North (2003) - perfect for Winter

Pretty self-explanatory
martinfoyle
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Postby martinfoyle » Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:27 am

Martin: I'm impressed by your Japanese translation skills. have you learned to read it purely so you can keep up with Costello news from Japan?


Sorry to say my Japanese is non-existant. This piece about North was posted by Ayako Sasamoto on the EC listserv. I did the old copy and paste thing with it.

martinfoyle
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Postby martinfoyle » Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:36 am

Martin: I'm impressed by your Japanese translation skills. have you learned to read it purely so you can keep up with Costello news from Japan?


Sorry to say my Japanese is no-existant. This piece about North was posted by Ayako Sasamoto on the EC listserv. I did the old copy and paste thing with it.

http://listserv.aol.com/archives/costello-l.html

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Jun 22, 2003 10:51 am

I reckon you're getting the same 'message failed ... Debug...' I've had! It's appearing as normal though!

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so lacklustre
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Postby so lacklustre » Sun Jun 22, 2003 2:22 pm

martin, you've done the old copy and paste thing five times. :lol:

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Postby martinfoyle » Sun Jun 22, 2003 2:40 pm

[quote="Otis Westinghouse"]I reckon you're getting the same 'message failed ... Debug...' I've had! It's appearing as normal though![/]

You're right, Otis, apologies to all for this happening. Is this board going to bits already?

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migdd
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Postby migdd » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:54 pm

Wow! I've made several attempts to register onto the new board and finally made it back to this great group! Can't say how excited I am about the news of the new album. Sounds like Elvis is getting passionate about his music (among other things!) again. I like the rocking Elvis, too, but only when he is passionate about it. As great as WIWC was, it was not fiery or passionate!!! If an album of piano ballads lights his fire, I'm sure it will have more balls (please excuse!) than an intellectual exercise in rock and roll.

Speaking of rock and roll, any update on who drums on NORTH - Peter Erskine or Pete Thomas?

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King of Confidence
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Postby King of Confidence » Sun Jun 22, 2003 7:30 pm

According to the press release, it's Peter Erskine.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that WIWC was an intellectual exercise in rock and roll, but this new one sounds like it has a much more focussed, specific reason for being, and that will bode well for the music, no matter the style.

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LessThanZero
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Postby LessThanZero » Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:10 pm

To everybody who is apprehensive about this new album...

You are insane. I am SO excited about how amazing this disc is going to be.

I can't even wait for the reissue with bonus material!! :D
Loving this board since before When I Was Cruel.

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Postby Jackson Doofster » Mon Jun 23, 2003 1:31 pm

I'm with you LTZ.

I never get apprehensive about a new EC album. I can honestly say that whilst some of his albums have less appeal than they used to (burn out), I have enjoyed all of them at the time they were released and have never been disappointed. Even GCW was great in the year I bought it as far as I'm concerned.
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Postby tokyo vogue » Mon Jun 23, 2003 9:31 pm

my burning question is:


has Elvis mastered the art of non-sappy love songs? my head says "yes, of course, he's ELVIS, he can do anything." but...i dunno. i have a great fear that i'm gonna pop in the cd and i'm gonna hear simplistic crappy love lyrics (like Painted From Memory in reverse). what if, for whatever reason, he can write completely eloquently about non-love and un-love but can't imbue love songs with any sense of complexity or *realness*?


one of the things that always struck me about EC's songs is that so many of them felt real - like they happened, or were happening, in a definite time and place. like, there'd be all these little details that, like the best short stories, made the song work, made it hurt in that slicing bittersweet way.

you know what i'm saying?


so what if he can't do that (can't write songs that *touch*) if he's in love? what if he turns into yet another competent but uninspiring pop singer?




ACK. that won't happen, that won't happen, that won't happen...

:cry:
if we can rock together, why can't we walk together?

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King of Confidence
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Postby King of Confidence » Mon Jun 23, 2003 9:55 pm

tokyo vogue, that is THE question. I'm guardedly optimistic.

