'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Pretty self-explanatory
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'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby ice nine » Tue May 07, 2013 8:41 pm

Should be interesting.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby Neil. » Wed May 08, 2013 1:49 am

I presume you mean this story:

http://broadwayworld.com/article/Chuck-Lorre-to-Join-Burt-Bacharach-and-Elvis-Costello-for-Painted-From-Memory-Broadway-Musical-20130507

Good luck to 'em! Sounds like the Austin Powers thing might have fallen through.

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Thu May 09, 2013 1:39 am

Neil. wrote:I presume you mean this story:

http://broadwayworld.com/article/Chuck-Lorre-to-Join-Burt-Bacharach-and-Elvis-Costello-for-Painted-From-Memory-Broadway-Musical-20130507

Good luck to 'em! Sounds like the Austin Powers thing might have fallen through.


Someone on the Bacharach forum has already read Burt's memoir and spoken about it with Burt and confirms that Elvis and Burt are working on both musicals: http://www.bacharachonline.com/phpBB3/v ... 88451ab78d

"Burt writes in his book that he and Elvis will be composing new songs for the PAINTED FROM MEMORY musical, and also confirms that they are collaborating with Mike Myers on an all-new, original score for Myers' proposed AUSTIN POWERS musical. (Myers will write lyrics.) That Burt is committing so much energy towards musical theatre - and is committed to writing so much new music - is only for the good. I had the opportunity to briefly speak with him earlier this week, and he seemed energized by these projects and by the ongoing development of SOME LOVERS. As far as PFM and AUSTIN POWERS, I can't imagine being disappointed by new Bacharach/Costello songs - on record or onstage. Whether Lorre will be able to weave the new and old songs into a viable narrative remains to be seen. But I'd put my money on that horse, and I sincerely hope it comes to fruition. (Steven Sater is collaborating with Lorre on the book.)"
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby Man out of Time » Mon May 13, 2013 4:55 pm

From Elvis Costello.com, announcements category: http://www.elviscostello.com/yellow-press#/news/burt-bacharach-elvis-costello-and-chuck-lorre-adapting-album-for-musical/407

Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello and Chuck Lorre adapting album for musical

The Washington Post: 8th May, 2013.

One of television’s most successful sitcom writers is joining with Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello to create a musical based on the artists’ 1998 album “Painted From Memory.”

Bacharach said Tuesday that Chuck Lorre, creator of “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” contacted him and said he wanted to write a story to go with the music.

The dark and lush album was an unusual collaboration between a pop classicist and an Englishman who usually traffics in rock ‘n’ roll. They earned a Grammy for one of its songs, “I Still Have That Other Girl.” Other songs on the disc include “God Give Me Strength” and “This House is Empty Now.”

Given the songs’ subject matter, Bacharach said the show “won’t be a comedy.” He declined to give details of the story Lorre was writing for the musical. They’re hoping the show makes it to Broadway.

Costello said he and Bacharach are writing additional music for the show.


So it must be true.

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri May 17, 2013 2:26 pm

Man out of Time wrote:Given the songs’ subject matter, Bacharach said the show “won’t be a comedy".[/i]


:shock:

:lol:
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby johnfoyle » Fri May 17, 2013 2:56 pm

Ace music journalist Terry Staunton just posted this on Facebook -

Well, I must say that was very pleasant and enlightening. The strict 15 minutes I'd been told I was getting with Elvis Costello on the phone turned into 45.

We got cut off halfway through. I didn't have his number, but he called me back and said "I've got loads more things I want to say." Top bloke.


I asked -
Is it to promote the UK dates or the new album with The Roots?

Terry Neither, John, we spoke exclusively about Burt Bacharach and the upcoming stage version of Painted From Memory. I wanted to talk to him for a two- or three-quote sidebar to accompany a Bacharach interview I hope to be doing in the next couple of weeks, but I'm sure I'll be using the wealth of material he gave me for something else.

