South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue" - High Definition airing, August 17 2016

Pretty self-explanatory
cwr
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:14 pm

South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue" - High Definition airing, August 17 2016

Postby cwr » Sat May 05, 2012 9:31 am

South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue" (1981)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOTsMK7oCnk

I uploaded this entire episode to YouTube, essentially an hour-long documentary on the making of the album. Hopefully it won't get taken down. I figure this is probably the only way most people are ever going to get to see this, unless someday the entire SBS archives are posted online.

Elvis has referenced this in the liner notes of all the reissue editions of Almost Blue, and I think in an ideal world it would come as a bonus DVD, because it really does enhance the album to see how it all went down. I know that it made me like the album more.

Dr. Luther
Posts: 457
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 3:25 pm
Location: SF

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Dr. Luther » Sat May 05, 2012 10:19 am

Thank you for this. It is greatly appreciated.

I had the audio for this many years back, but never actually viewed it.
It's a remarkable document.

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5714
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat May 05, 2012 10:56 am

This has been most helpful in giving me a stronger entree into the album. Thank you for posting. Previously I had always had trouble with remakes of remakes of originals. His discussion of his attempts on this record to place the emphasis on the voice now hits home with me and the choice of Sherrill to produce seems inspired as he catches the vocal quality of a pedal steel and other instruments in his mix. What used to seem saccharine to my ears in his past productions takes on a more human quality with these songs. The expansion of the second disc does not hurt, as well. It is a helpful document. Not a bad notion to have it added as a DVD should there be a future re-release.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

cwr
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby cwr » Sat May 05, 2012 11:51 am

I remember when I was first devouring all of Costello's albums en masse (it was 1993, so I borrowed my friend's CD collection, everything from MAIT to MLAR, having just purchased TJL), AB was the one that I practically brushed aside.

"Oh, it's an album of "country" covers," I thought. "Weird."

Almost nothing about it appealed to me. It was only later, once I had listened to everything else a dozen times, that I decided to give it a try. This led me to listen to Gram Parsons, and Johnny Cash, and George Jones, etc.

As I get older, AB appeals to me much more. It's a heartfelt record. It's also a harbinger of things to come-- it makes much more sense NOW, after the past two decades, then it did even in 1993.

Also, while those first 10 years are filled with great records and songs, AB is the only one where all the songs are clear and straightforward and make absolute sense. So many of Costello's songs, even now, are written in a kind of "code"-- which is great. But the clarity of songwriting on AB is one of the things that really sets it apart from everything else Elvis had done up to that point. (Even a song like "Alison" is kind of vague, right? You make your own meaning, even though it makes sense emotionally, the listener doesn't really know what the circumstances of that song are, right?)

I'd love it if Costello recorded some more albums of other people's songs now. He's so good at it.
Last edited by cwr on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jack of All Parades
Posts: 5714
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Where I wish to be

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat May 05, 2012 12:30 pm

You may have something with your notion of 'codes'. As he states in his liner notes, the material on the album, especially Gram Parson's songs, have a "fragile and often strangely beautiful [quality], full of dark longing and foreboding." I firmly remain convinced that in his own material leading up to this record and in the subsequent records following it he has demonstrated in his lyric voice that he is one of Pops' eminent writers about human relations. This is voiced directly by the Melody Maker editor in the you tube clip. It does not seem odd to me that he chose to take a more direct approach in his exploration of human feelings by doing a cover record of 'country' songs with which he could directly relate. Rather than envelop his thoughts and feelings in a charged 'coded' language, this record frequently speaks directly in its usages of others words. I suspect that was very liberating for him at the time.

I, too, would welcome more such collaborations with other writer's material. I just do not want another ubiquitous 'American Songbook' record. He has repeatedly shown in the past that when he is engaged with the material, he can really deliver a 'cover'.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

User avatar
Otis Westinghouse
Posts: 8856
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:32 pm
Location: The theatre of dreams

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun May 06, 2012 7:43 pm

Many thanks indeed. I watched this when it aired, but remember next to nothing. The album has never done much for me, nor has overly much of the world of country. I never had it till the Rhino reissue + bonus, my mate had the vinyl back in the day and one or two plays round at his house was enough to tell me I wasn't missing much compared to his blistering output prior to this, and somehow the CD hasn't had much of an airing either, but watching this does make me want to go and re-explore. I do enjoy a lot of the songs on it, and always love to hear him play Good Year for the Roses. I was also very taken with Psycho. As well as the interviews and studio footage, I love all the scenes of Nashville. Really gives you a feel for the place captured in time.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

