February 5, 2023

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The Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach collaboration will be dug up for the boxed set

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The nearly 30-year history of the songwriting collaboration between Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach will be the subject of a four-CD/two-LP boxed set, “The Songs of Bacharach & Costello,” arriving March 3. Live and studio material from 1998’s “Painted From Memory,” the Grammy-winning album that represents their only joint release.

But of particular interest to fans will be a disc, titled “Taken From Life,” which brings together for the first time all the songs the pair wrote together in later years for a proposed “Painted From Memory” Broadway musical they worked on. For years but was not able to mount the legitimate stage. Although many of these songs have made their way onto Costello’s last few studio albums (notably another Grammy-winning effort, “Don’t Look Now”), about half a dozen have never been released in any form before.

The super-deluxe edition includes, in CD format, a newly remastered version of “Painted from Memory”; The “Taken From Life” collection includes recordings of songs from scrapped stage musicals by Costello and other artists; Late 90s concert versions of “Drawn from Memory” tracks “Because It’s a Lonely World — Live”, most of them performed as a duo by Costello and Steve Neave; and a fourth disc of Costello covering 1960s classics by the writing team of Bacharach and David, live or in the studio, titled “Costello Sings Bacharach & David.”

This super-deluxe set is rounded out by two vinyl LPs, with the first three sides featuring the newly remastered “Painted From Memory” and the fourth side featuring six songs from the “Taken From Life” collection. Although “Drawn from Memory” was one of the most acclaimed and Costello was a part of it, it was not issued on vinyl, as 1998 represented a low ebb for the format; It was later available in two Mobile Fidelity limited editions over the last few years that sold out quickly.

There are less elaborate versions of the package, including a two-CD or two-LP set that includes only the first two discs, “Drawn from Memory” and “Taken from Life,” live tracks and old covers that have been made. Back half of the boxed set. Streaming and download versions will be available with all tracks as well as a new Dolby Atmos mix of “Drawn From Memory”.

A few tracks on the boxed set have been re-recorded over the past few years. These include “Taken From Life,” in Costello’s studio and his band The Imposters in 2022 with Sebastian Criss, producer of Costello’s last few albums. Other unheard songs from that disc, “You Can Have Her” and “Look Up Again”, were recorded in 2021 under the direction of Bacharach and orchestrated by Vince Mendoza.

The unproduced “Painted From Memory” musical was the brainchild of TV veteran Chuck Lorre and Tony-winning writer Steven Sater, who were trying to build a story around the songs from the ’98 album, and in the process Costello and Bacharach wrote about a dozen extras. Costello admits in the liner notes that the ostensibly solemn production was a long shot to be picked up for Broadway, as “such a show might seem like Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night,’ only with less tap-dancing.” .” In addition to Costello’s version of the song, some featured vocals by Jenny Muldauer and Audra May, presumably representing tunes that would have been sung by the musical’s female lead.

In all the extended collection contains 45 tracks, 19 of which are previously unreleased. It includes a 20-page booklet with Costello’s 10,000-word essay, early drafts of the songs, and pages of the unfinished stage musical script.

While most of the deluxe package’s content fits easily into designated categories, there are oddities such as a track that Costello and Bacharach wrote for a proposed stage version of “Austin Powers: Man of Mystery” that Mike Myers was developing at one time. That tongue-in-cheek song, “Leave Back and Think of England,” as performed by Bacharach, is the final track on an otherwise quiet “Taken From Life” disc. (The duo had an on-screen association with the Austin Powers franchise, as they performed the Bacharach/David remake of “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” in the “Spy Who Shagged Me” sequel; that soundtrack cut appears on the set of “Costello Sings Bacharach & David” disc.)

The collaboration between Costello and Bacharach began in 1994 when they were asked to write and record a song for Alison Anders’ film “Grace of My Heart”, as part of a soundtrack that involved many such intergenerational collaborations between contemporary artists and songwriters at the time. That 1960s song ended up being “God Give Me Strength,” a touchstone of the joint album that arrived in 1998.

But Costello’s love of Bacharach was well established two decades earlier, even including a live version of “I Just Know What to Do With Myself” on the late-’70s compilation “Stiff’s Live.” , and he recorded “Baby It’s You” as a duet with Nick Lowe in the ’80s. Those tracks are included on the final disc of the boxed set.

