Monday, November 22, 2010

Curtain Call: Elvis Costello (10/17/83)

Curtain Call is an occasional series where I present one of my favorite live albums. This submission was inspired by the recent releases of classic Elvis Costello shows by the Hip-O label. I have quite a collection of Costello concerts, and this week I'm going to share songs from a from a few of my favorites. Today's tunes are taken from 'Riot Act,' an Oct. 17, 1983, show from London's Hammersmith Palais. It was originally broadcast on BBC radio and is rumored to be one of Hip-O's future releases. 'Punch the Clock'-era Costello is not normally a fan favorite, but I really like it. The additions of the TKO Horns and Afrodiziac on back-up vocals gave shows from this tour a sound never found again with the Attractions. This is Costello without venom, balls or whatever you want to call it. Just enjoy it for what it is... unapologetic pop.

Here are three songs from 'Punch the Clock,' as well as "Man Out Of Time" from 'Imperial Bedroom.' Finally, I have included a rousing rendition of "Clowntime Is Over" from the 'Get Happy!!' period. Actually, this live version is closer to "Clowntime Is Over No. 2." The studio version can be found on deluxe editions of the 1980 album. It is, in my opinion, the best moment from the set. I still get goosebumps near the end of the song, when the horns burst in after Costello's repeated "Clowntime! Clowntime! Clowntime!" vocal. Be sure to give that one a listen.

1. Let Them All Talk (mp3)
2. Possession
3. Watch Your Step
4. The Greatest Thing
5. Man Out Of Time (mp3)
6. Shabby Doll
7. From Head To Toe
8. Charm School (mp3)
9. Oliver's Army
10. Shipbuilding
11. The World And His Wife
12. Alison/Living A Little, Laughing A Little
13. Clowntime Is Over (mp3)
14. Everyday I Write The Book (mp3)
15. TKO (Boxing Day)
Bonus Tracks:
16. Psycho (London, June 6, 1981)
17. Back Stabbers/King Horse (Austin, Texas, Sept. 7, 1983)

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