The imposter
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:37 am
Location: Permanent Vacation

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby The imposter » Sun May 06, 2012 8:51 pm

I think maybe even Elvis has acknowledged that he was probably too young to attempt those songs. As he once remarked " I can sing it a lot better now" I think in ref to GYFR in an app with G Jones. The current Elvis take on this album (if one existed) would easily outstrip this album

User avatar
Harry Worth
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Harry Worth » Thu May 10, 2012 2:36 pm

Excellent cwr!

User avatar
Emotional Toothpaste
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:15 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Fri May 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Gotta love Billy Sherill in this. He seems like he would rather be doing anything else than producing Elvis. And his deadpan comment about if the album is a success, then he'll get another boat! And Elvis explaining his version of "Sitting and Thinking" with the line I got drunk last night on a bottle of gin and Billy's questioning it, saying it should be loaded (not drunk). I guess in the end, Billy won that round.

Other interesting bits. There was an exchange between Elvis and Bruce that gave us a glimpse of their sometimes strained or tension in working together.

Elvis sweat glands were working overtime in the Aberdeen performance, good grief he is a human waterfall.

User avatar
watercamp
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby watercamp » Sat May 12, 2012 7:21 pm

cwr

you must post this in the best format possible on the green one, please please please.

This is amazing, I've never seen this and I want to have a copy for my collection.

By the way the youtube version has all the audio in the right ch. is it suppose to be this way?

update

Just finished watching this and once again thank you for the youtube upload but I must have a better quality copy of this, I'm begging for someone to torrent this on the green one or anywhere I can get my greedy little EC fan hands on it.

please please please

cwr
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby cwr » Sun May 13, 2012 10:10 am

Sadly, the copy I uploaded is what it is. Maybe there is a better quality copy floating around somewhere, but that's the best I've got.

User avatar
watercamp
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby watercamp » Sun May 13, 2012 4:21 pm

cwr wrote:Sadly, the copy I uploaded is what it is. Maybe there is a better quality copy floating around somewhere, but that's the best I've got.


Thanks cwr

HELP!

The search is on for someone else to come to the rescue

Azmuda
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:49 am

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Azmuda » Sun May 13, 2012 4:39 pm

cwr wrote:Sadly, the copy I uploaded is what it is.

Did this emanate from the .avi version running on TheBox?

cwr
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby cwr » Sun May 13, 2012 4:50 pm

Yes, I think that's the same one. It's an .avi, I got it some time ago, but I think it's that same one.

Neil.
Posts: 1418
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:14 am
Location: London

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Neil. » Sun May 13, 2012 6:22 pm

Thanks so much, CWR - I've been waiting years to see this... since 1981, basically. (I didn't see it back then - I got into Elvis properly about two years later)

Neil.
Posts: 1418
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:14 am
Location: London

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Neil. » Sun May 13, 2012 6:23 pm

P.S. I just wanna do my annual shout-out for 'Sweet Dreams'... defo one of Elvis's best recordings. Billy did a grand job on that one.

sweetest punch
Posts: 4267
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
Location: Belgium

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:10 pm

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville ... 981-uk-doc

The Making of Elvis Costello’s Almost Blue in Nashville, 1981 UK Doc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOTsMK7oCnk

The video above is a serious must-watch for fans of Elvis Costello’s polarizing 1981 country covers album Almost Blue. It’s a 31-year-old episode of the UK's ITV's South Bank Show, and it chronicles Costello as he cuts the record in Nashville’s famed Columbia Studio B with Billy Sherrill.

The episode, or more documentary, directed by Peter Carr, provides an intimate look behind the scenes of a cocksure Costello, biting at the ankles of country music as a chain-smoking, speedboat-skippering, ever-bearish-but-professorial Sherrill humbles and disarms the smart-alecky Costello with his dry wit and first-hand knowledge of something the singer still obviously knew in concept only. The doc also gives snapshot after snapshot of a radically different Nashville and the Music Row circa 1981, along with Costello’s commentary on the city.

