The Songs Of Bacharach & Costello (Super Deluxe Remastered) Elvis Costello

Album info

Album-Release:
2023

HRA-Release:
09.12.2023

Album including Album cover

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  • 1In The Darkest Place04:19
  • 2Toledo04:35
  • 3I Still Have That Other Girl02:46
  • 4This House Is Empty Now05:10
  • 5Tears At The Birthday Party04:38
  • 6Such Unlikely Lovers03:24
  • 7My Thief04:20
  • 8The Long Division04:15
  • 9Painted From Memory04:12
  • 10The Sweetest Punch04:09
  • 11What's Her Name Today?04:08
  • 12God Give Me Strength (From “Grace Of My Heart” Soundtrack)06:11
  • 13You Can Have Her05:09
  • 14Painted From Memory04:10
  • 15Don't Look Now02:29
  • 16Everyone’s Playing House03:05
  • 17I Looked Away02:36
  • 18Taken From Life04:16
  • 19My Thief04:31
  • 20Shameless04:31
  • 21Photographs Can Lie03:37
  • 22In The Darkest Place03:27
  • 23Why Won't Heaven Help Me?03:20
  • 24Stripping Paper03:37
  • 25He's Given Me Things04:09
  • 26What's Her Name Today?03:42
  • 27Look Up Again05:19
  • 28Lie Back & Think Of England02:05
  • 29Toledo (Live In Tokyo, Japan, Nakano Sunplaza Hall / February 08, 1999)05:05
  • 30In The Darkest Place (Live In Melbourne, Australia, Athenaeum Theatre / February 16, 1999)04:40
  • 31My Thief (Live In Tokyo, Japan, Nakano Sunplaza Hall / February 08, 1999)05:20
  • 32I Still Have That Other Girl (Live In Tokyo, Japan, Shibuya Hall / February 10, 1999)03:18
  • 33I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Live In Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall / June 16, 1999)03:42
  • 34God Give Me Strength (Live In Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall / June 16, 1999)05:08
  • 35This House Is Empty Now (Live From Late Night With Conan O'Brien / November 27, 1998)04:12
  • 36I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (Live At University Of East Anglia, Norwich, UK / October 17, 1977)02:18
  • 37Baby It's You03:17
  • 38Please Stay04:49
  • 39I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Live In Toronto, Ontario At Massey Hall / June 16, 1999)03:20
  • 40Make It Easy On Yourself (Live In London At Royal Festival Hall / October 29, 1998)03:14
  • 41My Little Red Book (Live In London At Royal Festival Hall / October 29, 1998)02:50
  • 42Anyone Who Had A Heart (Live In London At Royal Festival Hall / October 29, 1998)04:05
  • 43I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (Live In New York City, Sessions At West 54th / October 18, 1998)03:04
  • Total Runtime02:50:32

Info for The Songs Of Bacharach & Costello (Super Deluxe Remastered)



The Songs of Bacharach & Costello, brings together all of the published songs that Costello has written with Burt Bacharach, celebrating the three decade songwriting partnership between them. Compiled by Costello, the Super Deluxe Edition includes the newly remastered album, Painted From Memory, along with a new collection, Taken From Life, featuring unreleased songs from the proposed “Painted From Memory” musical score, plus live performances, and a detailed 10,000 word essay by Costello.

Those who were surprised by the writers of "I'm Not Angry" and "What's New Pussycat?" working together perhaps overlooked that Bacharach was engaging in musical collaboration for only the second time in his storied career - the first resulting in just a handful of songs musically written with Neil Diamond.

It was Costello who wrote the first musical draft of "God Give Me Strength," communicating from Dublin to Los Angeles by fax - back in the 20th Century - and far from being offended by this presumption, Bacharach sent back an amended copy, laying out the signature intro motif for flugelhorn, adding the expansive bridge section and making all sorts of subtle but crucial amendments to the melodic and rhythmic phrasing of Costello's first draft.

This song was a commission for the Allison Anders' motion picture, "Grace Of My Heart," and though both song and movie were overlooked by the Academy Awards, the song did place in the GRAMMY nominations of the following year, as Costello remarked in his book "Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink": "To have written a song like "God Give Me Strength" and simply stopped would have been ridiculous."

