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Some Elvis Costello Web sites

- Elvis Costello's o-fficial site
- A good Elvis Costello site
- Wikipedia on Elvis Costello
- Bright Blue Times
- Good article on Costello
- On MySpace, check out these very active Elvis Costello groups: "Elvis Costello" (several hundred members), and "Elvis Costello - the Real King" (several hundred members).
- Thousands of Elvis Costello fans around the world post Elvis info at the Elvis Costello Fan Forum.

EC Recordings You Should Own

See the Costello recordings we recommend along with a quick review of each album.

Costello video performances

Check out this energetic 2005 live performance of "Peace, Love, and Understanding" from the "Club Date: Live in Memphis" DVD on iFilm.

From the same Memphis DVD, here's "Alison-Suspicious Minds."

Here's a cheesy, late '70s music video of "Pump It Up."

Another cheesy late '70s music video: "Radio, Radio."

Some cool live Elvis audio

Here are some rare, live Elvis Costello performances.

Accidents Will Happen
Alison (Bridge School Concerts) good stuff
All This Useless Beauty (Conan) excellent
Baby Plays Around
God Only Knows (with Brodsky Quartet) recommended
Chelsea (fast)
Everyday I Write the Book (Woodstock)
Girl's Talk
I Stand Accused ('79)
I Want You (London)
Less Than Zero (Dallas version) very cool
Lipstick Vogue
Little Atoms (acoustic)
Man Out of Time recommended
Mystery Dance
No Action
Oliver's Army (acoustic)

- A cool Elvis Costello search box

Looking for some obscure info on Elvis Costello? The search box below searches exclusively on several Elvis Costello fan sites.

- Elvis stuff you might not have known

- Born August 25, 1954 in London, his birth name isn't "Elvis Costello."
- The Huey Lewis' band Clover backed Costello on his first album

During Elvis Costello's 1977 SNL debut, he abruptly halted "Less Than Zero" and launched into "Radio, Radio," resulting in him being banned from the show for 12 years.

- Nick Lowe produced the first three albums.
- On his first SNL performance in 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions plays "Watching the Detectives" and, later in the show, gets banned from SNL for an impromptu playing of "Radio, Radio." Learn more about what happened that night and see videos of both SNL performances.

- Costello returns for SNL's 25th anniversary.
- "The Ray Charles Incident"
- In 1986, Costello married Cait O'Riordan, then bassist for the band The Pogues. The couple split at the end of 2002.
- The "Wheel of Elvis" is introduced in 1986.
- Costello and McCartney begin a long-running songwriting collaboration.
- Costello invents "Napoleon Dynamite" character years before the movie.
- The Attractions become The Imposters.
- Elvis Costello and The Attractions are inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
- In May 2003, Costello becomes engaged to Canadian jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall and they are married at the London estate of Sir Elton John. Their twin sons Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James were born December 6, 2006 in NYC.
- Costello writes a full-scale orchestral work based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

- chronological discography

The following lists of all Costello's work chronologically. We're not necessarily recommending each of these (such as -- ahem -- 1984's Goodbye Cruel World). See our recommended CD and DVD recordings.


- My Aim Is True (1977): Recorded before The Attractions were formed, this album used musicians from the band Clover, which later became the basis for Huey Lewis and The News.


- This Years Model (1978)

- Armed Forces (1979): Originally to have been titled "Emotional Fascism," a phrase that appeared on the LP's inner sleeve, many die-hard fans consider this one
of his finest albums.




- Get Happy! (1980): 20 tracks in fewer than 50 minutes


- Trust (1981)


- Almost Blue (1981): An album of country music cover songs; The first pressings of the record in the UK bore a sticker with the message: "WARNING: This album contains country & western music and may cause offence to narrow minded listeners."


- Imperial Bedroom (1982): Chet Baker records the trumpet solo on "Almost Blue."


- Punch the Clock (1983): Another trumpet solo by Chet Baker on "Shipbuilding"


- Goodbye Cruel World (1984): Daryl Hall sings backup on "The Only Flame in Town."


- King of America (1986):


- Blood and Chocolate (1986): Costello creates an obnoxious emcee charter named "Napoleon Dynamite," which he plays on stage during the album's tour. (The pseudonym had previously been used in 1982, when the B-side single "Imperial Bedroom" was credited to Napoleon Dynamite & The Royal Guard.)


- Spike (1989): The album spawned his biggest single in America, the Top Ten hit "Veronica," one of several songs Costello co-wrote with Paul McCartney.


- Mighty Like a Rose (1991)


- The Juliet Letters (1993): Costello tested the classical music waters with a critically acclaimed collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet.


- Brutal Youth (1993): Costello returned to rock and roll with this project that reunited him with The Attractions.


- Kojak Variety (1995): An album of cover songs recorded five years earlier


- All This Useless Beauty (1996): An album of songs Costello originally wrote for other artists


- Extreme Honey (1997): This greatest hits album fulfilled his contractual obligations to Warner Bros. It contained an original track titled "The Bridge I Burned", featuring Elvis' son, Matt, on bass.


- Painted From Memory (1998): A collaboration with famed sixties pop songwriter Burt Bacharach


- When I Was Cruel (2002): The first rock 'n' roll album in many years, and the first album recorded with a new band, the Imposters (essentially the Attractions but with a different bass player, Davey Faragher, formerly of Cracker)


- Il Sogno (2004): Costello's first full-scale orchestral work was a ballet after Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and was commissioned by Italian dance troupe Aterballeto. It received critical acclaim from the classical music critics, while being scorned by the popular music press.


- The Delivery Man (2004): Recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, this blues, country, and folk album received acclaim as one of Costello's best albums, and continues Costello's personal quest to release an album on each of Universal's record labels. Included on the album is the Academy Award-nominated song "Scarlet Tide" -- co-written by Costello and T-Bone Burnett and used in the film Cold Mountain.


- Piano Jazz (2005): A CD recording of a collaboration with Marian McPartland on her show, "Piano Jazz." It features Costello singing six jazz standards and two of his own songs, accompanied by Marian McPartland on piano.


- The River in Reverse (2006): A collaboration with New Orleans R&B powerhouse Allen Toussaint, the album combines The Imposters with Toussaint's horn section and guitarist. Most tracks were cut with the entire group in one room and Costello singing live.

How the album happened: Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, Toussaint relocated to New York City where he and Costello renewed their musical friendship at several benefits and club gigs, leading to discussions of this new album. Costello wrote the title track, "The River in Reverse," Sept. 24th, 2005 and performed it that same night at a benefit.

- 'Scarlet Tide' video

During a live performance on the Today Show (July 21, 2005), Costello expressed his feelings about the Iraq War by changing the lyrics of his Oscar-nominated song (from "Cold Mountain"), "Scarlet Tide." (watch the video). Later, he explained what he did, saying, "At 2 a.m. on the 21st July, I woke up and re-wrote a few lines of 'The Scarlet Tide' to reflect the frustration that I sense with the disastrous and dishonest prosecution of a war, an action that might have been thought treasonous in saner times."

The original lyrics are:

Man has no choice,
When he wants everything.

The rewritten lyrics are:

Admit you lied,
And bring the boys back home.


copyright 2009 Mark Woodruff