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Sun May 19, 2013 2:08 pm

Amazon.co.uk has a preview of "Anyone Who Had A Heart" (The book by Burt) and you can read parts of the book here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-Who-Had- ... 006220727X
Burt tells about the Austin Powers musical and the Painted From Memory musical on pages 376 till 379.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby johnfoyle » Wed May 29, 2013 6:59 am

Terry Staunton posts to Facebook -

I had some time with EC on the phone about a week ago, just talking about Burt Bacharach. The piece runs in this weekend's Sunday Express

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:24 am

Image


http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/ ... s-Costello



Brilliance of Burt Bacharach, by Elvis Costello



By: Terry Staunton

Published: Sun, June 2, 2013

IT HAS been 50 years since Elvis Costello first heard a song written by Burt Bacharach but at the time he assumed it was the work of other, soon to be heralded, songwriters. Baby It's You featured on The Beatles' debut album Please Please Me, and there was little reason for an eight-year-old Declan MacManus, as Elvis was known then, to think it wasn't by Lennon and McCartney.

"I just thought John and Paul were responsible for all the songs they sang," he says, "but soon after, I got a crash course in Burt courtesy of my father."

Ross MacManus was a respected club singer in the Fifties and Sixties, most notably with the Joe Loss Orchestra, a job that required him to be up to speed with the hits of the day in preparation for radio broadcasts and dancehall shows.

"Throughout my childhood I would hear him rehearsing in the next room, continually learning new batches of songs. That's how I became aware of who Burt Bacharach was, because there would be demonstration records all over the house, in the same way that another kid's salesman dad might have carpet samples lying around.

"Those songs played a big part in shaping my tastes in music. Dad would be learning them for his own gigs and you'd hear Cilla or Dusty singing them on the radio, so they were drilled in to me. The ambition of what Burt was doing always stood out." Fast forward to 2013 and Elvis is collaborating with his boyhood hero on a Broadway musical based on the 1998 Costello-Bacharach album Painted From Memory. The show is the brainchild of Chuck Lorre, the TV writer who created the hit comedies Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, and will feature additional songs to flesh out the story.

"Several of the songs on the original record fit into a narrative, although at the time we weren't consciously thinking about some meditative, melancholy contemplation on lost love. It was never meant to be as grandiose as that and hopefully we'll be able to keep the stage show from becoming too overblown," he says.

Costello's more direct musical links to Bacharach stretch back to 1977, when he performed I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, the first time he chose to release a song by a writer other than himself. It was a provocative move at the height of punk when new acts were dismissive of the old guard.

"Burt was very much out of fashion back then but he still meant a lot to me and even The Stranglers were bold enough to record a version of Walk On By, although it was far removed from the Dionne Warwick hit. Their take on it was very arch, you got the impression they felt they had to beat it up a bit to get away with doing it at that time.

"It's interesting to see how Burt goes in and out of style. Noel Gallagher was going on about how great he was a few years ago, giving him a voguish seal of approval, but with all due respect Noel could live to 150 and never write a song as good as any of Burt's."

Costello's first meeting with Bacharach was a nervy affair: "When I was recording my album Spike in the late Eighties, Burt was in the studio next door and he popped by to say hello, just as I was working on a song called Satellite which, in my very limited grasp of it, had these figurations and musical suspensions that owed a lot to Burt. I think he took my awkward steals as a compliment, he was very gracious. I didn't meet him properly, I suppose, until we started co-writing.


THEY WERE brought together to write a song for the 1996 film Grace Of My Heart. Today, the resulting God Give Me Strength is considered a high watermark in both artists' canons.

"We wrote it either end of a telephone line, me faxing him outlines of what I had in mind and him coming back with changes to the harmonies and stretching certain phrases to make them more effective. For me, it was as much an education as it was collaboration."

That initial joint project spawned the Painted From Memory album two years later, Costello learning more from the master with each song: "He'd give me a melody to work on and I'd give him the beginnings of a tune which he would then pull apart in the best possible way. He gets deep within the music and performs these genius twists to improve it. He's a real composer, in the traditional sense; you can hear the musical language, the grammar of what he does."

