by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of one of the great musical talents of our times, Mister Elvis Costello.
Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus on 25 August 1954) and his music and songwriting took the world by storm in the late 70s, and since then he’s collaborated with too many great talents to list here. Today I found a bunch of great performances from throughout the decades, so enjoy!!
From Jan 2009 on the television show “Spectacle,” Elvis and Sting discussing how they wrote “Alison” and “Roxanne.”
From the same show, Elvis and the Police doing a medley of three great ones! "Watching the Detectives," "Walking on the Moon," and "Sunshine of Your Love."
From 1978 in Germany, Elvis Costello and the Attractions doing their major hit “Watching the Detectives” (Our closer is this entire concert!)
One of my favorites! From 1977 in the UK, “(The Angels Want to Wear My) Red Shoes”
From 1978, Elvis and the Attractions doing the driving “Pump It Up”
Here’s one of the greatest songs ever written! Elvis doing a driving version of the Nick Lowe classic, “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding” Here’s a slightly more subdued version from Memphis in 2004 of “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding”
From Dutch TV, a gem! Here’s Nick Lowe doing a solo acoustic version of his classic “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding”
Speaking of Sir Paul, here’s Elvis in 2010 doing a live version of Paul’s “Penny Lane”
Here’s the original promotional video for the Don Gibson country classic as done in Elvis’ unique style! “Sweet Dreams”
In a related vein, here’s Emmylou Harris and Elvis on Letterman doing Boudleaux Bryant’s classic originally made a huge hit by the Everly Brothers and again by Roy Orbison, “Love Hurts”
Speaking of great duets, here are Elvis with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day doing a live performance of “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
Here’s Elvis and Billie Joe performing “Alison”
Here's a live performance of “Shipbuilding”
From a long time ago, Elvis and the legendary trumpeter Chet Baker doing “You Don’t Know What Love Is”
Here’s the promotional video for Elvis’ version of the 60s Animals’ smash hit ”Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
From 1983, a music video of “Every Day I Write the Book”
The music video of “A Good Year for the Roses”
From 1999 on Letterman, Elvis live doing “She”
From the 2003 Grammys, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen cranking out the Clash hit, “London Calling”
From 2010, Elvis and Bruce live on “Spectacle” performing a dynamic medley of “Radio Silence,” “Radio Nowhere,” and “Radio Radio”
I found a whole bunch of clips from Spectacle on the Sundance channel with Elvis and Bruce! I can’t find the first few minutes anywhere, but enjoy the rest!
We’ll close this Spectacle set with Elvis and the great Richard Thompson in a screaming duet of “Shoot Out the Lights”
From the Tomorrow Show in 1981, Tom Snyder interviewing Elvis.
From 2003 when he was the guest host on The Late Show, Elvis Costello’s Monologue
For our closer, our birthday boy June 1978 live on Rockpalast TV in a full set. Last year it was all on one video, but this year it’s in several parts. This is a great show from early in his career, and it's pretty intense!
For the encore, also in 1978, this time shot in the US, here’s 53 minutes of Elvis Costello and the Attractions Live in Detroit and Boston 1978
For the second encore, here’s an hour of Elvis Costello Live at Woodstock 1999
If you want more, here's Elvis Costello.com
Happy 2014 birthday, Elvis! May you have many, many more!!
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson