Friday, May 21, 2010

Elvis Costello Trainspotter Gap-Plugger Bonanza: Volume 3

And here's the back half of my latest collection of Elvis Costello b-sides, alt-versions, comp tracks and guest spots. The first half contained a track called "April 5th", this one's got "May 17th", so at least we've got about a month and a half covered! The latter track, a brief instrumental, is one of the harder-to-find items here, having only appeared on a CD included with the book Ferrington Guitars. It features EC playing three different guitars made by master luthier Danny Ferrington. Other highlights are the three bonus tracks from the ballads album North, the additional song from the Shakespeare settings on John Harle's album that did not appear on the Juliet Letters bonus disc, one more demo from the Wendy James songs, a rare acoustic version of When I Was Cruel track "Tart", and covers of Randy Newman, Charles Mingus, the Grateful Dead, and, yes, a song from Waiting for Guffman. Also, there's some uncertainty about the origins of the version of "Watching the Detectives" here; it originally appeared on a long-ago free cassette given away with the NME. It was listed there as a demo, but is now believed to be a live performance from Top of the Pops, November 2, 1977. See previous post for a link to the master list of "gaps" in EC's discography.

Speaking of the previous post, I thought I had come up with a sure-fire way to generate responses -- ask people to donate money, or barring that, leave a comment! Unfortunately, all but four people chose option "C" -- neither! If you enjoy adding this stuff to your collection, do me the kindness of letting me know! Or don't, whatever. I can't count the number of times I myself have downloaded without comment. But it's too bad that on the web these days, courtesy is often "The Rare Stuff"!  :^)

The ECTSGPBV3 contains:

Impatience Elvis Costello North
Little Goody Two Shoes Elvis Costello & The Attractions Out Of Our Idiot
London's Brilliant Elvis Costello London's Brilliant Parade 12"
May 17th Elvis Costello Ferrington Guitars
Mistress Mine: When That I Was And A Little Tiny Boy John Harle feat. Elvis Costello Terror & Magnificence
My Mood Swings Elvis Costello with the Brodsky Quartet Moodswings
North Elvis Costello North
A Penny for Your Thoughts (Waiting for Guffman) Elvis Costello
Radio, Radio Elvis Costello Saturday Night Live: The Music
Real Emotional Girl Elvis Costello with the Brodsky Quartet Moodswings
Ship Of Fools/It Must Have Been The Roses Elvis Costello Stolen Roses: Songs Of The Grateful Dead
Tart (Acoustic) Elvis Costello Cruel Smile [Japan]
Too Blue Elvis Costello North
Watching The Detectives [Demo/Live?] Elvis Costello NME Pogo A Go Go cassette [Top of the Pops(?)]
Weird Nightmare Elvis Costello Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus
The World And His Wife [Live] Elvis Costello & The Attractions Punch The Clock [Ryko]


  1. Another neat collection, thanks!

  2. Many thanks for this excellent ongoing (hopefully!) series. You've saved me many of our English pounds and a lot of wasted ebay time! Top man!

  3. Me again, forgot to ask if you have EC's version of Femme Fatale which was on some obscure version of Secret, Profane and Sugarcane?

  4. Thanks for all of the Elvis goodies! Awesome stuff, and much appreciated!

  5. You're welcome, all - happy to share!

    Tulloch - good news, "Femme Fatale" was an iTunes bonus track, and is still downloadable individually. At least here in the States -- I hope in the U.K. too. If not, let me know and we'll "see what we can do".

  6. Thanks again PopC... This EC stuff you are sharing is amazing. I have a friend who has been collecting Costello ever since he first heard of him back in the late 70's... and you have even put up one or 2 things he didn't have! As for the rest he told me, "Yeah, Ive go most of that stuff on vinyl, it's nice to have it all in one place now. And I can make a disc of it to listen to in the car." You have made both him and me very happy.

    So... will there be a Volume 4, or have you emptied your vault? Either way I'll keep checking your blog... you have shared some very cool stuff. As we say in Hawai'i... Mahalo.

  7. Thanks, PopC, for another stellar collection of obscure Costello tracks. This truly is 'hard-to-find' stuff. Most of it is just not available anymore. Thanks again.

  8. Cool! I'm glad you're relishing the obscurity of these tracks. And this is happily one case where rarity doesn't have to mean low quality -- it's not like Elvis ever really cut a bad track (the more dismal moments of Goodbye Cruel World notwithstanding).

    Puffin, I'm just curious -- which tracks did your collector friend not have? Thanks to you, and you, BB, for being such reliable commenters!

    Oh, and I don't anticipate any more massive chunks of rarities like these, though I'll keep posting interesting EC boots, for sure. I'm also thinking of doing a series of posts of the Rhino-reissue bonus discs. They're all out of print now -- except, for some reason, Juliet Letters and Mighty Like a Rose, which are still available new from Amazon.

    And you can call me Jeff -- PopC is my father! (Hah, get it, Pop... and like when people get called "Mister"... oh, nevermind.) :^)

  9. Once again many thanks.
    Great to get this stuff together in one place.

    Ta very much

  10. Add my thanks for the EC stuff. I had most on B-side, extra tracks ob Cd singles & albums by others but not all.

  11. Anyone who has any more EC rare trax not represented in my posts, PLEASE contact me -- email address in right column. At least share 'em with me, and if you want, I'll share 'em here with the rest of the class! :^)

  12. Hi Pop Culturist, Femme Fatale is available in the UK and well worth 79p. It's a great version with a definite cajun swing to it. EC should do a whole covers album with the SP&S band - they're shit hot as I believe you say in the Colonies!

  13. No shit! As we're also given to say. Go to to track down a couple of great boots from EC with the Sugarcanes. One at the beginning of the tour and one just last month -- you can see how much more elastic and tight they got. I saw 'em in Vancouver last August and it was splendid!

  14. I'm posting a thanks, because you're right, it's important to be polite, although I'm not an EC freak - more selective, but I loved the Mingus track, and will now track down the compilation, so many thanks indeed for that.

  15. I just want to say thanks to you for going to the time and trouble of putting all of this quality Elvis Costello stuff together. I feel bad for not donating, but TBH, I'm so poor these days i get 99% of my music from blogs :(

    Keep it up!!

  16. Hi, Pop Culturist here. You're welcome, Thing -- and please, don't feel the slightest bit bad about not contributing. I wouldn't want it to be painful for anyone to do so! Just enjoy the music, and rest assured, you're not alone in the poor house! :)

  17. I've very grateful for your continued work in gap-filling EC!

  18. I'm late to the party and megaupload is dead. Is there another way? Would love to hear the Elvis stuff.


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