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Elvis Costello

1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 03 November 2013

Matt Everitt speaks to Elvis Costello, one of the most admired and gifted songwriters in the history of popular music, about the key first musical moments that shaped his life.

He arrived seemingly fully formed with his 1977 debut album My Aim Is True full of passion, anger and poetry - and hasn't stopped moving since.

He's produced albums of sneering post punk, lavish orchestral pop, country and western, r'n'b, easy listening, classical instrumentation, Tin Pan Alley pop and jazz - and the thread that runs through all of his output is his brilliant lyrics and song writing skill.

Not a man who does that many interviews - quite possibly as he doesn't enjoy them, here Elvis talks about the influence of his father on his musical history (he was a trumpeter with The Joe Loss Orchestra in the 50s and 60s) the recording of his breakthrough album My Aim Is True and enlisting legendary jazz trumpet Chet Baker for his classic song Shipbuilding.

He also talks about some of his favourite collaborators which include Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and most recently The Roots - which whom he's just released a new album - Wise Up Ghost - which once again sounds like nothing he's ever recorded.

Music Played

25 items
  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Peace Love And Understanding

    Imp Records

  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Watching The Detectives

    Elvis Costello & Attractions- The Man, Imp Records

  • Image for The Beatles

    The Beatles Please Please Me

    The Beatles: 1962-1966, Apple, 7

  • Image for Ross McManus

    Ross McManus Patsy Girl


  • Image for Georgie Fame

    Georgie Fame Get On The Right Track, Baby


  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Less Than Zero


  • Image for Ronnie Hazelhurst

    Ronnie Hazelhurst Last Of The Summer Wine

    CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 1995, Crosstown Songs Uk Ltd

  • Image for Louis Prima

    Louis Prima Jump Jive & Wail

    Take A Break (Various Artists), Columbia

  • Image for Yes

    Yes I've Seen All Good People


  • Image for Little Dragon

    Little Dragon Ritual Union


  • Image for Al Green

    Al Green Let's Stay Together

    The All Time Greatest Movie Songs, Columbia/Sony Tv

  • Image for White Hinterland

    White Hinterland Icarus

    Now Hear This!, Word, 15

  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Alison

    Demon Records

  • Image for Joni Mitchell

    Joni Mitchell California - BBC Paris Theatre 29/09/1970

  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello and The Attractions Accidents Will Happen

    Universal Music

  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Shipbuilding

    The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, Universal Music Tv

  • Image for Burt Bacharach And Elvis Costello

    Burt Bacharach And Elvis Costello God Give Me Strength

  • Image for Arctic Monkeys

    Arctic Monkeys Cornerstone

    CD SINGLE, Domino, 1

  • Image for Primal Scream

    Primal Scream Relativity UNUSED

    First International ·

  • Image for Johnny Lytle

    Johnny Lytle Moon Child

    Riverside Records

  • Image for Marie Osmond

    Marie Osmond Paper Roses

    The Very Best Of The Osmonds, Polydor

  • Image for Talking Heads

    Talking Heads I Zimbra

    Sire ·

  • Image for Francis Lai

    Francis Lai A Man And A Woman (Un Homme Et Une Femme)

    United Artists Records ·

  • Image for Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello Veronica

    Universal Music

  • Image for Elvis Costello & The Roots

    Elvis Costello & The Roots Stick out Your Tongue

    Decca Records/Blue Note


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