology 1991-1993 (Columbia/Legacy)
Mike Watt’s late ’80s/early ’90s punk trio’s last two albums, with a heap of B-sides and rarities, in honor of fIREHOSE’s reunion tour.
The Human League, Dare: Deluxe Edition (Virgin/EMI)
Don’t you want this expanded edition of the British synthpop band’s breakthrough album?
The remasters released in that mega box set last year are now available on their own.
Original post (11/29/2011): Man, Elvis Costello is a pretty awesome guy. He’s had a pretty good handle on his own already-solid back catalogue, giving it a good solid two run-throughs (unfortunately, two out of three, which still ain’t bad, as they say). His revival of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook Tour, to be chronicled in a new super-deluxe box set and CD/DVD package, was a welcome surprise that mixed some nostalgia with up-to-date live fun. And then there’s that above video, which doesn’t fail to put a smile on my face.
But not everyone smiles for Mr. Costello! Our dear readers were rightfully upset at the crazy-even-for-a-super-deluxe-box $200+ price point, which included CDs, DVDs, books, vinyl, posters and other usual trinkets. But who would listen, other than us? Well, it turns out Elvis himself was!
In a typically sardonic announcement on his website, he not only urged that fans hold off on buying the mega box (indicating, as had been reported, that its contents would be available separately in 2012), but suggested that fans instead spend their hard-earned money on Universal U.K.’s “vastly superior” Louis Armstrong box set.
While we’re happy that Elvis is cognizant of how much these deluxe boxes put on fans’ wallets, we hope he keeps the reissue reporting to a minimum. After all, I couldn’t write or play “Accidents Will Happen” competently. (I won’t dare speak for Joe, though!)
Read the full text of the statement after the jump!
If you see me walking down the street, and I start to cry…or smile…or laugh…there’s a good chance I might be listening to a song by Burt Bacharach. Since beginning his songwriting career with 1952’s instrumental “Once in a Blue Moon” as recorded by Nat King Cole, Bacharach has provided the soundtrack to many of our lives, often in tandem with lyricist Hal David. (Their first collaborations date to 1956, including The Harry Carter Singers’ “Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil,” and Sherry Parsons’ “Peggy’s in the Pantry,” a song Bacharach would rightfully rather forget!) A new compilation on the Starbucks Entertainment label is bringing Bacharach’s music to coffeehouses around the world, and is making quite a splash in the U.S., actually opening at a none-too-shabby No. 59 on the Billboard 200. It offers sixteen selections, the majority of them drawn from the most famed period of the composer’s still-thriving career. This was the time when Angie Dickinson was on his arm, the drink was Martini and Rossi, and the composer-conductor-producer- arranger-performer was proclaimed “The Music Man” on the cover of Newsweek. The simply-titled and elegantly-designed Music by Bacharach will take you back to the mid-1960s, when Bacharach matched David’s universal lyrics to sophisticated melodies, the likes of which weren’t seen in pop music. They still aren’t.
Music by Bacharach doesn’t offer any rarities, and doesn’t purport to cover Bacharach’s entire career. (He’s still active today; in 2011, Bacharach scored a hit in the U.K. with his Ronan Keating collaboration When Ronan Met Burt, and also wrote the original score to the musical Some Lovers, which premiered in San Diego.) Instead, it focuses on the halcyon hitmaking era, when Bacharach provided 39 consecutive chart hits for Dionne Warwick alone. Appropriately enough, the collection offers two songs by Warwick, the third part of the Bacharach/David “triangle marriage.” Also figuring prominently with two tracks each are Dusty Springfield and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Bacharach himself participated in nine of the album’s sixteen tracks, with the remaining seven tracks all well-chosen “cover” recordings. Though far from comprehensive, the collection is a potent and well-curated time capsule nonetheless.