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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:29 pm

There are just so few really good love songs out there. So very few. He could either redefine the love song or make us wish Diana Krall had not been born.

Let's hope for the former.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--William Shakespeare

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LessThanZero
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Postby LessThanZero » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:32 pm

Please say Former means the first one!
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Postby norman brain » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:43 pm

Tokyo, when I read your post two albums popped in my mind:John Lennon's PLASTIC ONO BAND and DOUBLE FANTASY. It's like they're made by two different people and in a sense they are. On POB, John is angry, hungry, desolate, and dissatisfied. That touches a chord in everyone because ultimately we are alone.

When love comes, ALL of those needs disappear. They are either met or seem trivial compared to the comforts of love. On DF, John sings about baking bread for baby Sean and resting on his laurels while "watching the wheels." Love is a beautiful ethereal thing that sometimes doesn't connect with a listener even he or she is also in love, because it is such a personal experience. It's like John wrote those songs for Yoko and Sean, not an audience.

It's hard to say where Elvis is at on this journey, but like you I'm hoping he can connect without becoming too sappy. I think he can. Because there was a year when Cait made him as happy as Diana is making him now, and he released BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE. That title alone is bittersweet!

I think he's telling the story of 'from Cait to Diana.' I only hope that if he's written it to them that we can somehow connect and make it ours. That's part of why we love music.

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LessThanZero
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Postby LessThanZero » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:52 pm

Lennon also had that one song on DF that's very much like an Elvis song.....what was it?.....

I'm Losing You!!

That's a great song, so, logically, EC's new album will be great too.
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noiseradio
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Postby noiseradio » Tue Jun 24, 2003 12:09 am

And then there's the Two Virgins record, which John & Yoko made when they were really in love.



Seriously though, I think the worst thing that could come of this would be a Diana Krall/Elvis Costello collaboration or two on an album of love songs with a jazz feel. That's bearable even if it's not brilliant.

On the other hand, it could be an entirely new kind of record, one which introduces us to an Elvis we never knew but always needed. That's the album I'm hoping for.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

--William Shakespeare

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Postby so lacklustre » Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:30 am

Tracks:
Prelude/You Left Me In The Dark
Someone Took The Words Away
When Did I Stop Dreaming
You Turned To Me
Fallen
When It Sings
Still
Let Me Tell You About Her
Can You Be True?
When Green Eyes Turn Blue
I'm In The Mood Again
Impatience
Too Blue (bonus track to Japanese edition)
North (special track available from the Internet)


Album Credits
PRODUCED BY: Elvis Costello and Kevin Killen

MIXED BY: Kevin Killen at Avatar Studios, NYC

ENGINEERED BY: Bill Moss at Nola Studios, NYC and Kevin Killen at Avatar Studios, NYC

BRODSKY QUARTET RECORDING ENGINEERED BY: Jon Bailey @ Air Studios, London UK

ADDITIONAL ENGINEERING BY: Pete Doris

ASSISTANT ENGINEERS: Peter Doris (Avatar) and Keir Milligan (Air)

Pro Tools Editing on "Impatience" by Andy Snitzer

PRODUCTION MANAGER AND CONTRACTOR: Jill Dell'Abate

MASTERED BY: Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering

STRINGS:
Violins: Elena Barere (Leader) Avril Brown, Cenovia Cummins, Jonathan
Dinklage, Cecilia Hobbs Gardner, Maura Giannini, Yana Goichman, Joyce
Hammann, Regis Iandiorio Ann Leathers, Laura McGinniss, Jan Mullen, Paul
Peabody, Ricky Sortomme, Katherine Livolsi-Stern, Marti Sweet, Yuri
Vodovos, Carol Webb and Peter Winograd
Violas: Crystal Garner, Sue Pray, Sarah Adams, Karen Dreyfus, Maxine Roach
and Rebecca Young
Celli: Richard Locker, Diane Barere, Jeanne LeBlanc, Ellen Westermann and
Fred Zlotkin
Bass: Tim Cobb and Jacqui Danilow
Harp: Stacy Shames