The Broadway show is still in its early stages, with new songs yet to be written but neither man is fooling themselves that they are working towards a surefire hit. "Broadway is a brutal world," says Costello. "Some shows are in development for years and never open, and others can close after a few days. There are no guarantees. Burt is wise to that and it's to his eternal credit that, well into his 80s, he still has the hunger, is still prepared to take chances. I think I'm right in saying that both Walk On By and Don't Make Me Over started as throwaway B-sides, so Burt knows from experience that if you put your all into a song it can have a life long after its original birth."

Does Costello have a favourite Bacharach song? "That's an almost impossible question to answer, there are so many. I do love I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself because it was the first of his I attempted to sing, but ultimately I'd probably go for Anyone Who Had A Heart, which is enduringly wonderful. It still thrills me every time I hear it."

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:21 am

From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7284

Also, from Burt Bacharach's gigs, he mentioned (to many cheers) that Elvis and he are working on a stage show using 6 or 7 songs from painted from Memory Plus another 6 or 7 new songs. Much of his live shows involves medleys just to get through his amazing back catalogue, but God Give me Strength gets played in it's entirity. The singer who performs it on this tour, John Pagano, got a great reception for this at both the Glasgow and Edinburgh shows.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:56 pm

Interesting that Elvis says Anyone who had a Heart is his favourite Bacharach song. It probably explains why the version he did on the Painted from Memory tour was so good.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:45 am

http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/cost ... cal/055433


Costello discusses Bacharach musical

by Paul Willams

18 July '13

Elvis Costello is eyeing a 2014 launch date for a stage musical he is writing with Burt Bacharach.

The pair first collaborated on the song God Give Me Strength in 1996 and this led to the 1998 album Painted From Memory on which the forthcoming musical is being based.

“The book they call it in the musicals is nearly complete,” Costello tells Music Week. “The first act has been written. We’re working with that and the second is in draft and Burt and I are working on I think he’s said about six songs. I think that might be right. Certainly I can identify five, but there’s one piece of music which I’ve yet to finish the lyrics for so I wouldn’t call it a song yet.

“It’s wonderful to hear his melodies. We’re once again contributing some music each to it but in the main I’ve been happy so far to be the lyricist. We only did that on a few of the original Painted From Memory songs. Some of those will be adapted into the story and obviously so it’s not too contrived that we arrive at all of those songs – hey we’re getting on plane to where - Toledo – we have to find out what the voices of the characters are and hopefully it will see the stage next year.”

As a huge fan himself of Bacharach, having covered several of his songs over the years, Costello is clearly blown away by working once again with one of his music heroes.

“It’s extraordinary to get back from doing a two-hour, 45 minute show in say the Blackpool Opera House and then the phone rings and it will be 12.30 at night and it’s Burt wanting to know where the lyrics are of the new songs. It’s fantastic,” he says.

The musical will be preceded by a new album from Costello, his first since 2010’s National Ransom, pairing him with The Roots. Wise Up Ghost will be released on September 16 by Blue Note Records and is produced by Costello, The Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and the group’s associate Steven Mandel.

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby danagirl99 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:59 am

Has anyone heard any dates for this yet? I generally go to NYC like, twuce a year, see a show usually every time and stay in Little Italy, but would love to make this an addition one of those times.
I've read a few articles about it, but sounds like its mostly just in the idea stage

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:46 am

From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9938

On October 25 Elvis received a Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from NEC.
Bronxapostle wrote: "My son went to this talk. Elvis said he wrote 12 new songs with Burt two weeks ago."


http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... z2iqYqfLNf

(...)
Listening to a snippet of "God Give Me Strength," his elegant 1996 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, he told the audience that he recently wrote 12 new songs "on a little upright piano" with the 85-year-old pop composer.
(...)
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby bronxapostle » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:10 am

sweetest punch wrote:From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9938

On October 25 Elvis received a Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from NEC.
Bronxapostle wrote: "My son went to this talk. Elvis said he wrote 12 new songs with Burt two weeks ago."



just to clarify, a member at an EC fan page at fbook posted this, NOT my son! but WOW!!! imagine they wrote 12 songs 2 weeks ago??? what....they settled in for a two day songwriting marathon??? way cool news. guess that Broadway musical is coming to be!!!