Warwick is represented by her first hit (No. 21 pop), “Don’t Make Me Over,” written to order by Bacharach and David for the young firebrand, as well as with her iconic reading of “Walk on By.” Across the pond, many considered Dusty Springfield to be Bacharach’s supreme interpreter, and her catalogue is tapped for the charming “Wishin’ and Hopin’” (originally a Warwick B-side) and the incendiary “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself,” first recorded by Tommy Hunt. Warwick’s own recording arrived two years after Springfield’s, in a rare reversal. Herb Alpert is heard on the theme to Casino Royale as well as on the 1968 “This Guy’s in Love with You,” somewhat unbelievably the very first pop No. 1 for Bacharach and David. Another iconic performance, Jackie DeShannon’s original 1965 take of “What the World Needs Now is Love,” is also included. Warwick followed DeShannon with a 1967 version of the song.
The most recent tracks on Music by Bacharach are two 1990s collaborations. “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” originally a 1963 hit for Warwick, may be one of the most musically challenging of Bacharach’s songs. It announced Dionne on the scene as her first Top 10 hit in 1963, as the singer navigated with ease the tricky time signature shifts (5/4 to 4/4 to 7/8 and back to 5/4). Ronald Isley takes on the song here in a supremely soulful rendition from his 2003 Isley Meets Bacharach. Just a few years earlier, Bacharach had teamed with Elvis Costello for the song “God Give Me Strength,” written for Allison Anders’ film Grace of My Heart. The song’s success led to a full-blown album collaboration, Painted from Memory, which remains one of the strongest sets of songs in either man’s considerable oeuvre. From its opening horn salvo, “God Give Me Strength” announced a return to classic form for Bacharach after his successful detour into modern pop in the 1980s (“On My Own,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “Arthur’s Theme”). It shares the signature Bacharach sound that’s highlighted on each of the older tracks here.
Hit the jump for much more on Music by Bacharach, including an order link and the full track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s face it, Bob Dylan tributes aren’t exactly uncommon. That said, one of the most ambitious albums of its kind is coming down the pike, set for January 24 release. Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is a specially-priced 4-CD set containing 73 Dylan songs in renditions from an incredibly broad array of artists. Most of the tracks were recorded specifically for this project, but since a handful are previously unreleased tracks of an older vintage (and Dylan’s own 1964 released take of “Chimes of Freedom,” appropriately enough, closes out the set), we felt that coverage of this set was warranted here.
Chimes of Freedom is produced by Jeff Ayeroff and Julie Yannatta, who were also responsible for 2007’s Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. That 2-CD set brought together artists like U2, R.E.M., Green Day, The Flaming Lips and Jackson Browne on a selection of John Lennon songs. This set features a similarly eclectic roster of musicians and a comparably broad scope. Many favorites here at Second Disc HQ have made a contribution to Chimes of Freedom: the late Johnny Cash, plus the very-much-alive Patti Smith, Pete Townshend, Sting, Elvis Costello and Carly Simon, to name a few. Miley Cyrus is the youngest performer on the collection at 19, and the Hannah Montana star offers “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” The oldest act on the line-up is none other than Pete Seeger, who could be describing himself at the age of 92 with Dylan’s “Forever Young.” It’s difficult to single out notable artists on a compilartion featuring so many. Kris Kristofferson offers “The Mighty Quinn,” Diana Krall brings her sensual touch to “Simple Twist of Fate” and Eric Burdon of the Animals tackles “Gotta Serve Somebody.” The white-hot Adele is represented by a radio performance of “Make You Feel My Love.” Ke$ha gets into the act with “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and the frequent Philip Glass collaborators The Kronos Quartet performs the same song. Glee heartthrob Darren Criss does the honors for “New Morning.” Seal and Jeff Beck are an unlikely pair on “Like a Rolling Stone,” and bluesman Taj Mahal plays “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.” Even Dylan’s old flame Joan Baez is here, with a live performance of “Seven Curses.”
Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »
Neil Diamond, The Very Best of Neil Diamond (Columbia/Legacy)
A new single-disc greatest hits compilation that unites classic Columbia stuff with early works for Bang and Universal and the excellent, newer stuff he’s been doing with producer Rick Rubin. The E.T. song, though? Not here. Watch for Joe’s review later today!
