Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach - Painted From Memory (1998)


I'm not much of an Elvis Costello fan, but occasionally I'll pick up a Costello release because I sometimes think I should like him. Thankfully, it turns out that this isn't much of a Costello disc at all - the star of this disc is Bacharach's songwriting which is as strong as any of his writing from the '60s. And it's quite a solid return to form, at that. From the production to the string arrangements, this entire project was written within the parameters of Bacharach's most successful work. Even though a song from this disc won a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals and the entire album was met with critical acclaim, the album wasn't a commercial success. This music is not of its time, which explains why it peaked at #78 on the album charts. I guess it just couldn't compete with the soundtrack to Titanic. That's a shame, because it means that a lot of people are missing out on this treat. Great music for a rainy day or quiet night.

This disc was recorded and released around the same time the duo made a cameo appearance in the second Austin Powers movie. I think they performed I'll Never Fall In Love Again.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #78 (Oct 17, 1998)

Tracks: It's hard to pick favs on this disc because the more you listen to them, the more you like them. I've always though the best song on the disc is Toledo. As of this listen, I'm also liking In The Darkest Place, I Still Have That Other Girl, Such Unlikely Lovers, My Thief, and the title track. Track 8, The Long Division, sounds like an '80s tune. Normally, you'd think I'd like that, but it just doesn't seem to fit with the sound of the other songs.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: (almost the same as Seal - Human Being) This album was released in September 1998. In December of that year, I rode on a charter bus from Bay City to Irving and back with 200 high school students. That particular Saturday we were headed to Texas Stadium for the Class 4A, Div 1 state football championship game between Bay City and Grapevine (final score: Grapevine 22, Bay City 0). I listened to this CD on that trip. For that reason, I consider it to be a fall/winter CD that can't be listened to in the spring or summer.

One of my dream jobs is to play flugelhorn with Burt Bacharach.

Previously revisited for the blog:
The Very Best Of Burt Bacharach (2001)
Bill Frisell - The Sweetest Punch (1999)

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