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby Neil. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:36 am

From the Apatow interview:

There’s a scheme that Chuck Lorre has come up with to turn Painted from Memory into a musical. He’s a great fan of the record, and he and Steven Sater, who wrote Spring Awakening, have conceived a story which winds through a number of the songs from Painted from Memory. We’re trying to avoid the jukebox musical, which has a crushing predictability. There’s got to be some elements of surprise. So Burt and I were charged with writing a few songs to turn the dramatic corners of the story. There’s a lot of comedy and there’s a lot of singing and dancing. It’s essentially Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with songs. It’s pretty dark stuff, but we’re hopefully injecting into it a little bit of pace here and there. We’ve written 12 songs in the last six days.


This project is getting more interesting the more that we find out. Though I wasn't a fan of Spring Awakening, the team behind it are hugely popular in the industry. The fact that it's described as "'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' with songs" makes it sound VERY promising - a bit like Sondheim (but hopefully even better!)

Whichever songs they choose from the original album, I think they may have to tweak the lyrics - some of them seem a little rushed, and don't scan well with the music ("I have to say that we should finish it no-o-ow" is a good example - 'I Still Have That Other Girl' has a great melody, but some of the words just don't work elegantly with the tune; another example is "we-e-ell" in Toledo - why stretch that one-syllable word over four syllables, thereby giving a mundane word such focus? He does it better later on in the song: "thing-to-me-ee". Same for the choice of "Oh-hi-ee-o-oh" over five syllables - surely something better could have been found).

Musicals fans and critics are extremely unforgiving of stuff like this in a way that rock fans aren't - every word has to count, and at just the right moment. Whether the writers have the courage to stand up to Elvis about this is another matter: he has the right to say "don't you know who I am?", but some of the lyrics on 'Memory' are below par: "Your eyes adjust - they'll never be the same." Your eyes will never be the same? What will they be that they weren't before? If he'd said "You'll never be the same" or "They'll never see the same", it would've been fine.

And the big note in God Give Me Strength is a real toughie: 'I want him - I want him to huuuurt!' That is such an ugly vowel sound to choose for the biggest note in the song: "uuuuuur!".

Whatever - I am very, very, VERY excited about this project, and hope it's a big smash for all concerned!

P.S. If there's any way of Elvis getting 'The Long Honeymoon' into the show, I'd be thrilled! This is an astounding lyric - one of his best - and sounds as though it would fit perfectly to the story of marital infidelity. But it ain't a Burt song... and we have 12 new ones to look forward to!

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:00 am

Neil. wrote:From the Apatow interview:

There’s a scheme that Chuck Lorre has come up with to turn Painted from Memory into a musical. He’s a great fan of the record, and he and Steven Sater, who wrote Spring Awakening, have conceived a story which winds through a number of the songs from Painted from Memory. We’re trying to avoid the jukebox musical, which has a crushing predictability. There’s got to be some elements of surprise. So Burt and I were charged with writing a few songs to turn the dramatic corners of the story. There’s a lot of comedy and there’s a lot of singing and dancing. It’s essentially Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with songs. It’s pretty dark stuff, but we’re hopefully injecting into it a little bit of pace here and there. We’ve written 12 songs in the last six days.


This project is getting more interesting the more that we find out. Though I wasn't a fan of Spring Awakening, the team behind it are hugely popular in the industry. The fact that it's described as "'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' with songs" makes it sound VERY promising - a bit like Sondheim (but hopefully even better!)