“There seemed to be a lot of very unhappy people,” Costello says. “Maybe it’s because they get a lot of people coming with expectations which are unfulfilled or something, but it’s a very tense kind of place. … That’s probably the least comfortable I ever felt in America, I find it much more threatening than New York or any part of London.”

Not only did the doc capture the recording of Almost Blue, it influenced the process as well. In the liner notes to the 2004 Rhino reissue of the record, Costello wrote that the filming complicated the two-week recording session and affected his and the band’s behavior:

"Some of the above antics and postures might have been a little exaggerated due to the fact that a documentary film crew was capturing most of the proceedings. … You might say that hubris and alcohol play no small part in [the film]. Peter filmed us in the studio and making a brief but bizarre visit to the seedier bars of Broadway, long before it became the more welcoming tourist destination of today. Most of all he filmed me looking very pale and hungover, talking earnestly about country music."

“I had the idea of what I felt about those songs and for better or for worse recorded [Almost Blue] the way we did — something of a blur,” Costello told the Scene in 2010. “Here we are all these years later, and I have people come up to me and say [of Almost Blue], ‘You did that same thing for me that [Gram Parsons or Emmylou Harris] did for you’ … I don't think I take any particularly great pride in it. I just think, ‘Well, that's what you should do’ — if you like it, tell somebody else, you know? Even if that means that you have to illustrate it in your own, kinda, screwed-up version of it, if your heart is really in it and you're singing it the way you believe it.”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

User avatar
docinwestchester
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:58 pm
Location: Westchester County, NY

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby docinwestchester » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:46 am

This show is fantastic, but I found the one speaker audio a bit distracting. So I dubbed the audio into both speakers and uploaded it here:

https://vimeo.com/46168285

Thanks to cwr for the original upload!

johnfoyle
Posts: 14615
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:37 pm
Location: Dublin , Ireland

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:53 am


User avatar
John
Posts: 773
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 5:52 am
Location: North of England

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby John » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:32 pm

Still a great watch. How proud does he seem listening back to Sweet Dreams on his ghetto blaster at (I assume) his home.

cwr
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby cwr » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:39 am

BUMP for the late Billy Sherrill.

I used to hold out hope that they would issue an edition of Almost Blue with this doc as an extra on a dvd, but I now realize that the only way fans will ever see it is online copies taken from an old taped broadcast.

I really do think my appreciation for the album increased significantly from watching this film. Same with the New Basement Tapes! I kind of wish we had one of these for every EC album, I don't think any of them would be boring...

User avatar
Emotional Toothpaste
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:15 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:05 am

What a thoroughly enjoyable documentary. Can't help but like Billy Sherrill's parts in it. He's clearly not an Elvis fan, and almost kind've wondering why he is even involved in the project, and just his overall cranky demeanor. I love the part where he is being interviewed while driving his boat, "Do you think Elvis can be successful with this album" and he says very matter of factly, "I hope so, so I can buy another boat!"
:mrgreen:

The Gentleman
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 4:40 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby The Gentleman » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:01 pm

I've refrained from posting for the last couple days out of respect, but the Billy Sherrill of the SBS comes across as an extremely unpleasant person, not to mention a very disengaged producer. I find it notable that, as far as I know, BS is the only producer that EC has reflected upon in a clearly negative light. Even Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley he seems to regard fondly on a personal level, even if he may express some regret that they may not have been the best choice for producers for the music he wanted to create at the time.

johnfoyle
Posts: 14615
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:37 pm
Location: Dublin , Ireland

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue"

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:13 am

Elvis's various social media platforms are highlighting a reshowing on August 17 '16 of the documentary from 1981 about the making of Almost Blue. Some of the other episodes featured have, apparently , included additional footage. It'll also be in High Definition, which might be a mixed blessing , considering how hungover & pasty looking the various participants were . A tape of the original airing is on YouTube - it'll be interesting to compare them.

https://www.sky.com/watch/channel/sky-a ... /episode-7

Pars
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:00 pm

Re: South Bank Show: "The Making Of Almost Blue" - High Definition airing, August 17 2016

Postby Pars » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:33 pm

Sadly, they won't be showing the programme in its original form. This is just a 30 minute show comprising of Melvyn Bragg's recollections and snippets from the original documentary.


Return to “Elvis Costello General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Hawksmoor, jardine and 25 guests