Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach - Royal Festival Hall 10/29/98 EXPANDED EDITION

One of my favorite silver-CD boots I've ever owned is this beautiful concert by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach. I've always known, though, that the dozen tracks on the disc didn't come close to presenting the night's entire performance. So I was glad to find, on the swell Mystic Chords of Memory blog, a download of the WDR German Radio broadcast of portions of the concert. The Elvis Costello Info wiki listing says portions were also broadcast on the BBC and Radio 1 Italy; I'm not sure which of those the CD is sourced from, but it seems that each broadcast featured different selections from the setlist. Neither my bootleg nor the Italian or BBC broadcasts, meanwhile, seem to be available online.

What you have here are the 12 tracks from the CD, with three additional tracks from the radio broadcast slotted into their proper running order in the set. While I transferred the CD tracks at 320, the radio broadcast is 256Kbps, so sharp ears may notice a slight difference in quality, or hear the "edit points" when a CD track ends and a radio track begins, but I think the whole thing still flows smoothly, and it's still an exquisite listen. For clarity's sake, though, I've kept the date legend [10.29.98] in the titles of the radio tracks to distinguish them. If anyone wants to better finesse those transitions, have at it, just repost it and let us know, 'kay? Or, if anyone knows where to find a recording of the complete performance -- 26 tracks, including 2 Elvis-free Bacharach medleys -- or any other tracks missing from this batch, please share! Meanwhile, enjoy the most thorough look at this classic concert currently available.


  1. Something that confounds me to this day is the still unreleased CD version of the Costello/Bacharach "Sessions At West 54th," which features the best version of "Anyone Who Had A Heart" EVER recorded. I'm hoping someone reading this comment happens to have that recording on flac or 320 (via VHS/DVD transfer) and would be willing to make it available for download. In the meantime, thank you to this site for these 12 tracks from the Royal Albert Hall concert (& I'll keep my fingers crossed for the eventual emergence of the complete 26 track performance:). Their '98 show at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheater remains one of the truly memorable highlights of my concert-going experience.

  2. Hey Alan! It just so happens I do, and I will! Soon! Thanks so much for the response. I so wish I'd seen one of those shows. And when will they release the Sessions show on DVD already? There are bootlegs but no official release except the old VHS.

  3. Alan - if you've been checking back for me to post that Sessions tape, sorry - I realized I don't have it at 320, only 192! Anyone else?

  4. Greetings PopCulturist,
    Not sure how I stumbled upon your site but am really enjoying this Costello material.
    Regarding this show, I have 4 different single-CD releases (including the 2 that you have) plus 2 Elvis Compilations that include 1-2 tracks from it. They all state SILVER.
    I'll share any info you may want but, for now, I've compared all tracklists to yours and have come up with two titles you seem to be missing: "WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW (intro){1:22}" and "MY THIEF (with Lisa Taylor guest vocals) {4:42}". Former seems to be Track One but not sure about the latter. Also former ends with solo Steve Nieve switching gears; at times I think the name of the next song is on tip of my tongue but other times, its more like Steve noodling before settling into a tune.
    I'd be pleased to get these to you if you fancy them -- via email, file-sharing or whatever. I don't know rules about posting website or email addys but post here if I can be of help to you. Perhaps you can leave a method of contact and I'll reply promptly.
    Cheers -- be healthy & happy.

  5. Thanks Squire! Glad you found your way over here however you did. My email is down the right-hand column under "About Me". Uploading those two tracks to a file-sharing site would be greatly appreciated! Apparently, according to my bible --

    -- that intro vamp on "What the World..." is the first track save for "Baby It's You - a few lines sung by Elvis from behind curtain". And it looks like "My Thief" fits right in before "I Still Have That Other Girl". Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle!

    Also, as mentioned above, I'm still looking for an audio rip of the EC&BB Sessions at West 54th video encoded @320 (or higher than 192, anyway), in case you happen to have or come across it!

  6. Thanks for all the wonderful Elvis Costello postings. I'm a huge fan with a wealth of 'hard to fin tracks', but your collection tops mine.

    Much appreciated.


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