Whichever songs they choose from the original album, I think they may have to tweak the lyrics - some of them seem a little rushed, and don't scan well with the music ("I have to say that we should finish it no-o-ow" is a good example - 'I Still Have That Other Girl' has a great melody, but some of the words just don't work elegantly with the tune; another example is "we-e-ell" in Toledo - why stretch that one-syllable word over four syllables, thereby giving a mundane word such focus? He does it better later on in the song: "thing-to-me-ee". Same for the choice of "Oh-hi-ee-o-oh" over five syllables - surely something better could have been found).

Musicals fans and critics are extremely unforgiving of stuff like this in a way that rock fans aren't - every word has to count, and at just the right moment. Whether the writers have the courage to stand up to Elvis about this is another matter: he has the right to say "don't you know who I am?", but some of the lyrics on 'Memory' are below par: "Your eyes adjust - they'll never be the same." Your eyes will never be the same? What will they be that they weren't before? If he'd said "You'll never be the same" or "They'll never see the same", it would've been fine.

And the big note in God Give Me Strength is a real toughie: 'I want him - I want him to huuuurt!' That is such an ugly vowel sound to choose for the biggest note in the song: "uuuuuur!".

Whatever - I am very, very, VERY excited about this project, and hope it's a big smash for all concerned!

P.S. If there's any way of Elvis getting 'The Long Honeymoon' into the show, I'd be thrilled! This is an astounding lyric - one of his best - and sounds as though it would fit perfectly to the story of marital infidelity. But it ain't a Burt song... and we have 12 new ones to look forward to!


Say, Neil, that's some fascinating fine-grained analysis of lyrical technique. I enjoyed that a lot. What I'm uncertain about is whether these are fully convincing as critiques of the lyrics as such, or whether they are really proxies for EC's inadequacies as a singer. E.g., there's no reason why you couldn't sing "finish it now-uh-OWo-w." The emphasis on "now" brings a certain cutting immediacy to the moment. But it doesn't sound too great coming out of Elvis's strained voice-box - his voice just isn't nimble enough to get it over smoothly. You're right about "huuuuurt" (worst part of the song) but perhaps a more deft vocalist could have made that happen more effectively. Now, partly I may be arguing that vocal chops can smooth over questionable craft, but I think it's more than that - EC's inadequate singing may actually be what bothered you about some of these weaknesses in the first place.

On a broader level, the kind of technical rigour you espouse never seems to have been EC's forte, any more than it's been Dylan's. Elvis is capable of great polish ("Almost Blue," "Fallen") but more often he jams in extra syllables or reaches for other rock and roll cheats of the sort you document. Not that there's anything wrong with that...the era of the do-it-yourself singer-songwriter ushered in by Lennon and McCartney and Dylan has brought many gains, but at the cost of some of the refinement and suavity associated with the older model.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby Neil. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:22 am

Hi, PD - no, it's not Elvis's singing I'm talking about - it's the placing of words with notes in some of the PFM songs. If anyone was singing 'now-uh-ho-ow', I'd find it an odd word in the context to give such emphasis to. Same goes for a few other examples on that album.

You're right, the rock era has done away with such pickiness, often for the better. But now that Elvis is stepping into the world of musical theatre (hooray!), he might find the scrutiny of his lyrics far more intense than before. And some of the songs on PFM have words which, to anyone interested in classic musical theatre style, might seem badly chosen for the note or notes that they accompany.

A classic example of 'bad' lyric writing is "A Design for Life" by The Manic Street Preachers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfEoVxy7VDQ

In the chorus, they stress the least interesting words for the big, powerful notes.

"A design FO-OR life..."

This didn't stop the song being a massive hit in Britain, because the rock crowd aren't pedantic about these things, and why should they be? But those powerful notes could have been put to better use than stressing the words "A" and "for".

Don't get me wrong: Elvis's lyrics are usually amazing. He is astonishingly gifted - images, jokes and piercing phrases seem to just tumble out of him, and my jaw has been on the floor in wonder again due to the new lyrics on 'Wise Up Ghost'.

