Thursday, February 18, 2010

Elvis Costello Trainspotter Gap-Plugger Bonanza, Part 1!

Despite the fact that Elvis Costello has reissued his catalog three times, heaping on bonus tracks with each successive version (though only on the first two albums in the latest batch), there are still those recordings which Costello nuts call "the gaps" -- b-sides, promo cuts, guest spots, compilation contributions, etc. that have not yet appeared on any official EC release. There's a lot of 'em -- see here -- and among them is some work as good as anything the man's done. Which is to say: really, really good.

So here are 20 tracks from among their number, with more to follow in the coming days. Included here are three demos of the songs Costello wrote for the Wendy James album, and one live version of perhaps the best of those songs, "Basement Kiss"; two live cuts with Richard Hell from a CBGB's show in 1978 (EC only sings and plays backup on "Shattered", however); covers of Paul Simon and Mose Allison; and collaborations with Elvis' great bands the Attractions, the Confederates, the Imposters, and the Sugarcanes, as well as Steve Nieve and the mighty Allen Toussaint. Full details in the comments. I'm afraid that since I just loaded 'em all into a folder and zipped 'em up, they won't be in any coherent order once you open 'em up, but you should be able to sort 'em out.

I think some people will be really excited about this post -- I know that if this weren't my blog, I'd be freakin' thrilled to find all these in one place! Believe me, since I had to hunt high and low to round 'em all up. Coming soon are more Costello/Nieve tracks from the Painted By Memory Australian bonus disc, the powerful Attractions version of "Many Rivers to Cross" from the Live for Ireland benefit, plus covers of Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell, and some stunning, though little-known Costello originals! I'll also be posting a collection of interviews with the always-erudite maestro.

Comments are appreciated, Paypal donations welcome at the address in "About Me" section -- I bought all these, yanno! (As are clicks on those lil' ol' commercial messages on the right, but you didn't hear that from me!)

PS EC's latest release, the legendary Live at Hollywood High show from 1978, is available here.


  1. Tracks included (not necessarily in this order):
    Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Live).Elvis Costello.Singles, Vol. 3
    I Hope You're Happy Now.Elvis Costello & The Confederates.Singles, Vol. 3
    Party Party.Elvis Costello & The Attractions with The Royal Guard Horns.Singles, Vol. 2
    We Despise You.Elvis Costello.13 Steps Lead Down
    Basement Kiss.Elvis Costello.13 Steps Lead Down
    Puppet Girl.Elvis Costello.13 Steps Lead Down
    Basement Kiss (live).Elvis Costello & The Attractions.The Other End Of The Telescope
    Inch By Inch / Fever (live).Elvis Costello w/Steve Nieve.Toledo [CD1]
    Tears At The Birthday Party (live).Elvis Costello w/Steve Nieve.Toledo [CD1]
    Baby Plays Around (live).Elvis Costello w/Steve Nieve.Toledo [CD2]
    Such Unlikely Lovers (live).Elvis Costello w/Steve Nieve.Toledo [CD2]
    Love That Burns (live).Elvis Costello & The Imposters.Monkey To Man
    The Greatest Love.Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint.The River In Reverse [Japan bonus track]
    Shattered (Live at CBGB's).Richard Hell & The Voidoids w/Elvis Costello.Time
    You Gotta Lose (Live at CBGB's).Richard Hell & The Voidoids w/Elvis Costello.Time
    Everybody's Crying Mercy.Elvis Costello & The Imposters.Peace Songs [Disc 2]
    What Lewis Did Last (Sugarcanes Version).Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes.Secret, Profane And Sugarcane [bonus track]
    American Tune.Allen Toussaint & Elvis Costello.Hommage a/Tribute to Paul Simon
    Peace Like a River.Elvis Costello.Hommage a/Tribute to Paul Simon
    Where Is The Love.Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint.The River In Reverse (digital version)

    Performance dates for live tracks:
    Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - February 11, 1986, New York, NY
    Basement Kiss (live) - December 1, 1994, Dublin, Ireland
    Tears at the Birthday Party - January 27, 1999, Capital Theatre, Sydney
    Inch By Inch - February 19th, 1999, Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney
    Such Unlikely Lovers - February 18, 1999, Concert Hall, Perth
    Baby Plays Around - February 19th, 1999, Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney
    Love That Burns - April 17, 2004, Memphis
    Richard Hell tracks - October 18, 1978, CBGB's
    Tribute to Paul Simon tracks - July 4, 2006, Festival International de Jazz de Montreal

  2. Oh yeah -- you'll notice the recording of "Inch By Inch" has a quick digital flaw in it at one point, that was in both copies of the CD single I've owned, and probably in every other one too. Hopefully one of these days the track will be reissued in some form with that glitch corrected; meanwhile, it's a good enough track that it's worth listening around it!

  3. I'll check My 'Toledo' CD single for you. I don't recall there being a flaw in Inch By Inch on that one...

    Thanks for the other good stuff, though!

  4. Oh wow, craigie, thanks for checking that out -- and if it's clean I hope you can post it somewhere for us all to enjoy! Glad you enjoyed...

  5. Thanks for this one! Long time ago I bought the first 2 rarities CDs (Ten Bloody Marys & Idiot)but after all the rereleases with extra tracks I gave up...

  6. wow! Very cool. Thank You!! Keep up the great work.

  7. Many thanks for putting together this great set. I eagerly await more volumes!

  8. Thanks for putting together all these rarities and making them available. Although I do have some of these, there seem to be more that I didn't already have. Thanks!

  9. Thanks BB! If you wanna link your blog to mine I'd be honored.

  10. Hi
    could you reupp this, the link is down!
    special thanks from Vienna, Austria

  11. could you please repost this?
    p.s. I sent a Paypal donation recently...

  12. You've got some great EC rarities I would love to get my hands on. Could you repost giving a different non-megaupload link?


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