Personnel includes: Elvis Costello (vocals, guitar, bass, toy piano, keyboards, celesta); Donal Lunny (acoustic guitar, bouzouki); Marc Ribot (guitar, banjo, cornet, E flat horn); T-Bone Burnett, James Burton (guitar); Davy Spillane (low whistle, uileann pipes); Steve Nieve (piano, keyboards, organ); Mitchell Froom (toy piano, Mellotron, organ, calliope, Chamberlain, Indian harmonium); Benmont Tench, Larry Knechtel, Allen Toussaint (piano); Matt MacManus (bass, drum loop); Paul McCartney, Bruce Thomas, Roy Babbington, T-Bone Wolk, Nick Lowe (bass); Jim Keltner (drums, drum loops); Pete Thomas (drums, percussion); Danny Goffey, Jerry Marotta (drums); Richard Page, Steven Soles, Steve George (background vocals); The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Producers include: Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, The Brodsky Quartet, Mitchell Froom, Matt MacManus.
Includes liner notes by Elvis Costello.
This collection looks back on Costello's post-Attractions Warner Bros years. He had matured both musically and personally, and he didn't want to be playing the angry young man into middle age. He sought out different producers, who helped him realize his more ambitious visions, and different musicians, who provided his compositions with new sonic points of reference.
He also began collaborating more, most notably with Paul McCartney. The two wrote a batch of first-class songs together, of which the haunting, minor-key "So Like Candy" is arguably the best. "The Other Side of Summer," among the least-demanding MIGHTY LIKE A ROSE TRACKS, shows that Costello never lost his knack for hooky pop. Costello's elaborately produced tour de force SPIKE yielded a bumper crop of great songs, included the soulful, New Orleans-R&B-tinged "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror." By the mid-'90s, Costello had reunited with the Attractions. From their fruitful ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY comes the closer "I Want To Vanish," a breathtakingly beautiful, melodic ballad that stands among EC's best.
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