New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Pretty self-explanatory
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Jackson Monk
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jackson Monk » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:35 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:But did you get the Deluxe version?

Hey, it's the return of Jackson Monk! Good to see you round here.


Of course Otis! I admire the record much more that SP&S (which I found very hard to like) and it is more appealing than RIR and TDM, both of which I enjoyed but neither got into my heart in the way that my favourite EC records of the past 20 years did (North, Momo, NR, PFM, ATUB). I think I might develop an affection for WUG because it sounds like Elvis is actually having fun....despite singing about some pretty painful things.

Good to be back Otis.....I pop in most years but think I might hang around a bit longer this time... :D
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:40 pm

Will be interesting to see how views on WUG develop with time. There are a lot of interesting things about it. Seems to me there are three standout tracks among the full Deluxe affair: Walk Us Uptown, Tripwire, The Puppet Has Cut His Strings. The first is rhythmic, funked up (and not in a whiny trudge of unfunkiness), social commentating Elvis; the second is Elvis at his loveliest, with a striking lyric that seems to sum up much of the madness of the contemporary world and its tripwires; the third is personal Elvis and also unusual Elvis - it's a very original piece with an unusual chord progression on the piano that jars somewhat with the vocal melody (any musos want to comment on this from a technical standpoint? Would be interesting) in a very powerful way. Then there are several pretty good tracks (title track, Cinco Minutos, Viceroy's Row, couple of others), then there are some patchier ones (mostly for me ones reinventing old lyrics). The other two bonus tracks (HEAR and HAUNT) invoke the dread word 'filler', even if 'Deluxe filler' is meant to make it somehow more palatable.

I like the overall sound and roughness of a lot of it, and the fact that Elvis is performing with a combo with a strong identity that's v different to his norm. ?uestlove is certainly pretty different to Pete as a drummer, but both favour a hard-hitting snare with bite. I do like the feel of his drumming overall, especially on Walk Us Uptown.

I like the singing for the most part. The world weary but tender style of Tripwire is wonderful. I just wonder if this is the single best song he's written since, I dunno, somewhere in the 90s. Seems to form a trio of Fave Songs of 2013 for me with Bowie's Where Are We Now? and The National's I Need My Girl, and I wonder why is it that all three are slow, melancholic, with a real emotional punch. Does nearing 50 do this to you, or do they reflect our times in some especially effective way?

Where will this album be in the Costello Canon? For me probably somewhere in the 15-20 range, but it's still too soon to know. I love the fact that it isn't just a case of knocking out another album, it's unexpected and pretty fresh, and it's certainly one of his best collaborations. I tend to prefer non-collaboarative Elvis, but this one works well.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:44 pm

October 8, 2013 by Simon Sweetman
Wising Up: A chat with Elvis Costello about his new album with The Roots

Elvis Costello is on the phone from New York; instantly he remembers talking to me about three years ago.

I trigger the memory with a line about the ill-fated Sweetwaters Festival and our discussion around him keen to return to New Zealand, not the bad guy the press decided would never return.

“That’s right. I remember that conversation. I do. And I told you I was going to come back to New Zealand and you know what happened don’t you: we did. We played there at the start of the year. And it was fantastic. Were you there?’

I then have to say, sheepishly of course, that I wasn’t.

“Well, it was great. A really great show. But it’s been a blast doing the Spinning Songbook shows; such a lot of fun. But I do remember that show being a good one. And I do remember talking to you about National Ransom”.

Costello is on the phone to talk about his first album since then, Wise Up Ghost, his collaboration with The Roots.

“My appearances on the Fallon show are what gave us”, he pauses to set up the jargon, “…gave us ‘The Toolbox’ if you like. And from there a dialogue opened up and we discussed originally the idea of new arrangements for old songs of mine; that’s what Questlove wanted to do. Slowly but surely it moved away from that to what I consider a new album, new songs that reference some of the old works”.

So Costello is entering the hip-hop world by essentially sampling himself then?

“Yeah, there’s an element of that, I guess. But I wouldn’t get too hung up on the song links and references, they’re there, but these are legitimate new songs, new pieces of music – I see it as a new album; the song people will focus on in terms of the reworking, the most obvious, is Pills & Soap [it’s reworked with lyrics also from The National Ransom and Hurry Down Doomsday as Stick Out Your Tongue] but there are a lot of other references there. Some people will spot straight away. Some might just be for me I guess. Things we thought worked. Like Sugar Won’t Work which opens with a string sample from the album North”.

I suggest that he’s leaving little crumbs too – lesser or even non-Costello fans who may come to this project, that is fans, primarily, of The Roots, will have cause to follow the trail back to his earlier recordings.

“Well that’s possible. But I couldn’t ever tell you that was the intention. It just started to make sense, rather quickly as it happened, to approach the record this way. Certain things I said in certain songs – like Pills & Soap – seemed relevant still today. And worth saying again in a new way.

The death of Margaret Thatcher was something of a trigger then?

“Well the impact of her terrible time is still noticeable, yes. It informed some of my songs of that time and there’s a connect in me revisiting the songs now, yes. Sure”.

Costello is a wizard not just at crafting perfect pop songs, he knows the PR drill far too well; as an experienced interviewer he knows how to own the process as interviwee.

“Walk Us Uptown opens the record and that is the most logical meeting of the worlds, of what I do and what The Roots do; that’s about as near to a combination of us, our worlds meeting. From there it takes its time to examine both sides of what we do”.

But this is an Elvis Costello album, more than a Roots album, I (almost foolishly) decide to interject. This is The Roots in backing-band mode is it not?

“Yes, that’s true, and certainly so of the first half. I definitely see this as a record, a two-sider. The first side ends with Tripwire, another rewrite, a sort of doo-wop, very-50s ballad kind of feel. And then Stick Out Your Tongue. And the second side opens with Come The Meantimes which, to me, is where The Roots really start to announce themselves”.

As the album plays to conclusion we start to feel more ideas coming from The Roots, the string arrangements mirror ideas from their most recent album, undun; the loping grooves have even more of an obvious soul/R’n’B feel and impact.

Costello picks up on this. “Yes, I think what they did so well here was just bide their time, they are such a great band, such great musicians and they never dominate at all, they are there for the songs but you take a track like Viceroy’s Row and it’s perhaps closer to the sound of The Roots for people than it might be my sound. I don’t know”. He breaks off to chuckle slightly. “But it feels that way for me”.

The record was built from ideas that Questlove locked down with his crew and sent to Costello. At the same time Costello was writing new material, reshaping his old songs and contributing to the musical ideas. But the impetus for the record came from The Roots – in terms of the project occurring. Costello drove the compositions but only after he’d been pinned down to record with them.

After an album a year, or seemingly so, since the late-1970s, Costello took a break from recording about three years ago. He’d been working hard. Was it time to kick back?

“I certainly wasn’t thinking I would make another record but I would say that the last three years I’ve worked harder, if anything. I’ve always been someone to work. I think the secret to my success – if you call it success anyway – is that I turn up and work. Every day of my life I’ve worked and I’m proud of that. The last couple of years the focus has been touring and it’s been a lot of fun. Hitting all the old songs and playing some surprises along the way and I’ve been blessed to always work with incredible bands. The Roots are certainly one of the great bands I’ve worked with. But also The Imposters, which I guess is my regular band, is just such a great unit now. And The Attractions were a great band. A really great band. But touring was certainly of more interest than recording and then this project presented itself. And it arrived at a good time, I had returned to England for the first time in a while, and I found myself in a reflective mood. My father passed away and it gave me reason to take stock, that’s very much what the title track is about, an attempt to be empathic, standing there with the world falling in on you and how we all have those moments, all have to deal with them”.

And the sonic that is achieved on the title track is again more about The Roots than Costello.

“Yes, they really do own the end of the record – but it fits in with where I’ve been heading. I think for the last few years I’ve been hearing music – and writing music – a lot more rhythmically. It might sound like an obvious thing to say but as someone who is often talked about for collaborating – and people always have their agendas, bless ‘em – it’s important for me to state that I couldn’t make the records I make without the people on them. And that’s going back to The Attractions. Those records sound they way they do because of who is on them. I’m writing the songs but the songs take shape in performance and arrangement and I know I’m thought of predominately as a lyrics-guy, I don’t know why, but even when I’m coming up with music ideas they only work with other people to play off them, to work with you. That is the point in seeking out collaboration, in agreeing to work with different people”.

