Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Curtain Call: Elvis Costello (11/21/87)

Back in November I wrote about a few of my favorite live shows from Elvis Costello, and they turned out to be among my most visited posts. So, I thought I would share a few more of his (in my opinion) top performances.

'Do The Rumba' is taken from a Japanese TV broadcast from Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo. This is one of the few concerts I rank among his best that doesn't include the Attractions. If you aren't going to be backed by that great band, this is a pretty darn good replacement. The roster of the Confederates was a rotating one in 1986 and 1987, and it included a who's who of studio greats and old friends of Costello. Many of them appeared on his 1985 album 'King of America.' (That LP gets my vote as the second-best Costello album behind only 'Get Happy.) By November 1987, the band was James Burton on guitar, Jerry Scheff on bass, Jim Keltner on drums and Austin de Lone on keyboards. Although not an official member of the group, Nick Lowe sat in for this and a few other shows during this period.

The sound quality of this one is quite good, and many audiophiles believe it was taken straight from the soundboard. Among my favorite moments:

-- This is the first ever live performance of "Last Boat Leaving."
-- Costello covers the Bob Dylan classic "Tangled Up in Blue."
-- Costello is joined by Lowe on "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?" Lowe, of course, wrote the song.
-- Among the band introductions, Costello tells the Japanese audience, "I don't know if you understand a word I'm sayin', but I hope you enjoyed it anyway."
-- As the Confederates break into "Lovable," Costello says, "We're supposed to be off the stage now, otherwise they chop our heads off, but so what? You only live once."

Speaking of "Lovable," on the CD copy I own, the song is listed as "Lavable." That's hot, I guess. Gotta love the Japanese.

1. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
2. That's How You Got Killed Before
3. Honey, Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?
4. Tangled Up In Blue/Brilliant Mistake (mp3)
5. Last Boat Leaving
6. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? (mp3)
7. I'll Wear It Proudly
8. Your Mind Is On Vacation/Your Funeral My Trial
9. Lovable (mp3)

Other Costello Shows in the Curtain Call Series:
April 12, 1979
Oct. 17, 1983
Sept. 22, 1994

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