Why no Official Flip City collection?

Pretty self-explanatory
The Gentleman
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Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby The Gentleman » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:07 pm

Okay. EC isn't recording much new material these days. The Costello Show series of live releases seems to be dead (before it bothered to release any of the really interesting shows), as are the "Deluxe Edition" reissues of his early catalog. So if all that's left is to exploit the unexplored corners of this archives, why haven't we gotten a comprehensive release of EC's work with his early band Flip City?

First of all, there is at least an album's worth of material in pristine stereo quality, even if you drop the multiple takes of some of the songs. Yes, the album wouldn't be up to the standards of MY AIM IS TRUE, but it wouldn't be an embarrassment either. It's fun music in it's own right, and a fascinating glimpse into EC's development as a songwriter and performer. Among the tracks are a several otherwise unrecorded EC originals, a couple tracks that were later officially recorded, and an early version of one of EC's stone cold classics. Supplementing these would be be a handful of fun covers and the one track has appeared on various MY AIM IS TRUE reissues. This is a body of work that I'd think would be easily marketable by his label, even if it's primary appeal would be to the remaining die hards. If there was a legal hand-up involved with releasing this material, you'd think it would have prevented the use of "Imagination (Is A Powerful Deceiver)" on the Ryko, Rhino, and Universal reissues.

Secondly, there is also the Red Cow show. It's not stunning fidelity, but it's more than acceptable and offers many songs that are not otherwise known to be recorded by the band. Seems like it would more than meet the standard of many of the second discs in 2CD deluxe editions. If nothing else, it would justify it's inclusion with the terrific "Flatfoot Hotel."

Does EC simply not regard this work has worthy to be heard by a larger audience? Otherwise, I can't think of any reason why this has remaining so stubbornly in the unofficial domain.

The imposter
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby The imposter » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:36 am

The Gentleman wrote:Does EC simply not regard this work has worthy to be heard by a larger audience? Otherwise, I can't think of any reason why this has remaining so stubbornly in the unofficial domain.


Think you just answered your own question there. In fact I can remember Elvis describing some of his early recordings in that way. As you say, there are oodles of better stuff that hasn't been given an official release. Like myself you're probably willing another edition of previously unreleased tracks, or something completely new. However, Elvis has declared himself unwilling to do this just now. Frustrating thing is if he were to release something he could probably put something together in a weekend that would better this early work.

I'd like him to put together a radio show similar to Dylan's Theme Time or McCartney's Oobu Joobu.. exploring other covers, chatting and introducing some cheap (to produce) new recordings in this way.

Or perhaps we should all goad him declaring him finished as a songwriter :shock: Anything to get him back making new recordings :D

bil1cat
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby bil1cat » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:36 am

Flip city stuff would need permission from the members of the songs. If Elvis had demos of just him, or Him and Rusty perhaps then we would see a release. Too may people would want a payout on Flip City recordings

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watercamp
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby watercamp » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:44 pm

There is a non official collection floating around the internet both studio and live recordings.

johnfoyle
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:22 pm


johnfoyle
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby johnfoyle » Tue May 27, 2014 4:54 pm


Dr. Luther
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby Dr. Luther » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:53 pm

On YouTube now:



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migdd
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby migdd » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:54 pm

Listening to this now before it gets pulled.

johnfoyle
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:25 am

Dublin rocker Pete Holidai , in a f/book discussion about a 1980s lineup of his band The Radiators ( From Space) , comments -


Keyboards on that tour were supplied by Nick Hurt [RIP] who played with Elvis Costello's pub rock band Flip City. He was also related the Queen Mother


That's interesting since he isn't mentioned in any accounts I've seen of Flip City. The demos & live recording don't seem to feature a keyboard. Maybe he was only with them for a few gigs. The only internet mentions of Nick are in relation to the Radiators , ending in 1987.

I've sent Pete a request for any additional details he may have. Needless to say , if anyone here can find out anything do let us all know!

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:33 am

The Flip City website (now offline but archived) credited a "Nick ..... (surname forgotten)" with "one or two gigs on keyboards sometime in '75."

johnfoyle
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:16 pm

Thanks!

erey
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby erey » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:15 pm

Ever since I read about the existence of, never mind heard, the song "Baseball Heroes", I've kind of wondered why EC would have so much interest in American baseball -- an interested never to be evinced again -- as to write a whole song about it. Of course, UM&DI solved that little mystery. About EC's father Ross, just after he completed his RAF service:
"He and his friends all wanted to be Americans. They even started a team called the Bidston Indians and took to standing around in wire-rimmed sunglasses and old USAAF flying jackets with a cartoon Indian painted on the back."


I see EC has mentioned this publicly one time before, to a jovial skepticism in these parts: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7864&p=127161&hilit=bidston#p127161

I had occasion to listen "Baseball Heroes" again recently and realized not only is the song about his dad's post-war baseball team -- a fantasy in which they beat an American (persumably major league) team -- but he gives their name. The last line in the first verse, rendering tentatively in the wiki as For an instant in you, is plainly If you're a Bidston Indian.

So, there you go.

The Gentleman
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:33 pm

erey wrote:Ever since I read about the existence of, never mind heard, the song "Baseball Heroes", I've kind of wondered why EC would have so much interest in American baseball -- an interested never to be evinced again -- as to write a whole song about it. Of course, UM&DI solved that little mystery. About EC's father Ross, just after he completed his RAF service:
"He and his friends all wanted to be Americans. They even started a team called the Bidston Indians and took to standing around in wire-rimmed sunglasses and old USAAF flying jackets with a cartoon Indian painted on the back."


I see EC has mentioned this publicly one time before, to a jovial skepticism in these parts: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7864&p=127161&hilit=bidston#p127161

I had occasion to listen "Baseball Heroes" again recently and realized not only is the song about his dad's post-war baseball team -- a fantasy in which they beat an American (persumably major league) team -- but he gives their name. The last line in the first verse, rendering tentatively in the wiki as For an instant in you, is plainly If you're a Bidston Indian.

So, there you go.


Nice insight on "Baseball Heroes," there.

erey
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Re: Why no Official Flip City collection?

Postby erey » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:29 pm

The Gentleman wrote:Nice insight on "Baseball Heroes," there.


Thank you, Mr. Gentleman.

Revisiting EC's available pre-fame output after reading UM&DI has been interesting, not only for the surprising number of autobiographical references in even the very early lyrics but also for the way it illustrates the process of his learning to write songs that he delineates in the book.

If you're hankering for a heaping helping more of this sort of thing, check out some running commentary I've been providing to the ecsongbysong.com blog, particularly the entry on "Exiles Road". But be warned, concision is not that bloggist's strong suit (to put in mildly) and I found myself responding in kind, if only to keep up.


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