Painted From Memory by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

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oldbillclarke
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Painted From Memory by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

Post by oldbillclarke » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:06 am

It's not that this is a terrible CD, far from it. But after you take in the delightful, yet slightly jazzy backdrop, there's a couple of major problems. Elvis Costello is not blessed with the greatest singing voice. It’s not his fault, just the way nature planned it. But in many of the musical situations on “Painted From Memory”, a solid vocalist is essential to the overall enjoyment. Here, Elvis’ voice begins to get stretched beyond its normal limits. I’ll give him this though, he does his very best and at times, like in “God Give Me Strength” actually overcomes his disability. The melodies, all written by Burt Bacharach, are not nearly as jaunty or as easy to like as “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” or “I Say A Little Prayer” or for that matter most of his better known work.You need to hear it more than once or twice to get familiarized with it. That's the bad part. The good news is that there actually seems to be some common ground between Bacharach, a 1960's easy listening icon, and Costello who is an equal icon of the post punk/new wave era. Old meets new with interesting, although definitely mixed, results. The nature of this recording would dictate that it’s appeal would not attract a whole lot of people, even hard core Costello fans.

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Post by HamYardie » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:29 am

You're not kidding OBC. I bought it as a gift for a dear friend and a long time Costello fan. When I asked him how he liked it, he said he threw it out the window onto the street. His wife confirmed that was exactly what he did. Disc first and packaging a few seconds later !

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Re: Painted From Memory by Elvis Costello & Burt Bachara

Post by declanpmcmanus » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:38 am

oldbillclarke wrote:It's not that this is a terrible CD, far from it. But after you take in the delightful, yet slightly jazzy backdrop, there's a couple of major problems. Elvis Costello is not blessed with the greatest singing voice. It’s not his fault, just the way nature planned it. But in many of the musical situations on “Painted From Memory”, a solid vocalist is essential to the overall enjoyment. Here, Elvis’ voice begins to get stretched beyond its normal limits. I’ll give him this though, he does his very best and at times, like in “God Give Me Strength” actually overcomes his disability. The melodies, all written by Burt Bacharach, are not nearly as jaunty or as easy to like as “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” or “I Say A Little Prayer” or for that matter most of his better known work.You need to hear it more than once or twice to get familiarized with it. That's the bad part. The good news is that there actually seems to be some common ground between Bacharach, a 1960's easy listening icon, and Costello who is an equal icon of the post punk/new wave era. Old meets new with interesting, although definitely mixed, results. The nature of this recording would dictate that it’s appeal would not attract a whole lot of people, even hard core Costello fans.
"Not blessed with the greatest singing voice"??? Elvis has one of the most amazing voices and he also has incredible range and power! Having seen him live 11 times and owning everything he has ever done, I whole heartedly disagree with the above comments! The man can belt it out with the best of them!

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Post by Global_Dog_Productions » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:10 am

I was and am still a major Elvis Costello fan and in his later 80's albums quite often at first listening I thought they were horrible. But that was comparing them to the previous albums. But as a fan I gave them more listenings and they "grew" on me and in the end I liked them as much as the earlier stuff. The bottom line is Costello isn't going to just do what comes easy but rather evolve. If you don't like it I would recommend the Ramones, they were consistent. After a while a tad bid boring but you don't have to worry about them wandering off to try something different.

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Doesn't manage to stand it more than 15 minutes

Post by B_big. » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:41 pm

( ( ( ( ( ((((((( 8)
  • Like so many things in life, it's a question of personal predilection whether you like EC's way of singing or not. I've seen him live in 1978 for about 15 Minutes, then I decided to escape. The opening act were 'Dire Straits', and their performance simply was overwhelming. When EC started after a break, I was really shocked by his sick, kvetchin', weak and overall torturing way of singing. So, if anybody is interested in a batch of his 7" singles, mostly in pic-sleeves, I'll gladly sell 'em.
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