Amy Winehouse, Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Universal Republic)
The late, lamented neo-soul singer memorialized with a posthumous album.
Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s, The Lost Album featuring Watermelon Man (Hip-o Select/Polydor)
James Brown catalogue titles don’t necessarily have to be chock full of James Brown, as this lost album from the early ’70s proves.
Elvis Costello and The Imposters, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! Super Deluxe Edition (Hip-O/UMe)
Which Elvis Costello box set? Oh yeah, that one.
Doris Day, My Heart (Arwin Productions)
Doris Day’s first album of original material in seventeen years hits stores in the U.S. after notching a chart success in the U.K.! The American edition contains one previously unreleased bonus track, “Stewball.”
Bee Gees, Main Course (Rhino Flashback)
Barry, Robin and Maurice’s 1975 smash introduced the world to “Jive Talkin’,” “Nights on Broadway,” “Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)” and “Wind of Change.” Long out-of-print, Main Course makes a budget-priced comeback thanks to our friends at Rhino!
Welcome to our brand-new, exhaustive feature to take us to the end of another great year for reissues and box sets: our first-ever official Second Disc Buyers Guide! From now until Christmas, we’re taking you on a delightful trip through the 100 greatest albums of all time, as selected by Rolling Stone in 2003, through the filter of when and how these classic albums have been reissued, remastered and repackaged. If you’ve ever wondered to yourself which versions of these albums to buy for certain bonus tracks and the like, wonder no more.
Our first installment takes us from the smoky, jazzy style of Frank Sinatra to the New Wave heavy artillery of Elvis Costello, with a little bit of funk and rock opera thrown in for good measure. It’s all waiting for you after the jump!
In 1986, Elvis Costello and The Attractions did something bizarre for rock musicians: they reinvented the wheel. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but the introduction of “The Spectacular Spinning Songbook” to Costello’s tour itinerary remains among the most treasured of memories for longtime fans. Costello, who only used The Attractions once on his then-new album, King of America (opting instead for a number of other musicians, including a studio-created group, The Confederates, featuring T-Bone Wolk and Mitchell Froom and members of Elvis Presley’s 1970s T.C.B. Band), reassembled them for a humorously gaudy portion of the tour in which Costello, in character as fictitious game show host Napoleon Dynamite (years before that name was re-appropriated on film), invited audience members to spin a giant wheel to determine what the next song in the set list would be. Selections were varied, from hits to deep cuts to the odd cover or two.
A quarter of a century later, Elvis Costello and The Imposters (featuring original Attractions Steve Nieve on keyboards and Pete Thomas on drums and Davey Farragher on bass) reignited a live frenzy by bringing back the Spectacular Spinning Songbook – and this time, it’s been captured for release. And the lavish box set nature of the release is enough to warrant coverage on The Second Disc, for sure.
Hip-O’s Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook is a limited-edition box – only 1,500 numbered copies worldwide – culled from the group’s two dates at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theater in May of 2011. The set includes a CD of 16 performances from both nights, ranging from all ends of Costello’s lengthy career, from “Mystery Dance” off his 1978 debut My Aim is True to the title track of 2010′s National Ransom. The accompanying DVD showcases the second show on May 12 and includes highlights in covers of Nick Lowe (“Heart of the City”) and The Rolling Stones (“Out of Time”) as well as “Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution),” featuring a guest appearance from Susanna Hoffs, who covered the track with The Bangles a year after Costello released his version on When I Was Cruel in 2002.
The box set also features a 10″ EP with an additional four songs, a 40-page hardbound book of photos and Costello’s journal entries while on tour, a 20″ x 30″ poster, a limited edition tour postcard and a commemorative card signed by Costello himself. Those who don’t want all the super-deluxe trimmings can rest easy, though: next year, the CD and DVD will be released individually and as a two-disc set.
The set’s in shops November 28, but you can order your copy right now through Amazon. Enjoy the set lists after the jump.