1) YOU LEFT ME IN THE DARK
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Piano - Steve Nieve
French Horns - Bobby Routch and Bob Carlisle
Tenor Trombone - Conrad Herwig
Bass Trombone - Dave Taylor
Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

2) SOMEONE TOOK THE WORDS AWAY
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Vibraphone - Bill Ware
Alto Flute - Pamela Sklar
Clarinet - John Moses
Bass Clarinet - Roger Rosenberg
Alto Sax - Dave Mann
Tenor Sax - Andy Snitzer
French Horns - Bobby Routch and Bob Carlisle
Flugelhorn - Lew Soloff
Tenor Trombone - Conrad Herwig
Alto Sax solo - Lee Konitz
Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

3) WHEN DID I STOP DREAMING
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Alto Flute - Pamela Sklar
Clarinet - John Moses
Bass Clarinet - Roger Rosenberg
Alto Sax - Dave Mann
Tenor Sax - Andy Snitzer
French Horns - Bobby Routch and Bob Carlisle
Flugelhorn - Lew Soloff
Tenor Trombone - Conrad Herwig
Bass Trombone - Dave Taylor
Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

4) YOU TURNED TO ME
Bass - Brad Jones
Piano - Steve Nieve

5) FALLEN
Bass - Brad Jones
Piano - Steve Nieve
Strings Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

6) WHEN IT SINGS
Piano, Hohner pianet and Celesta - Steve Nieve
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Guitar - Elvis Costello
Vibraphone - Bill Ware

7) STILL
Piano - Steve Nïeve
Brodsky Quartet
Violin - Andrew Haveron
Violin - Ian Belton
Viola - Paul Cassidy
Cello - Jacqueline Thomas
Arranged by Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve

8) LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT HER
Piano - Elvis Costello
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Flugelhorn - Lew Soloff

9) CAN YOU BE TRUE?
Piano - Steve Nieve
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Viibraphone - Bill Ware
Alto Flute - Pamela Sklar
Clarinet - John Moses
Bass Clarinet - Roger Rosenberg
Alto Sax - Dave Mann
Tenor Sax - Andy Snitzer
French Horns - Bobby Routch and Bob Carlisle
Flugelhorn - Lew Soloff
Tenor Trombone - Conrad Herwig
Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

10) WHEN GREEN EYES TURN BLUE
Piano - Steve Nieve
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Alto Flute - Pamela Sklar
Clarinet - John Moses
Bass Clarinet - Roger Rosenberg
Alto Sax - Dave Mann
Tenor Sax - Andy Snitzer
French Horns - Bobby Routch and Bob Carlisle
Flugelhorn - Lew Soloff
Tenor Trombone - Conrad Herwig
Arranged and Conducted by Elvis Costello

11) I'M IN THE MOOD
Piano - Elvis Costello
Vibraphone - Bill Ware

Bonus tracks:

IMPATIENCE
Piano - Elvis Costello
Bass - Davey Faragher
Drums -Pete Thomas
Hohner Pianet - Steve Nïeve
Guitar - Marc Ribot
Frank Lacy - Trumpet and Trombone Solo
Roy Nathanson - Alto Sax and Flute
Marty Ehrlich - Tenor Sax and Flute
Jay Rodriguez - Baritone Sax and Flute
Clark Gayton - Tenor Trombone
Strings arranged by Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve
Horns arranged by Roy Nathanson and Jay Rodriguez

TOO BLUE
Piano - Elvis Costello
B3 Hammond Organ - Steve Nieve
Drums - Peter Erskine
Bass - Mike Formanek
Vibraphone - Bill Ware

NORTH
Piano - Elvis Costello

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:09 am

Cool! Where'd you get the info, SoL?