But PFM does seems to have a lot of clunky choices, and musical theatre professionals, singers and critics are massively pedantic about this. Some of the lyrics on PFM might not pass muster.

Wonder which songs have been chosen?
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby cwr » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:02 pm

Cool topic!

I often make a mental distinction between EC's songs that make great "Elvis Costello Records" and his songs that are actually great SONGS in the sense that someone else could sing them and make sense of them ("The Long Honeymoon" being a very good example of such a song.)

Not that someone couldn't take a cryptic song and make it their own, but there is a songwriting tradition of songs that make sense that often just doesn't matter in pop music or songs that get played on the radio in the post-Dylan era.

I often think of Spike as being an album that has quite a few Costello songs that are more easily understandable.

But it's very interesting to think of which of his songs would transfer well to musical theatre and which absolutely wouldn't, and which eras of EC's career have the most songs like that. My hunch is that the early years would fare most poorly, but maybe that's wrong? A question for someone with a more detail-oriented mind than mine...

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:16 am

From an interview to promote the Australian tour 2014: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/2146 ... s-it-real/

Elvis keeps it real

(...)
For the future, the former enfant terrible of the New Wave era is working with his long-time idol Burt Bacharach on a stage musical based on their 1998 collaboration Painted From Memory. Work is already in hand with scriptwriter Chuck Lorre, who created TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

"It's not as though Painted From Memory was a big hit record, so it's not like one of those jukebox musicals with hit after hit," Costello explains. "We've written 12 new songs to give structure to the story but it remains to be seen if they will come out as a record."
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby docinwestchester » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:24 pm

sweetest punch wrote:"We've written 12 new songs to give structure to the story but it remains to be seen if they will come out as a record."


No soundtrack album for this musical? That would be very disappointing.

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby bronxapostle » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:24 pm

come on doc...don't you know EC by now? he often times talks 'shit'...i'm not saying intentionally. he just spouts things without thinking, which is a very likable human trait. we all do it!! fear not, if there are indeed twelve new songs to accompany this 'alleged' production, they will see the light of day hook or crook! otherwise...i am certain they will be performed live here and there and we will get the you tubes and the stealth recorders takes for certain. who knows, maybe one or more will be played in the coming shows or certainly by the SOLO tour of Europe come October! :wink: did you get Mohegan Bruce...brotherapostle threw back FOUR TOGETHER side stage Saturday night and we are regretting it since. :cry:

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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:18 am

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on ... ng-7198759

Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach to write new musical

Birkenhead singer Elvis Costello is teaming up with his old pal Burt Bacharach to write a new musical.

Former SFX schoolboy Elvis is back in the studio working on the project with legendary songsmith Burt and Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

“It’s sounding great,” Burt told the Sunday ECHO. “We’ve taken some of the songs from Painted from Memory, the album we did in 1998, and we’re adding more all the time. I’m so pleased to be back working with Elvis. He’s a great guy and someone I’ve always enjoyed working with.”


Chuck Lorre, who also wrote Grace Under Fire, Cybill and Dharma & Greg, is one of TVs most successful sitcom writers.

Elvis, born Declan MacManus, moved to Birkenhead with his mum Mary, who became an usherette at the Philharmonic Hall, in 1971. It was while living on Wirral that he formed his first band, a folk duo called Rusty.

To support himself, he worked at Elizabeth Arden – immortalised in the lyrics of I'm Not Angry – where he worked as a data entry clerk and played regular gigs at the Temple Bar off Dale Street.

“I've never felt sentimental about London, but Liverpool, well, that’s a different matter,” Elvis said of his hometown. “I was christened at Holy Cross in Birkenhead, I was dunked and given my name there. It’s where my mum and dad are from. I feel at home and it’s is where my family are from.”

Burt will be back in the city for a gig at the Empire on August 3.

The trio are keeping the plot of the musical under wraps until it’s finished, but early rumours suggest it’s based around a bittersweet love story.

