Elvis Costello Painted From Memory
Q: 4 stars (out of 5) - "...Costello steps up to the microphone, as if the once reluctant new waver had in fact spent the last two decades perfecting his torchsinging for this moment..."
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- Released: June 18, 1999
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Universal Uk
Rolling Stone - 10/15/98, pp.130-1313.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...Costello has found his most empathetic sidekick yet....When he turns down the volume, Costello creates ideal moods for jilted lovers. His phrasing is tart, his tone quietly seething....Costello's bile has never sounded so sweet."
Spin - 12/98, p.1848 (out of 10) - "...On MEMORY, Costello's mighty mouth--never more intimate on record--milks the drama out of exquisite melodies, melodies that peak before reaching the far side of the abyss or simply tumbling over the edge..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/2/98, pp.71-72"...It doesn't just recall Costello and Bacharach's potential. It's also a melancholy reminder of a time when pop songcraft stood on the brink of a new era, only to slip away."
- Rating: B+
Q - 11/98, pp.118-1194 stars (out of 5) - "...Costello steps up to the microphone, as if the once reluctant new waver had in fact spent the last two decades perfecting his torchsinging for this moment..."
- 1.In the Darkest Place
- 3.I Still Have That Other Girl
- 4.This House Is Empty Now
- 5.Tears at the Birthday Party
- 6.Such Unlikely Lovers
- 7.My Thief
- 8.The Long Division
- 9.Painted from Memory
- 10.The Sweetest Punch
- 11.What's Her Name Today?
- 12.God Give Me Strength
Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals); Burt Bacharach (piano); Dean Parks, George Doering (guitar); Steve Kujala (flute); Jerry Hey, Gary Grant (flugelhorn); Steve Nieve (piano, keyboards); Rob Schrock (keyboards); Greg Cohen, Dave Coy (bass); Jim Keltner (drums); Bob Zimmitti, Dan Greco (percussion); Greg Phillinganes, Paulinho Da Costa.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
"I Still Have That Other Girl" won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals); Lisa Taylor, Donna Taylor (vocals); David Spinozza, Dean Parks, George Doering (guitar); Gayle Levant (harp); David Ewart, Barry Finclair, Donna Tecco, Gil Romero, Alan Grunfeld, Pat Johnson , Karen Jones , Mari Tsumura, Lisa Johnson , Bette Byers, Horia Moroaica, Belinda Whitney-Barratt, Marti Sweet, Murray Adler, Norm Hughes, John Pintavalle, Richard Altenbach, Jacqueline Brand , Bruce Dukov, Brian Leonard, David Nadien, Paul Peabody, Laura Seaton, Richard Sortomme, Armen Garabedian, Darius Campo, Michael Markman, Berj Garabedian, Jan Mullen, Haim Shtrum (violin); Carole Mukogawa, Sue Pray, Julien Barber, Andrew Picken, Rick Gerding, John Scanlon, Marilyn Baker, Keith Greene, Roland Kato, Harry Shirinian (viola); Mark Orrin Shuman, Jodi Burnett, Bob Adcock, Suzie Katayama, Larry Corbett, Richard Locker (cello); Steve Kujala (flute, piccolo); Lawrence Feldman (alto flute); Frank Marocco (musette); Dan Higgins (clarinet, baritone saxophone); Earl Dumler (oboe); Gary Grant, Lloyd Stripling, Jerry Hey, Lew Soloff (flugelhorn); Richard Todd (French horn); William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); John VanHouten (tuba); Steve Nieve (piano, keyboards); Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, Moog synthesizer); Rob Schrock, Rob Mounsey, Randy Kerber (keyboards); David Carey (vibraphone); Chris Parker , Jim Keltner (drums); Daniel Greco , Bob Zimmitti, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Killen.
Recording information: Ocean Way Studio, Hollywood, CA; Right Track Studio, New York, NY.
Photographers: Rankin ; William Claxton.
As far back as 1978, Elvis was paying homage to Bacharach, with a live version of "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" on the STIFFS LIVE album. When the two collaborated on "God Give Me Strength" (included here) for the film Grace of My Heart, they hit it off so well that they decided to write an entire album together, PAINTED FROM MEMORY being the glorious result. Bacharach and Costello are a natural fit; Costello has long been a proponent of extended melodic structures, irregular meter and sophisticated harmonies, on all of which Burt wrote the book. After Hal David, Bacharach never had another lyricist who could live up to his melodies-until now.
Bacharach's melodies and orchestrations here all hark back to his salad days of Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield. On "Toledo," he even employs that classic double-flugelhorn sound that is the trademark of his '60s work. The string arrangements are characteristically tart and catchy as hell. Reigned in by the pure pop of Bacharach's tunes, Costello abandons wordplay and extended metaphor, contributing the most straightforward lyrics of his career. Vocally, Elvis is in crooner mode, pushing his upper range and vibrato for all they're worth, investing every tune with palpable emotion.
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