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so lacklustre
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Postby so lacklustre » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:14 am

It's from JE's site.
http://www.elviscostello.info/disc/offi ... /north.htm

Click on the North link under Release information at the bottom.

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:26 am

So Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher are only on Impatience, eh? And that's a 'bonus' track...

I'm getting impatient -- if it's all finished, they should just put it out. They must really be cranking up the PR... I wonder if he'll go for as much exposure as he did with WIWC, for which he did tons of interviews (and probably got really sick of by the end).

I love speculating about a new EC album...

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Re: NEW ALBUM DETAILS

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:55 pm

https://audioperfecta.com/2019/01/03/el ... or-winter/


MUSIC REVIEWS
Elvis Costello’s North – Perfect for Winter.

By Aaron J Edwards

January 3, 2019

What album is perfect for Winter? Elvis Costello's North

We’re entering the time of year that, to me, is the most miserable. Firstly, the joy and cheer and what not of the holiday season has finally come to a halt, and we’re left with major let down. Secondly, the weather outside is frightful. In my home state of Oregon, it’s cold and rainy . Not just ordinary rain mind you – rain that was snow when it left the cloud. These raindrops are huge, and cold. Yes, January and February are miserable months. Luckily, we still have music – and i have the album that’s absolutely perfect for Winter – Elvis Costello’s North.



North is a soft and mellow sounding album.
If you’re used to Elvis Costello’s rock and roll style, you might be surprised to hear that most of North’s tracks are traditional jazz ballads. North is not Pump It Up, Veronica, Allison, or even Radio Radio. Instrumentally, all the songs are pretty minimalistic – consisting mostly of piano, drums, and maybe a few horns and strings – but no guitars.

The minimalist jazz ballads really are perfect for a night home, as you sip hot cocoa or drink wine. I like to listen to North while writing on a rainy night, looking out through a window at the deserted street (a street that just a few weeks ago was crowded with Christmas shoppers and pretty lights). North really is perfect for winter in this way – as the minimalist, slower songs mimic the winter season and give ambiance to a cold night.

You Left me in the Dark…
Lyrically – Costello starts off the album with a couple of outright sad songs about his divorce. “You Left Me in the Dark,” and “Someone Took the Words Away,” seems less like two individual songs, and more like two sections of the same song. The first part, “You Left Me in the Dark Again,” describes a man who wakes up one day to find their lover gone. This serves as a the source of the pain you see in the next two songs. “

You Left Me in the Dark Again” also hints what depression does to a creative mind – with the use of cliches. The song even starts out with a cliche (See how the elements obey / Eyes of Blue / Skies turn Grey) as a way of describing the mood of the singer. We even get the line “Allowing myself one more cliche /the last hurrah / The first bouquet.” This gives us sense that the singer knows their creative juices are being overrun by their feelings, and thus they turn to rundown, overused phrases instead of bright, new intelligent thoughts.

Someone Took the Words Away
The second part of this alleged two part song, “Someone Took the Words Away,” describes how this depression impacts the singer’s creativity. As a writer – I can relate. When I’m depressed, sometimes the last thing I want to do is write. There are sometimes I just can’t. It’s a horrific feeling – a feeling of self doubt and lack of worth. Costello describes this feeling perfectly.

True – I already show that “You Left Me In the Dark” already hints at the impact of depression on creativity, but “Someone Took the Words Away” really focuses and expounds upon the subject.

I’ve already mentioned the minimalistic sounds of the album. This minimalism truly lends itself to this song particularly well. We start off with a clanging high hat, which sounds like it might be a little further from the microphone than ideal – but this works well! The distant high hat reminds us of lost memories and feelings. It makes us long for things that are distant to us both in time and in space – like a lover gone from our lives.

The extended horn solo at the end also expresses the idea of lost creativity. Don’t get me wrong – the horn was played beautifully – but it serves as proof that no more words can be said – the horn takes the vocals away from us. The horn player took the words away.