“We’re having a lot of fun,” said Burt. “It’s great to be back working with Elvis again.”
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:28 pm

sweetest punch wrote:Preview with interview: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/en ... /10320837/

Elvis Costello's 'SOLO' tour a master class in writing

Elvis Costello has been doing brief regional tours of the United States for the past few years, and these "SOLO" tours, as he calls them, have given him opportunity to dig deep into one of modern music's deepest and most intensely satisfying catalogs.

For this year's run, which comes to the Louisville Palace Tuesday, he's added a subtitle: "The Last Year of My Youth" acknowledges his pending 60th birthday in August.

"I only officially attached that to the two shows I played at Carnegie Hall, but in my mind it's the subtitle to the entire adventure. As time goes on, you've got to have a sense of humor about it," said Costello, a gregarious conversationalist who seems to have a sense of humor about quite a few things.

"Whenever I was approaching any significant birthday from the time I was 18, friends would ring me up and go, 'Are you all right?' as if you were about to fall off a cliff because you were no longer 20, or 40 and so on. So here I am approaching a number that people are fearful about and I go, 'What the hell? I'm alive and doing the thing I wanted to do.'

"I'm playing the Carnegie, the Palace in Louisville, the Ryman. These are places of dreams."

Costello is performing alone save for his guitars, and thinks that people have some knee-jerk misconceptions about solo acoustic tours, expecting them to be quiet, ballad-laden affairs. Think again. Costello can attack a song just fine all by himself.

"A lot of rock 'n' roll records only had a couple of instruments on them, and acoustic guitar was right in there at the beginning, so there's rock 'n' roll in this show," he said. "There's all kinds of music."

"All kinds of music" is a neat summation of Costello's monumentally creative career, which has spanned nearly 40 years and 30 studio albums, many of them classics. He has explored the worlds of rock, country, jazz, film soundtracks, hip-hop, string quartets and orchestral music.

It would take a week's worth of shows to scratch the surface, and that wouldn't even touch on the 45 new songs he's written with Burt Bacharach for a pair of musicals. To call Costello the pre-eminent songwriter of his generation is a bit of an understatement.

He began in 1977 with "My Aim Is True," an album of exquisite songwriting delivered with quick-witted vehemence. He averaged more than an album per year over the next decade, and many are considered milestones: "This Year's Model," "Armed Forces," "King of America," "Imperial Bedroom," "Blood & Chocolate."

Costello was practically machine-gunning songs, and while his pace has slowed to something a bit more human since the late 1980s, he continues to set the standard. Albums such as "All This Useless Beauty," "Painted From Memory," "Momofuku" and last year's "Wises Up Ghost," a collaboration with The Roots, all sparkle in different ways.

So putting together a solo show that rocks isn't a stretch.

"There are plenty of changes of color and pace and dynamic," Costello said. "And certainly, of course, because of all the different stories I have, I try to find, if not a common thread, a contrast, or something that carries you from one song to the next.

"I've given more thought to my choices of songs than perhaps I ever have before. ... I'm trying to make it alive. I don't want to just come out and recite a familiar script and expect to get a round of applause for that. You've got to try and look into it a little bit more."

The word most often used to describe Costello since his debut has been "intellect," and he's clearly a smart man. The wordplay in his songs can be astounding for both its complexity and content, but what lingers is more visceral.

"I don't really base what I do on intellect, but on emotion," he said. "It's all about emotion, and it always has been. It's other people's ideas that I'm, one, kind of smart, and, two, particularly focused on the structure and history of music. It's actually all about the emotion and story that's being told."

On Costello's last solo tour of the States, in November, he began putting together set-lists by creating a suggested storyline using only a couple of emotionally charged words, such as love and deceit.

"Well, I have a lot of songs about that, and I would try and make one lead to the next," he said. "It wasn't a scripted out thing, but something I had to do on the fly leading from the emotion of one song into the next, sometimes reacting to the way the audience fed back, sometimes to the architecture of the theater, because a lot of these beautiful old theaters have corners and shadows and their own stories, like the one you have in Louisville.

