Costello Commentary Spiffs DVD Retrospective
The DVD "The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello -- The Videos" will arrive Sept. 6 in the United Kingdom via demonVision. A North American release date has not yet been finalized for theOriginally expected earlier this year, the DVD "The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello -- The Videos" will arrive Sept. 6 in the United Kingdom via demonVision. A North American release date has not yet been finalized for the project, which rounds up all of the artist's classic promo clips plus a wealth of rare European TV appearances.
Of perhaps most interest to fans is the fact that Costello provides commentary for each of the 27 videos, including such early MTV favorites as "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding" and "Everyday I Write the Book."
But securing the artist's services for the project nearly didn't happen, according to DVD producer Sophie Coolbaugh. "Elvis was completely booked up last summer and no matter how we looked at his schedule, there was no way he could spare us a few hours," she tells Billboard.com. "We had given up on the idea when the call came late on a Thursday afternoon -- we could have him for a couple of hours on the following Sunday in New York."
Due to short notice, the producers were forced to rent a studio without air conditioning "on a muggy September evening," Coolbaugh recalls. "Elvis had not dabbled in the art of the DVD audio commentary before, and he took to it like a fish takes to water. It is both witty and interesting, and definitely a key highlight of the disc."
Coolbaugh delighted in "finding bits and pieces that we knew no one had seen in over 20 years, if at all," including an extra song from a 1983 performance on the U.K. show "The Tube" and clips from Holland's Pink Pop Festival ("fabulous pink suit").
However, one classic piece of film eluded "The Right Spectacle." Says Coolbaugh: "The master of Elvis' first-ever TV appearance [performing 'Alison' for 'Granada Reports' in July 1977] has gone missing sometime between 1977 and now. It was very, very lucky that the producers of [the show] 'So It Goes' lifted a clip from it for their show later that year, so the excerpt we have on the disc is the only surviving clip from [Costello's] TV debut."
Since there are no U.S. TV appearances on the collection, could a follow-up "Elvis in the U.S." compilation see the light of day in the future? "We had access to a large number of archives and in the end it was a question of finding clips that were most representative of the period," Coolbaugh says. "Who knows what the future holds -- there are certainly plenty of great clips to consider for a follow up."
Here is "The Right Spectacle" track list:
"(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea"
"Pump It Up"
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding"
"Accidents Will Happen"
"I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down"
"Love for Tender"
"New Lace Sleeves"
"Good Year for the Roses"
"You Little Fool"
"Everyday I Write the Book"
"Let Them All Talk"
"The Only Flame in Town"
"I Wanna Be Loved"
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
"The Other Side if Summer"
"So Like Candy"
"13 Steps Lead Down"
"Granada Reports" / "So It Goes" (U.K.):
"Alison" (excerpt), "Lip Service," "No Dancing"
"This Year's Girl," "Radio Radio"
"Oliver's Army," "Accidents Will Happen," "Watching the Detectives," "You Belong To Me"
"Pink Pop" (Holland):
"Lipstick Vogue," "Watching the Detectives"
"What's In" (U.K.):
"Shot With His Own Gun"
"The Tube" (U.K.):
"Shipbuilding," "Everyday I Write the Book," "Clowntime Is Over," "TKO (Boxing Day)"
"Big Sister's Clothes," "Peace in Our Time"