Monday, 24 January 2022

Britain is a country where Elvis Costello has been making music for almost 50 years and gives it his 'Honest Playlist'

Elvis Costello, who will be 68 years old in the Autumn, hardly an old man, yet neither a young one, has supplied the Guardian with his 'Honest Playlist'. 

He said : The first song I remember hearing : "It's a family legend that even before I was forming sentences, I knew how to request, 'I've got you under my skin',(link) sung by Frank Sinatra on the record player. Of course I'm biased, but my wife does the other definitive version". His wife is the jazz musician Diana Krall.(link) 

"I've got you under my skin

I've got you, deep in the heart of me

So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me

I've got you under my skin"

The first record that I owned : "In 1962, I heard my Dad rehearsing a song from Georgie Fame's, 'Fame at Last' EP and he gave me the record. Georgie is an unsung, great advocate of other artists. I once got to sing with Count Basie and totally humiliated myself because I'd learned his classic 'Lil' Darlin'' off a Georgie Fame record".(link) His Dad was singer Ross MacManus.

"Oh, please, please, please,
Quit dragging my heart through them coals,
Oh, please, please, please,
Stop trying to fix it 'cause, baby, it's broke,
When it's late at night and you call me,
'Cause I've got another man fixing my blues,
You should never, never worry 'bout nothing, baby,
'Cause I'll never love someone new the way I love you"

The song that is my karaoke go-to : "Maybe because it is because I gave up drinking 25 years ago, but my exposure to karaoke is limited to watching Bill Murray doing 'What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding' (link) in 'Lost in Translation'. I would pick 'King of the Road' (link) by Roger Miller . It is a song where you could make up anything and nobody would notice".

"Trailer for sale or rent

Rooms to let, 50 cents

No phone, no pool, no pets

I ain't got no cigarettes

Ah, but two hours of pushing broom

Buys a eight by 12 four-bit room

I'm a man of means, by no means

King of the road"

The song I inexplicably know all the lyrics to : "I have on many occasions recited Noël Coward's 'The Stately Homes of England'. (link) It's a beautiful lyric and very, very funny".

"Although we sometimes flaunt our family conventions,

Our good intentions

Mustn't be misconstrued.

The Stately Homes of England

We proudly represent,

We only keep them up for

Americans to rent "

The performance that I'll never forget for me : "Aretha Franklin doing, 'Don't play that song',(link) live on the Cliff Richard Show (in 1970). After a moment like that you're never the same again. This song is rich in the gospel she absorbed as a young girl. I'd happily listen to her piano intro alone over 20 times. 

"Don't play that song for me
'Cause it brings back memories
Of days that I once knew
The days that I spent with you"

The best song to play at a party : "I'm thinking of the parties I went to a teenager's, so the Isley Brothers' 'Behind a Painted Smile' (link) is my pick. I was the person who would haunt the edge of the dancefloor, open the 'Party Seven' pale ale and hope to fascinate some girl with my wit and charm, usually unsuccessfully".

The best song to have sex to : "'Behind Closed Doors' (link) by Charlie Rich. It's not the song, it's the statement in the title". 

My baby makes me proud
Lord, don't she make me proud
She never makes a scene
By hangin' all over me in a crowd

The song I want played at my funeral : "Louis Armstrong singing Fats Waller's 'Keepin' Out of Mischief Now'.(link) I walked down the aisle to this - that's another kind of pledge, isn't it ? So if I must die, I'm keeping out of mischief after".

Keepin' out of mischief now

I really am in love and how

I'm through playin' with fire

It's you whom I desire

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