He’s pretty sure, also, that within these great bands and collections of studio players he has been lucky to work with “two of the best drummers; the best of their respective generations I think. It’s certainly no question to me that Pete Thomas was the great drummer of the 1970s, there was no one playing like him, no one better. And now we have that with Questlove, he is the known drummer of this time, of his era. And that’s been great to be part of that, the pulse, the groove, the feel is shaped in so many ways by the drummer and I just have to say I’ve been very lucky there”.

Wise Up Ghost finishes with a hint, a wee clue, of what is to come next from Costello. Already he’s been working on songs with Burt Bacharach – new songs, as the pair rekindles their earlier partnership to augment the Painted From Memory album; it’s being turned into a stage version.

Ghost’s final song, If I Could Believe, shows hints of that Costello/Bacharach sound. He agrees. But this also gets him reiterating his chops as musical writer, not merely the lyricist.

“There are things on that album – which I’m immensely proud of – that people can’t tell were written by me, they assume it was Burt but 90% of the music on that album was co-created, he would have a motif I’d work on, or I’d state the melody that he would embellish. But it’s a great joy working with Burt and he’s in good form, it’s been wonderful to reconnect”.

The other big piece of work for Costello is his memoir.

“It’s been something that I wasn’t interested in for a while and then I got very interested – I realised that there are things I can say that no one else knows. So it won’t be an autobiography as such, a full and complete timeline that treads over so many of the stories already told; it will be about what I can say that no one else knows, that people have only guessed at. And like I said with the songwriting, the same is true with this memoir, the death of my father certainly gave me reason to take stock”, he laughs very softly. “I guess I’m of an age where it’s natural now to start to look back”.

And it’s interesting, I suggest, that his two most recent collaborators are newly published authors, with recent memoirs from Questlove and Burt Bacharach.

“Yes, that’s true! And they’re great books, have you read ‘em?”

I tell him I have. Costello of course even contributed to Bacharach’s book.

“Yes, it’s been interesting seeing how memoir has changed, this idea of bringing in other voices to help tell the story, to shape the memories and ideas and I like that; it was a great pleasure of course to contribute to Burt’s book and I loved reading Quest’s. Both are very interesting books. Both do it well where they share the narrative across more than one voice. I liked that”.

He hasn’t got a date for his yet – but it will arrive “sometime next year”.

There’s only been the one show with The Roots since the album was released and an appearance back on the Fallon show; The Roots’ home.

“It’s not for any reason other than logistics, they’re hard to pin down with the show, I’m busy too and if we can make schedules work I think we’ll play some more. But they’re off to the Holy Grail next year with The Tonight Show and that’s wonderful of course. But they will be even busier! Questlove was really excited the other week before the show emailing and asking me for rare Japanese b-sides, wanting to know what we could all play together from my back-catalogue that had never been played. And I had to tell him that there’s really not much left. The Spectacular Spinning Songbook Tour has had us working through hundreds of songs – but he found something! That’s Questlove. That’s how he works. He knows stuff other people don’t, he finds things out. And he’s such a fan – there’s been a nice connection there, we’re both very much interested in music, really driven by it, we get into researching it. So the show we would do would mostly be the album and a couple of older things of mine, maybe one or two things from them. But in a perfect world I’d love to play more shows with them, a world tour, sure! We’d come to New Zealand again. Definitely”. He’s enjoying a chuckle now.

There’s time only for a quick mention of his current solo tour.

“I did some solo shows around America the other year and I’m doing a few more in November and that’s a blast. I really enjoy that. It’s something different. And then it’s on to the work with Burt”.

“But who knows, I might do some more solo touring too, might even bring the show to New Zealand. That was so great earlier on that I really do want to come back. Anytime you’ll have me…”

And that’s it. Somehow we’d stretched a 15-minute interview out to half an hour and yet it felt like he’s crammed in even more within that time.

I come away with the feeling that another album with The Roots could happen. And happen just like that. Just like this one did. A part two, every bit as good, and all new ideas. But I also get the feeling that, just as easily, that is it. No more. The odd show and catch-up between these artists but off they’ll go to live in their own worlds again.
I’m certainly glad they found the time.

And Wise Up Ghost is worth your time - here’s my review of the album. It’s a grower. A wonderful record that highlights both the band and Costello; both serving the songs. It’s his strongest album in years and a further reminder/another showcase of the skill of The Roots, about the best band you could ever hope to have or hear.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:30 am

Having listened to the album now for just over a week I have nothing really new to add to what has gone before. In my opinion this is the best record Elvis has made for years.
The new songs that are very strong and as good as he has written for years. I do struggle slightly with the songs made up of old lyrics but that is a small gripe.
A slight aside, the other day at work I was singing 'tripwire' to myself as is my want and looked to my right to see a man stumble over.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:06 am

And No Coffee Table wrote:The first side ends with Tripwire, another rewrite, a sort of doo-wop, very-50s ballad kind of feel.

