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Elvis wants your money

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According to one unofficial Elvis Costello site, he has a slew (yes, a slew!) of things to be released soon. Because Elvis knows I’ve been reluctant to buy files off of Itunes (I really don’t like the idea of paying for a very erasable file,) he’s now forcing me to get with it so I can enjoy a 5-track EP on Itunes he released back in late November called The Futurama Sessions. And because that’s just not enough, he’s also not one but TWO separate DVDs (a video compilation and a LIVE set from his latest tour (really excited about this!) – no word on US release dates yet, however) AND a 7-track 10″ vinyl release in the form of The Clarksdale Sessions. Have no fear about that last one, non-vinyl junkies, because Elvis is giving in to a trend that I really, REALLY dislike: offering a recently released album as a “deluxe edition,” this time with the aforementioned The Clarksdale Sessions appended as a second disc, due in stores March 1, 2005. And it comes with less cool cover art:

The Delivery Man, Deluxe Edition

The original:

The Delivery Man

Bitching aside, yeah, I’ll be buying the damned thing.

Anyway, here’s the track info for The Clarksdale Sessions (available January 25, 2005 on vinyl):

1. The Monkey
2. Country Darkness
3. Needle Time
4. The Scarlet Tide
5. In Another Room

6. The Delivery Man
7. The Dark End Of The Street

And The Futurama Sessions (available now at Itunes):

Recorded: 2004-09-23, Avatar Studios, NYC

1. The Delivery Man (Live for iTunes)
2. The Monkey (Live for iTunes)
3. Needle Time (Live for iTunes)
4. Monkey To Man (Live for iTunes)
5. Button My Lip (Live for iTunes

(You like this crap? You’ll like the crap at the beautiful lull, too. Now shoo.)

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About Tom Johnson

  • Let us not forget to save some money for concert tickets, as the US dates are now proliferating!

  • Eric Olsen

    I have had wildly mixed results with Elvis live. Fitting my general conception of the arc of his career, when I saw him a few times with the Attractions in the late-’70s and early-’80s he was energetic, alive, inspired, happening. When I have seen him since, most recently in the later ’90s, he has been desultory, wan, distracted, fat and dull.

  • Hmm…saw him in the summer of 2003 with the Imposters. It was a pretty high-energy show — he didn’t interact with the audience verbally, but you could tell he was having a fine time, and they played hard and sounded great. Saw him last winter just with Steve Nieve (and the Brodsky Quartet for a few numbers) and he was engaging and warm and in very good voice (I even got his autograph after the show). Yeah, he has put on a few pounds over the years, but then, so have I, so I won’t trounce him for that 🙂

  • I’ll second Distorted Angel (great song, by the way) – the show I saw in 2003 was incredible. The only downside to the show was Elvis playing a little too much with his new found interest in guitar toys, especially during “When I Was Cruel,” which featured an agonizingly long, pointless noise-solo. You should give Elvis another chance, Eric – I think you’d enjoy his current shows quite a bit. Hopefully he’ll add a Phoenix date to his list . . . otherwise I’m going to be depending on that live DVD.

  • I’m with Eric. Elvis has described a downward trend, both in concert and on DVD/Vinyl since the release of Almost Blue. I kept hoping it would get better, but after his collaboration with the wretched Burt Bacharach I lost all hope.


  • He’s apparently writing an opera now.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’d go see him again, haven’t written him off, just keep waiting for that next great record that I haven’t heard since about Armed Forces – I love Burt Bacharach, though

  • Well, he’s at the House of Blues in Cleveland on April 20…

  • Eric Olsen

    probably something other than his mere presence would have to motivate me – an engraved invitation or an interview perhaps

  • i saw him on the Spike tour and he was fantastic.

    of course, he had one of my guitar heros, Marc Ribot, with him that day…so it was bound to be interesting (at least to me, i guess)

  • just keep waiting for that next great record that I haven’t heard since about Armed Forces

    What about Blood and Chocolate, Brutal Youth and even All This Useless Beauty and When I Was Cruel. They may be very different than Armed Forced, but they’re still great records in their own ways. Expecting him to make a record that sounds like late-70s/early-80s Elvis is just unfair and seems to disregard his growth as a musical artist.

  • i ain’t much of a costello fan post-say, Almost Blue, but i share your frustration Tom. The old “deluxe edition” malarkey is all fine and good, but it feels a bit daft paying for the same thing twice, even if it does have an extra disc. Which it shouldn’t, i suppose. Example – I bought the libertines most recent record the second the damn thing hit the shelves, but there you are, couple months later “deluxe edition”. Thing is, it had a full-length DVD, so i figured shit, man, 12.99 for that right there is a bargain, since if it was released individually it’d be 20 at least.

    But it is frustrating at times. On the other hand, though, i wanna grab as much stuff as possible by my fave artists and such, so the more the merrier. Ryan Adams released a buncha internet only stuff, but i havent got any of it, mainly because like you said, the easily-erasable nature of it all is worrying. Of course i could burn it to CD, but there you go…

  • and then there’s the 10 year anniversary editions and such. mind you, i bought the anniversary edition of The Manic Street Preachers Holy Bible yesterday, and it’s stunning. 2XCD and a DVD. marvellous.

  • Eric Olsen

    Bryan speaks! I hear those as ranging between good and okay, and unfortunately for us both (Elvis and I) I don’t necessarily see his peregrinations of the last 20 years as necessarily “artistic growth”

  • Ditto what Brian McKay says. All four of those albums are great, in fact, they’re among my Costello favorites. I’ll add in The Delivery Man, too. All albums I keep coming back to over and over again.

    And Duke: I just saw that CD/DVD version of the Libertines, but I can’t feel ripped off since I got that as a free review copy. Now I have an excuse to pay for it, and should do so soon.

  • I would argue that All This Useless Beauty and Blood and Chocolate are as good as any of his earlier works, and are two of my more frequently-played EC albums. This is not unlike the U2 thread from last week where we discussed the problem that artists face (if they last long enough) that forces them to regurgitate their earlier selves as opposed to moving forward artistically. While I agree that Costello’s output has been wildly uneven, I appreciate his willingness to take risks.

  • Eric Olsen

    and I understand all that and realize that among the musical cognoscenti anyway, I am in the minority. Here is what I want from Elvis: tuneful rockers and “Allison”

  • allison rules.

    And Tom, that’s a wise purchase, i would venture.

  • Eric Olsen

    and a skinny tie

  • Heresy. You wicked sinners disrespecting Elvis Costello’s live performances are commiting grave heresy against the Holy Spirit. The shows I’ve seen over recent years have varied between outstanding and transcendent.

    Indeed, he was the star of my day of the Pentecost. This may have been the finest live show I ever saw- give or take absolutely Prince on the Purple Rain tour.

    Apostates: REPENT of your blasphemy against Elvis. Turn or burn!

    What the hell’s wrong with you people, anyway?