Listen To The Bonus Discs First!

07/12/04

Almost Blue, Goodbye Cruel World and Kojak Variety Available August 3

Forget what you think you know about these three Elvis Costello albums and listen to the bonus discs first, because Rhino's latest batch of Elvis Costello catalog reissues will change your perception of Almost Blue, Goodbye Cruel World, and Kojak Variety. This batch of Elvis more than doubles the bonus material offered on any previous releases, an astounding total of 73 bonus tracks, and redefines these albums. All three two-disc sets are available on August 3.

Almost Blue's 27-cut bonus disc tells the story of how Elvis's long-standing love of country music eventually led him to the making of Almost Blue, a radical album that awakened the hipster-punk generation to country long before the "No Depression" movement. Highlights include a previously unreleased duet with Johnny Cash, a duet with George Jones on "Stranger In The House," seven live songs recorded at the Palomino club in North Hollywood in 1979 (including "Girls Talk" and "Motel Matches"), a bevy of cuts recorded at CBS Studios in Nashville (including tunes by Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash), an early version of "Tears Before Bedtime"(which would later appear on Imperial Bedroom), five live tracks from the Music Machine in Aberdeen, Scotland (including "Brand New Heartache") and a concert performance of Gram Parsons & Chris Ethridge's "I'm Your Toy," recorded at the Royal Albert Hall.

Costello kicked off the liner notes of a previous edition of Goodbye Cruel World with the line, "Congratulations! You've just bought our worst record," but this reissue's 26 bonus cuts surely reclaim it from that category "?" by providing an almost-complete alternate version of the album. Demo versions of seven of the disc's original 13 songs offer a glimpse of "the album that might have been." Live versions of three tracks ("The Only Flame In Town," "Worthless Thing," and "Love Field," still a staple of Costello's concerts) expand that picture even further. Six additional demos offer a broader portrait of the artist's work during that time, and an early version of "I Hope You're Happy Now," later rerecorded for Blood & Chocolate, is a treat fans will relish.

This edition of Kojak Variety augments the original album's 15 covers and more than doubles it with a 20-track bonus disc. Among the many outstanding songs on the bonus disc are tunes by Jerry Garcia, Hoagy Carmichael, T-Bone Burnett, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Bruce Springsteen, George & Ira Gershwin, and Lennon & McCartney. Also featured are "The Night Larry Got Stretched" with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and an astonishing a cappella version of Van Morrison's "Full Force Gale."

Almost Blue, Goodbye Cruel World, and Kojak Variety each carry a suggested list price of $18.98 at retail as well as at www.rhino.com [ http://www.rhino.com/ ].

Source: Warner Strategic Marketing