I don't get it! In what way is Tripwire a 'rewrite'? Same reaction I had to Rope Leash's comment above. Stick Out Your Tongue is a rewrite, Tripwire is a new song using a small element from Satellite. Am I missing something?

Hope WUG turns out to be a grower. I'm missing a lot of that so far.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:11 am

I find folks around here a bit too negative about the "rewrites." We're not talking here about a pointless, adds-nothing re-performance along the lines of "Complicated Shadows" on SP & S. We're talking about fundamental reconstructions of the songs - generally to their benefit. "Refuse to be Saved" adds funkiness and rhythm to a ham-fisted construction that conspicuously lacked musical coherence on the first go, letting a neglected lyric shine forth; and "Wake Me Up" has a similar effect, rescuing the lyrics from a somewhat clumsy vocal execution. In both cases, what is achieved is the purging of the "vocal logorrhea" effect that dragged down the original tracks. These reconstructions set their own agenda and build their own distinct worlds. If we're lucky, at some point "Episode of Blonde" will receive the same treatment, making actual music out of those blaring, tiresome verses.

I'm less enthusiastic about "Stick Out Your Tongue," which is a strong track but whose original template was too strong for the re-work to seem really necessary (though the collision with the unlistenable "Doomsday" is interesting). I don't skip this track by any means; but it doesn't excite me like the other two. The only "skipper" for me is "Grenade," which fails to spark any interest in me at all.

Again, lukewarm responses to this album puzzle me. It's closer in spirit to classic Elvis than anything he's done in 20 years to my ear.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:15 am

I've been enjoying the album but I don't know how much of that is because my time has been spent listening for Elvis' back catalogue references and obscurities. I thought I heard a bit of Needle Time in there somewhere but perhaps I'm stretching it a bit. I think this is spoiling my listening of it.

Also many many people have posted about the album which I did not hear until well after the release date (thanks once again, WOWHD :roll: ) so I had it in mind that this was a real classic. It is a good album though and his best collaboration in my view. However as some if you will know, I'm not a massive fan of his collaborations.

I've also been spoiled with other albums by Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys and Bob Dylan so I've not had the album repeatedly playing.

I'm not sure if it's as good as everyone is saying. If somebody else had sung on this album but the Elvis "samples" were still there, would we all be as enthusiastic?

By the way, it's good to see some of the old faces posting.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:29 am

Verbal, I would say that if this exact album had been made by some unknown, it would be hailed as an explosive creative supernova by a breathtaking new talent. There's a jadedness to the lukewarm response in certain circles - it's as though the sampling has distracted them from just listening to the end result. There's also a faint echo here of the Dylan-fan disease, whereby fans get sniffy about new work because it doesn't, to their ear, hit the mythic and unattainable heights of some Great Album from year X or Y. Fundamentally, I don't get any of this. This record is, on its own terms, splendid, with a sense of mutual musical excitement that hasn't been fully present in EC's work with the Attractions/Imposters for years. That's good enough for me.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:48 am

As collaborative records go, I would rate WUG a distant 4th place to Painted From Memory, River in Reverse, and even Juliet Letters. The problem with WUG is that too many of the tracks feel like the collaboration was over-influenced by the other party. And it seems like it was more of a 50-50 affair on the other collaborations I mention. Subsequently, its difficult to call this as anything close to being an Elvis "classic". And too many tracks fail to register with me at all -- shades of National Ransom and Momo. Don't get me wrong, some are very very good and they sound fresh and I like the new style (Sugar Don't Work, Cinco, and the Puppet for example)--- but after numerous listens and really trying to be patient with it, its the dud tracks (Stick out your tongue reminds me of Miley), about half-way through I'm tired of the whole sound of it completely. Maybe I'm just not into funk or the Roots style whatever you would classify that to be.

Tripwire is a great song, but actually I much prefer the passion in the live solo Apple iPhone mini-concert version better than I do the album version. Too much of the album feels the same way, like its mood music or background music, and not your typical meaty EC track that commands your full attention and yet still improves or grows on you with each listen.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jackson Monk » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:14 pm

Interesting discussion...although I am blown away by any criticism of Episode of Blonde (blaring, tiresome verses????....really?).