So began a series of face-to-face songwriting sessions in both California and New York City.

Their working methods ranged from one writer responding to the other's opening musical statement to Costello trying to put lyrical substance and definition to a complete Bacharach composition that did not need any such musical reply. By the end of their initial sessions, there were occasions when they were seated across the room at two pianos, writing successive bars of the new tune.

Recorded in Hollywood in 1998, the album, Painted From Memory – orchestrated by Bacharach with the exception of the title track which was arranged by the great Johnny Mandel – has gone on to capture an appreciative worldwide audience far beyond its initial release. The song "I Still Have That Other Girl" even managed to wrestle a GRAMMY away from both Celine Dion and Van Morrison - no easy task in the crowded field of the "Best Collaboration With Vocals" category of the 41st Awards.

The idea that the songs and lovelorn themes of Painted From Memory might be realized on the Broadway stage were perhaps an unlikely prospect, given that, as Costello puts it in his essay, such a show might feel, "Like Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night" only with less tap-dancing."

Nevertheless, this was the belief of dedicated Painted From Memory aficionado and television comedy mogul, Chuck Lorre, who together with Tony Award-winning writer, Steven Sater, set about threading a story through the original folio of songs, creating a tale and set of characters who demanded that Bacharach and Costello write more than a dozen additional songs.

Writing the lyrics of these new songs, Costello told us, "These reflect the stories and impulses of a group of people who are, obsessive and vain, who are betrayed and become disappointed in life but long tenderly for a happier time, who are unfaithful, dishonest, destructive and turn out to be the inventors of a dangerous past, who are guilty, haunted and romantically deluded, desperate, vengeful and even cruel."

"In their musical form they are different kinds of dark love songs that anyone might sing if they happened to be an artist, his model, a wife, a fantasist, a lover, a philanderer or disillusioned daughter.

You know, fun for all the family."

These songs are all found on Taken From Life, opening and closing with "You Can Have Her" and "Look Up Again," arranged by Vince Mendoza and recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood in September 2021 under the direction of Bacharach.

The Taken From Life collection also brings together performances on which Bacharach led The Imposters for the GRAMMY winning album, Look Now, and songs from the proposed score from the E.P. Purse and the Decca Records release, The Sweetest Punch, on which guitarist Bill Frisell arranged the then brand new Bacharach/Costello songs for the voice of Cassandra Wilson and the clarinetist, Don Byron.

The Taken From Life title track is a 2022 recording with The Imposters produced by Sebastian Keys and the collection is completed by startling and beautiful vocal performances of other songs from the "Painted From Memory" musical score by Audra Mae and Jenni Muldaur with the piano accompaniment of Jim Cox and Thomas Bartlett, including the tragic, "I Looked Away" and the deranged catalogue song, "Shameless," just two of the 19 previously unreleased tracks included in the set.

Along with multiple lyrical drafts of "This House Is Empty Now" which reveal the harrowing disillusionment beneath the more measured tone of the finished lyric, pages from the draft script are also reproduced with pencil annotations proposing lyrical changes and even other unwritten songs.

Opportunities to see Bacharach and Costello perform on stage were rare. Their 1998 tour opened at Radio City Musical Hall, NYC and closed five shows later at the Royal Festival Hall, London, after just a handful of television and radio appearances.

However, Costello and Steve Nieve began the "Lonely World Tour" – taking its title from a line in the Painted From Memory song, "What's Her Name Today?" – opening with an appearance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on the Feast Of The Epiphany, 1999 and proceeded to place the Bacharach/Costello songs central to their concert repertoire from Toronto to Tokyo, and closing in Osaka on December 18th, in a concert in which forty songs were performed.

A selection of these performances can be heard on the third disc of the box set: "Because It's A Lonely World - Live."

Bacharach's songs written with his greatest lyricist, Hal David (as well as those written with Bob Hilliard and Mack David) were heard on English radio and television from his latter collaborator's earliest memories.