"I really enjoyed those shows, and it felt like it was getting progressively more intense, so we'll start from there and go up."


Sweetest Punch's post in another thread reveals there are 45 new songs with Burt.
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Re: 'Painted From Memory' on Broadway

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:29 am

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on ... re-7297877

Burt Bacharach: My one regret? Not getting to work with The Beatles

Jade Wright talks to the legend Burt Bacharach about his life in music and his love of football

He's the man who wrote a hundred hits, and Burt Bacharach says Liverpool sings them best.

“I love playing Liverpool,” says Burt. “Last time the audience were singing every song louder than me – singing well too. It’s always a great place to play and I’m so glad to be coming back.”

The 86-year-old singer and songwriter has never stopped working. She’s back in Liverpool to play the Empire this summer. But before that he’s in the studio with Birkenhead’s finest, Elvis Costello, working on new songs and a new musical.

“He is extraordinary to work with,” says Burt, who was born in Kansas City. “His lyrics are fantastic. I love playing live together too. We played Radio City Music Hall in New York one time without even a run-through. We played for over two hours. People seemed to like it. I look back now and I think ‘we did it and it was kind of great’.”


Six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner Burt has written 73 American top 40 hits and 52 in the UK, including Magic Moments, Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa, (They Long to Be) Close to You, Wishin’ and Hopin’, Walk On By, You’ll Never Get to Heaven, What’s New Pussycat? and Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.

In a career that spans seven decades he’s collaborated with everyone from Stevie Wonder, The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry, Jackie DeShannon and Tom Jones, but there’s one act he wishes he’d performed with.

“I do regret that I never worked with The Beatles,” says Burt. “It was a real honour when they recorded my song (Baby It’s You). That’s a pretty high compliment, given the songs they wrote themselves.

“I did play on the same bill as them once, at the Royal Command Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. It was the one where John asked ‘the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewellery’.

“I was conducting the orchestra for Marlene Dietrich. The Beatles were just on the verge of breaking America. I’ve never seen a band quite like them that night. There was something about them, it’s hard to explain. I’ve never forgotten it. These four English guys who were on their way somewhere that not even they knew.”

A few years later Burt worked with another Liverpool star – Cilla Black – although she wasn’t the first choice to sing Alfie, the song he wrote with Hal David for the film of the same name.

Burt and Hal originally suggested it should be recorded by Dionne Warwick, who sang most of their songs. But Paramount felt the film’s setting demanded the song be recorded by a UK singer and the initial invitation was made to Sandie Shaw, who had toped the charts with the Bacharach/David composition (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me.

When she declined Alfie was offered to Cilla, who had also had a number one hit with a Bacharach/David song – Anyone Who Had a Heart.

Brian Epstein, her manager, was sent a demo of the song and after some initial reservations from Cilla – who thought Alfie sounded like a dog’s name – a mammoth session at Abbey Road studio was arranged. They used the largest room to pack an entire orchestra in as well as backing vocalists and a full rhythm section with drum kit, bass and percussion.

“I was there in Abbey Road with George Martin and this huge orchestra,” says Burt. “There was Cilla in the middle of it. It was a long hard session. We recorded it again and again. Looking back I probably pushed her too hard trying to get it perfect.”

Just as we’re due to finish the interview he remembers one more thing.

“You should have won the league,” he says, as I’m going. What league, I ask?

“The Premier League. Liverpool should have won,” he explains. “Manchester city didn’t deserve it. Liverpool should have won.

“I love watching Liverpool play. We get the games over here but they are at funny times of day. Sometimes I stay up all night watching them. Football isn’t a big sport over here but I love it. The English teams are my favourite and I always like Liverpool – Steven Gerrard is great. I learned to love it. I am loving the World Cup too. I can’t see why America doesn’t make more of football.”
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