The only think I can add to this debate is that the album lacks melody, which for me is what EC has always done best. Maybe, like ET, I am not that much into funk but the album leaves me a little cold in places. As for a the idea that it's his best collaboration, in my view this album doesn't belong in the same sentence as the glorious PFM (I'm clearly a melody man you see.... :lol: ).

Having said that, I love that Elvis tries new collaborations, styles and genres. Some people will get it and others won't. I love North but I think I was in the minority overall. Doesn't matter...as Prince once wrote: "I can't make you love North if you don't....."
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:35 pm

Jackson Monk wrote:Interesting discussion...although I am blown away by any criticism of Episode of Blonde (blaring, tiresome verses????....really?).

The only think I can add to this debate is that the album lacks melody, which for me is what EC has always done best. Maybe, like ET, I am not that much into funk but the album leaves me a little cold in places. As for a the idea that it's his best collaboration, in my view this album doesn't belong in the same sentence as the glorious PFM (I'm clearly a melody man you see.... :lol: ).

Having said that, I love that Elvis tries new collaborations, styles and genres. Some people will get it and others won't. I love North but I think I was in the minority overall. Doesn't matter...as Prince once wrote: "I can't make you love North if you don't....."


But...how can you love melody and then defend the verses of "Episode of Blonde" ?!? :wink:
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jackson Monk » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:29 pm

Well, I'm not saying I can't appreciate other musical styles and there's lots about WUG that really really like. Besides EoB does have a really catchy chorus to offset the 'Elvo-Rap' :-)

Ultimately I think it's a case of you like something or you don't. One should always respect another's view and I respect yours. I've never been that keen on TDM but I know others love it.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:23 pm

Poor Deportee wrote:
Jackson Monk wrote:Interesting discussion...although I am blown away by any criticism of Episode of Blonde (blaring, tiresome verses????....really?).

The only think I can add to this debate is that the album lacks melody, which for me is what EC has always done best. Maybe, like ET, I am not that much into funk but the album leaves me a little cold in places. As for a the idea that it's his best collaboration, in my view this album doesn't belong in the same sentence as the glorious PFM (I'm clearly a melody man you see.... :lol: ).

Having said that, I love that Elvis tries new collaborations, styles and genres. Some people will get it and others won't. I love North but I think I was in the minority overall. Doesn't matter...as Prince once wrote: "I can't make you love North if you don't....."


But...how can you love melody and then defend the verses of "Episode of Blonde" ?!? :wink:


"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:" :wink:
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jackson Monk » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:04 pm

Beautiful....just beautiful.... :D
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby pophead2k » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:06 pm

After nearly a month with the album, I am just as enthusiastic as I was initially. While I'd agree that the sound is more consistent than some of Elvis' other albums, it's a sound I really like. I find myself really getting into the vocal performance here, with Cinco Minutos, Viceroy's Row, and Tripwire especially standing out in this regard. I also feel the album is fairly gloriously melodic, with a few obvious exceptions. I especially welcome the return of a fair amount of self-harmonizing (as someone else pointed out earlier). Great stuff.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby A rope leash » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:13 pm

Going on about forty listens now it's starting to sink in. Meantimes is playing right now, and I don't even have a device powered up. My gal when she hears it says the ding don't mean a thing and she always thinks her egg is cooked.

I can see how the first thirteen songs are becoming a classic sequence. I think the bonus tracks are good enough that they could have been incorporated into the original group...in any case If I Could Believe belongs at the end.

It's the same as always. There's more to Elvis than first meets the ear. This is actually a very skilled and unique performance of the kind we don't often see these days, both professional and meaningful. It's important, even...to bad it will go mostly unnoticed.

I'm looking forward to bonding with it further, and inflicting it upon others that might rather not.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby cwr » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:25 pm

a pointless, adds-nothing re-performance along the lines of "Complicated Shadows" on SP & S.


Sorry to distract with a side-tangent, but I think this opinion could only be held by a diehard Costello fan-- I'd wager that a lot of the people who heard "Complicated Shadows" on SP&S had probably never heard the "Cashbox Demo" of this song as it was released as an obscure b-side and then on the bonus track of the ATUB reissue. This version of CS wasn't for "us," I think...

