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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Rewind: 1989 Spike - Elvis Costello

The 12th Studio album by Elvis Costello and his first for his new label Warner Bros. was entitled Spike or Spike - The Beloved Entertainer (according to Mr C himself).

I don't know what got me thinking about this album today. When I looked it up I noticed that it was a February release way back in 1989 and so seeing it's February maybe it's a good time to share it.

I was happy to see on You Tube that the BBC programme 'Everything About Spike' had been uploaded. I vaugely remember the show when it was broadcast but it was brilliant and insightful to watch again after all these years. Some great performances by EC are included amid the interview and Let Him Dangle and Tramp The Dirt Down are particularly powerful.

Recorded over the space of a year in four different studios with four different collections of musicians it contains some of Costello's finest songwriting I think. 'God's Comic' in particular is brilliant and 'Veronica', a co-write with Paul McCartney is very powerful dealing with the issue of Alzhiemer's inspired in part by his own Grandmother. 'Tramp The Dirt Down' is probably the most famous song on the album, mainly due to the subject matter - Thatcher!
 Spike - Elvis Costello
Warner Bros
Produced by Elvis Costello, Kevin Killen and T-Bone Burnett
Released 6th February 1989
UK Chart #5
US Chart #32

 01.  "...This Town..."
 02.   "Let Him Dangle"
  03. "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror"
    04. "Veronica" (Costello, Paul McCartney)
    05. "God's Comic"
    06. "Chewing Gum"
    07. "Tramp the Dirt Down"
    08. "Stalin Malone"
   09. "Satellite"
    10."Pads, Paws and Claws" (Costello, McCartney) - Could only find the Demo version or live versions so included the Demo here.
    11."Baby Plays Around" (Costello, Cait O'Riordan)
    12. "Miss Macbeth" - included Demo version as I can't find studio version.
    13. "Any King's Shilling" - included a live version here as I can't find the studio version.
    14. "Coal-Train Robberies" - Included the Demo version as I can't find the studio version.
    15. "Last Boat Leaving" - Live version included
as I can't find the studio version.

    Elvis Costello – vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, piano, bells, acoustic bass guitar, organ, melodica
    T-Bone Burnett – acoustic guitar, bass, national steel guitar
    Cait O'Riordan – maracas, bells

    Derek Bell – Irish harp, hammered dulcimer
    Frankie Gavin – fiddle
    DΓ³nal Lunny – acoustic guitar, bouzouki, electric bouzouki
    Davy Spillane – pipe, uilleann pipes, Low whistle
    Steve Wickham – fiddle
    Christy Moore – bodhran
    Pete Thomas – drums

New Orleans
    Lionel Batiste – bass drum
    Gregory Davis – trumpet
    Willie Green – drums
    Kevin Harris – tenor saxophone
    Charles Joseph – trombone
    Kirk Joseph – sousaphone
    Roger Lewis – baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone
    Jenell Marshall – snare drum
    Allen Toussaint – grand piano
    Efrem Towns – trumpet

    Michael Blair – glockenspiel, marimba, tambourine, xylophone, bells, timpani, vibraphone, Chinese drums, Oldsmobile hubcap, Parade drum, anvil, whiplash, crash-box, temple bells, snare drum, "magic table", metal pipe, "Martian dog bark"
    Ralph Forbes – electric drums, drum programming
    Mitchell Froom – organ, harmonium, electric piano, chamberlin, Indian harmonium
    Roger McGuinn – twelve-string guitar, Rickenbacker bass guitar
    Jim Keltner – tom-toms, snare drum, Chinese cymbal
    Jerry Marotta – drums
    Buell Neidlinger – cello, double bass
    Marc Ribot – banjo, electric guitar, Spanish guitar, sounds
    Jerry Scheff – electric bass, double bass, fuzz bass
    Benmont Tench – piano, clavinet, spinet, Vox Continental
    Tom "T-Bone" Wolk – accordion, bass

    Chrissie Hynde – harmony vocals
    Nick Lowe – bass
    Paul McCartney – Hofner bass guitar, Rickenbacker bass guitar
    Pete Thomas – drums

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