Friday, July 29, 2016
Elvis Costello's Latter Day Gems: THE WEEKEND MIX
I was inspired to put this mix together after listening to Elvis Costello's 2002 release, "When I Was Cruel." It had been more than a minute since I played that record and after acquiring a rare beauty of a copy on vinyl, I decided to give it a spin. I recall liking the record at the time of its original release, but thought it had problems. I was very surprised to discover that time has been kind. "When I Was Cruel" played like a winner. The "problems," whatever I thought they were at the time, seemed to disappear, with my only complaint being the terrible song "Alibi." Nonetheless, I loved what I heard and played it a second time, almost immediately. It's a fully realized collection of tunes. Coherent and melodic and successfully, a bit off center.
I know Mr. McManus is one of those artists we often discuss, as one who we've "given up" on. But with the exception of what I think is an unlistenable "National Ransom," I have enjoyed everything the man has offered. Some more than others, of course, but all worthy.
I was thinking about the change. The point where so many jumped ship. Was it the label change from Columbia to Warner Brothers? I don't think so. The Attractions were still making the occasional appearance and I don't recall anyone having a problem with "Veronica" or "Brutal Youth," or some of those gems on "All This Useless Beauty."
Was it the label change from Warner to Universal? The change in bass players? Or the frame change from black to tortoise shell? Or the hat? It had to be the hat! Wherever you gave up, I've chosen the year 1998 as a starting point for this collection of tunes you may or may not be familiar with.
The aforementioned "When I Was Cruel" is represented three times, and my other latter day favorite, the just about non-existent but no less amazing, "Momofuku" is represented three times, as well. We have two from the Bacharach collaboration, two from "Secret, Profane & Sugar Cane," two from the Allen Toussaint collaboration, one from "North," (a Japanese bonus track), two from "The Delivery Man," and one from The Roots record. There is the one track I do love from "National Ransom" and one from the recently released collection of companion tunes to Costello's memoir.
Give it a go and if there are some latter day gems you love that I missed, let us know what they are.
No Hiding Place
Tear Off Your Own Head
This House Is Empty
Song With Rose
Sugar Won't Work
The Greatest Love
My Little Blue Window
Soul For Hire
God Give Me Strength
(P.S. Something tells me I may have done this before, but I can't find it. And if I did do it before, I am sure that link is dead.)