Costello's 10,000 word essay is illustrated by a number of photographs including detail from a shot of the entire company of the Royal Variety Performance of 1963, in which The Beatles – who had recently recorded Bacharach's "Baby It's You" – are seen flirting with Marlene Dietrich, whose accompanist, Bacharach can be found in the third row back, just four places along from Costello's father, Ross MacManus, who was also heard at the famous "rattle yer jewelry" show, singing with The Joe Loss Orchestra.

Aside from this strange coincidence that his father appeared on the bill with two songwriters with whom "Elvis Costello" would write more than thirty songs, Declan MacManus' upbringing was like anyone else who grew up in England during the early 1960s in that he lived in the shadow and under the spell of BBC Light Entertainment on which Bacharach/David songs were first heard sung by Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield or Zoot Money and The Big Roll Band before these renditions were chased up the hit parade by the "original" recordings by Dionne Warwick and many other great American vocal artists.

From his first concert hall dates with the Attractions as part of the "Live Stiffs" package tour in 1977, Costello turned to the Bacharach/David songbook for "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself," the first performance of a tune other than his own to make it on to vinyl.

The fourth disc of the box set, "Costello Sings Bacharach/David," traces the singer's relationship from that date through a duet with Nick Lowe on "Baby It's You," a version of "Please Stay" recorded in Barbados, all the way to a trio of Bacharach/David classics performed at the Royal Festival Hall in 1999, including "Make It Easy On Yourself," "My Little Red Book," and "Anyone Who Had A Heart."

Another studio collaboration yielded a rendition of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" recorded for the Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack, in which both artists made a cameo appearance.

Indeed this in turn led to exploratory workshops with Mike Myers for a possible stage adaptation of "Austin Powers" and further songwriting sessions with the Bacharach/Costello team completing or sketching up to fifteen more songs, one of which would have been a "secret track" back in this collection in the carefree days before algorithms ruled the waves but which is tucked on the end of the Taken From Life album, in the form of Bacharach's tender and intimate vocal and piano performance of one of the more unexpected drafted subplots - the song of a disillusioned spy entitled: "Lie Back And Think Of England."

"The album's second and most lasting surprise is the quality of the teamwork. This project is obviously not hurried studio time aimed at selling scads of records, but rather the very precise, determined work of two gifted artists," adding, "As a result, trying to decipher and describe where one's contribution begins and the other's influence ends is a nearly impossible task-- Painted from Memory's most outstanding tales of loss and bitterness, 'I Still Have That Other Girl,' 'Toledo, 'The Sweetest Punch,' and the album's title track are reminiscent of Costello's most clever and haunting work, and Bacharach's memorable piano melodies stretch the old punk's voice to new limits." (Pitchfork)

"neither their checkered histories nor that initial duet are preparation for the sublime and subtle beauty of much of Painted From Memory," while the New York Times hailed it as "a finely crafted collection of lovelorn ballads in which Mr. Costello flaunts his gift for quirky imagery," and "finds Mr. Bacharach returning enthusiastically to the hyper-romantic signature style of the 1960's hits he wrote, arranged and produced with the lyricist Hal David for Dionne Warwick." (Entertainment Weekly)

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

Digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig


Elvis Costello
began working as a professional musician 35 years ago, shortly after the release of his first album, “My Aim Is True”. He has made more than 27 studio records, three live albums and numerous guest appearances on stage, studio and screen as well as working as a record producer, bit-part actor and composing music for television drama and dance performance.

He has toured the world with The Attractions, The Imposters and the pianist, Steve Nieve, performing with symphony and jazz orchestras as well as in solo performance. His catalogue of songs includes collaborations with Paul McCartney, Allen Toussaint and Burt Bacharach with whom he won a Grammy for “I Still Have That Other Girl” from their 1998 collaboration, Painted From Memory. Costello’s songs have been recorded by George Jones, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield and Robert Wyatt.

Elvis Costello and The Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. In the same year he was awarded ASCAP’s prestigious Founder’s Award. His last record was 2010s National Ransom, produced by T-Bone Burnett. Between 2008 and 2010, Costello was the host of twenty episodes of the interview and music show, “Spectacle” on the Sundance Channel.

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