Full track list:

Songs by Bacharach and Costello – Super Deluxe Edition tracklisting

CD1 – Drawing from memory
1. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – In The Darkest Place (2023 Remaster)
2. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Toledo (2023 Remaster)
3. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – I Still Got That Other Girl (2023 Remaster)
4. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – This House Is Empty Now (2023 Remaster)
5. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Tears at the Birthday Party (2023 Remaster)
6. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – Such an Unlikely Lover (2023 Remaster)
7. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – My Thief (2023 Remaster)
8. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – The Long Division (2023 Remaster)
9. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Drawing From Memory (2023 Remaster)
10. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – The Sweetest Punch (2023 Remaster)
11. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – What’s His Name Today? (2023 Remaster)
12. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – God Give Me Strength (2023 Remaster)

CD2 – Taken from life
1. Elvis Costello – You Can Get Him *
2. Cassandra Wilson and Bill Frisell – painted from memory
3. Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Don’t Look Now
4. Elvis Costello and The Imposters – Everyone’s Playhouse
5. Audra Ma – I’m Looking Away *
6. Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Taken from Life *
7. Don Byron and Bill Frisell – My Thieves
8. Jenny Muldauer – Shameless *
9. Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Photographs Can Lie
10. Audra Ma – In The Darkest Place *
11. Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?
12. Jenny Muldauer – Stripping Paper *
13. Elvis Costello and the Imposters – He Gave Me Stuff
14. Audra Mae – What is her name today? *
15. Elvis Costello – Watch Again *
16. Burt Bacharach – Lie Down and Think of England *

CD3 – Because it’s a lonely world – Show live
1. Elvis Costello & Steve Neave – Toledo (Live at Nakano Sunplaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan – February 8, 1999) *
2. Elvis Costello and Steve Neave – In the Darkest Place (Live in Melbourne, Australia, Athenaeum Theater – February 16, 1999)
3. Elvis Costello & Steve Neave – My Thief (Live in Tokyo, Japan, Shibuya Hall – February 10, 1999) *
4. Elvis Costello & Steve Neave – I Still Have Another Girl (Live at Shibuya Hall, Tokyo, Japan February 10, 1999)
5. Elvis Costello & Steve Neave – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Live in Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall – June 16, 1999) *
6. Elvis Costello & Steve Neave – God Give Me Strength (Live in Toronto, Ontario, Massey Hall – June 16, 1999) *
7. Elvis Costello, Steve Neave and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – Drawn from Memory (Live in Stockholm, Sweden, Barwaldhallen – January, 5, 1999) *
8. Elvis Costello, Steve Neave and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – What’s His Name Today? (Live in Stockholm, Sweden, Barwaldhallen – January, 5, 1999) *
9. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – This House Is Empty Now (Live in New York City, Late Night with Conan O’Brien – November 27, 1998) *

CD4 – coStello sings Bacharach and David
1. Elvis Costello & The Attraction – I Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (Live in Norwich, UK, University of East Anglia – October 17, 1977)
2. Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe – Baby Is You
3. Elvis Costello – Please Stay
4. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
5. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Make It Easy On Yourself (Live in London, UK, Royal Festival Hall – October 29, 1998) *
6. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – My Little Red Book (Live in London, UK, Royal Festival Hall – October 29, 1998) *
7. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Anyone Who Had A Heart (London, UK, Live at Royal Festival Hall – October 29, 1998) *
8. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – I Don’t Know What To Do With Me (Live in New York City, Sessions at West 54 – October 18, 1998) *

2LP – Drawing from memory
on the side
1. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – In The Darkest Place (2023 Remaster)
2. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Toledo (2023 Remaster)
3. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – I Still Got That Other Girl (2023 Remaster)
4. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – This House Is Empty Now (2023 Remaster)

Side B
1. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Tears at the Birthday Party (2023 Remaster)
2. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – Such an Unlikely Lover (2023 Remaster)
3. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – My Thief (2023 Remaster)
4. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – The Long Division (2023 Remaster)

Side C
1. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Drawing From Memory (2023 Remaster)
2. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – The Sweetest Punch (2023 Remaster)
3. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – What’s His Name Today? (2023 Remaster)
4. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – God Give Me Strength (2023 Remaster)

Side D – selection from Taken from life
1. Elvis Costello – You Can Get Him *
2. Audra Mae – Don’t Look Now *
3. Audra Ma – I’m Looking Away *
4. Elvis Costello and the Imposter – Taken from Life *
5. Audra Mae – What’s her name today? *
6. Elvis Costello – Watch Again *

* Previously unpublished

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