Wait – why are depressing songs perfect for winter?
Before I go on – this is probably a good question to answer. When the skies are grey and we’re cooped up indoors, it gets depressing. When we’re depressed – it just feels good to listen to sad music. I don’t know if it’s healthy or not. Some studies and some experts say yes. Elton John even sings about this very subject. So listening to a couple songs about a lost love might just be what we need in the depths of winter.

North has way more than just the two sad songs. In fact, the majority of the tracks on North are rather sad. “When Did I Stop Dreaming?” describes another aspect of his divorce, as does “Fallen.” “When it Sings” and “When Green Eyes turn Blue” gives us a glimpse of life maybe a month before the initial break up – as well as the emotional battle between the pain of staying and the pain of leaving.

There’s also “You Turned to Me” which describes a break up conversation. Probably the most heart wrenching moment on the album comes from this song. The Lyrics, “Just as I began to say / It’s never worth the price you pay” might seem neutral, but the melody behind the lyrics just hurts. The first line gives us an upbeat which makes us think of optimism and hope, but the second line brings us back down with a downbeat and a minor key. But don’t take my word for it – listen to it yourself.


See what I mean? Ugg, heart wrenching. My point in saying all of this – as winter is a depressing time of the year, we need depressing music. That’s the main reason why Elvis Costello’s North is perfect for winter.

Don’t worry – there’s a couple happy songs
Seven songs into the album, we get a happy love song. Still has a melody reminiscent of a 1950s doo wop group, coupled with a classical stylings of the Brodsky String Quartet. The pairing works well, but add the lyrics and you get perhaps one of the best love ballads ever written.

Speaking of lyrics, the first verse of “Still,” encourages you to say “damn the rain,” and go out into the elements with the one you love. Consider this:

These few lines I’ll devote
To a marvelous girl covered up with my coat
Pull it up to your chin
I’ll hold you until the day will begin

© 2003 – DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON

Swoon! Seriously, this feels like a scene from a romantic comedy. Of course. “Still” is not the only happy song – as the song “Can You be True?” explores the giddy feelings and optimism of a new relationship. Once more, these happy songs act as a nice palette cleanser to the sad songs we hear in the first half of the album.


Costello finally gets happy! That’s what makes North the perfect album for winter.
There’s even a comical song…
Yes, “Can You be True” borders on giddy – but “Let Me Tell You About Her,” really dives into giddiness. Costello paints a picture of someone who just won’t shut up about their new love. Lines such as “Friends now regard me with indulgent smiles / But when I start to sing they run for miles”

The idea of someone who won’t shut up about a new romance certainly is something we’ve all seen – and some of us have even been on the giving end of this situation. So “Let Me Tell You About Her” gives us something to relate to. We chuckle at our own experiences, and this warms our hearts. There’s worst things to experience, than a warm heart on a cold, winter’s day. After all, the perfect album for winter should warm your heart.

“I’m In the Mood Again”
With “I’m in the Mood Again” you get a story of a man, walking through New York City on a rainy day. The man is in a blissful love coma. Despite the fact he can’t afford the wares in the store windows he passes, he feels like the richest man in the world. Perhaps he is – after all the turmoil of losing a lover, he finds someone new and exciting.

Vocally – we might have the best track on the album. While Costello’s baritone voice haunts us throughout the album, he seems especially on point in “I’m in the Mood Again.” Coupled with deep, but simple notes plunked on a piano – yeah – there’s that warm feeling I mentioned earlier.

Considering the sad, love loss / divorce tracks at the beginning of North, ending with “I’m in the Mood Again” adds a depth to the album. “I’m in the Mood Again” shows us life when the joys of a new love overshadow the pains of an old heartbreak. The song makes us see that North is about death and rebirth. Really, isn’t that what winter is about? Sure, we hunker down as the world outside seems cold and dead – but the warmth of spring, the annual rebirth of the world, is just around the corner. That, my dear friends, is why North by Elvis Costello is the perfect album for winter.


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