Even if a lot of listeners might have been familiar with the ATUB version, I'd still say there was a point to Costello re-recording this song for a proper album. I think in a 30+ album career with so many great songs released in spectacularly obscure ways, almost buried where only the most dedicated fans might discover them, it's surprising that Costello hasn't rescued MORE of his songs in this fashion!

(I get the point you were making w/r/t how the use of older songs on WUG is different than this, but the description of this version as "pointless, add-nothing" is a bit strong and only really makes sense to those of us who are obsessive about such things! If Costello had recorded a SECOND version of CS a la Dylan's two version of "Forever Young" on Planet Waves, then maybe it would be overkill/pointless...)

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby seanpointblank » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:34 pm

I don't get what you mean. The ATUB version was on a proper album and was executed well, much better than on SP&S. I'm not particularly in favor of him re-recording already released, good tracks to be an aside on an album sitting at Starbucks cash registers.

cwr
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby cwr » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:33 am

What I mean is this, and it's simple: the original version of "Complicated Shadows" was done in one style, written for (but never recorded by) Johnny Cash.

The ATUB version was a totally different arrangement, much rockier, like a Rolling Stones-ish track, and the version he recorded for SP&S was closer to the original "Cashbox demo."

You may or may not have ever heard the "Cashbox" version, but it's pretty close to how he recorded it for SP&S.

I guess I'm not as cynical as you-- I think he wanted to release a version closer to how he originally wrote it, and I don't think it's an "aside on an album sitting at Starbucks cash registers." The sarcasm in that remark seems to imply, what? That he was re-recording it as some kind of cynical cash grab or something?

He's written hundreds of songs and decided he wanted to include a version of that song that was close to the way he originally wrote it.

I'm also "not particularly in favor of him re-recording already released good tracks" but we're talking about ONE example among dozens of albums, I hardly think it's beyond the pale.

And I don't think most people buying SP&S would have been familiar with the original demo version, that was the very simple point I was making. You might have a preference for the ATUB version-- I like it better, too, for what it's worth, but I am able to appreciate the two different arrangements.

I don't think the point I was making was all that confusing. I'm actually more perplexed by your remark that this was somehow an "aside" on an "album sitting at Starbucks cash registers." You seem to be indicating something but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:21 am

A rope leash wrote:Going on about forty listens now it's starting to sink in.

Wow, not sure I'll ever get that far, other than my favourite songs. Must Try Harder.

I love the way he sings 'old chum' on Puppet. Very old school English. Reminds me of Bowie in his 'Tony Newley' era (he used the word on Uncle Arthur, for example).
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Jackson Monk
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby Jackson Monk » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:42 am

Well, my only issue with the version of CS on SP&S is that I never really liked the song that much anyway...in any version. Felt the same about Hidden Shame.
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby bronxapostle » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:00 am

Jackson Monk wrote:Well, my only issue with the version of CS on SP&S is that I never really liked the song that much anyway...in any version. Felt the same about Hidden Shame.


BEST version of COMPLICATED SHADOWS was on the 2002 tour. it was a great reworking that i called the "boogie" version or something like that. very SAVOY BROWN at both the ASBURY PARK in June show and again in NEWARK in October.

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docinwestchester
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby docinwestchester » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:10 am

Otis Westinghouse wrote: I love the way he sings 'old chum' on Puppet

Ha! Me too! That might be my favorite moment on the entire album. Which is weird, I realize. And the use of the word "glum" before it makes me smile every time. Classic Elvis.

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buzz
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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby buzz » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:21 pm

I'd like to give a shout to the track 'Wise Up Ghost' which I find monumental, insistent and the defining moment of the excellent album. Is it "reign" as the sleeve says or "rain" as I hear it? The voice and drums just next to one another sounds great, one languid, the other frenetic. The lyrics are a final battle cry/howl against the forces of (new) imperialism. Are we sleepwalking to disaster and will anyone listen before it's too late? Maybe it is too late as the bugs have taken over and straightjacketed mainstream opinion.

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Re: New album for 2013: "Wise Up Ghost" (with The Roots!)

Postby seanpointblank » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:47 pm

cwr, I was mostly being snarky in a general way, and to clarify, my confusion stemmed from reading your comment as saying that the track hadn't seen a proper album release, which it obviously had, I didn't realize you were speaking specifically of a version more faithful to the original/demo.


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