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“My friend and brother, T Bone Burnett, produced Secret, Profane and Sugarcane. He and I also wrote two of the songs together.

“Sulphur To Sugarcane” takes its title from two Louisiana towns and is written in the voice of a charming but disreputable political campaigner. He is the kind of reprehensible fellow who glad-hands the women and gooses all the men.

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North: +DVD + Brutal Youth + When I Was Cruel
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Sep 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000BXGCD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,377 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prelude/You Left Me In The Dark
2. Someone Took The Words Away
3. When Did I Stop Dreaming
4. You Turned Me On
5. Fallen
6. When It Sings
7. Still
8. Let Me Tell You About Her
9. Can You Be True?
10. When Green Eyes Turn Blue
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Fallen (Video)
2. North (Video)
3. Still (Video)

Product Description

Product Description

ELVIS COSTELLO North (2003 UK Special Limited Edition 2-disc [CD/DVD] set comprising of the 12-track CD album featuring the Bonus Recording Impatience plus a Bonus DVD including an exclusive interview and 3 musicl videos complete with lyric booklet picture sleeve)

Amazon.co.uk

Elvis Costello has had a long and successful flirtation with cabaret singing, yet he's seldom delivered the style with the consistently stripped-down directness of North. Costello claims the album's songs bubbled forth nearly fully-formed over the winter of 2002-3, and indeed they often ebb and flow with an unpredictable fluidity that seems to reflect the songwriter's subconscious mind (to the point of occasionally conjuring fleeting, almost spectral melodic references from his beloved pop standards) at its most creatively naked.

For an artist who's long prided himself on the wilful literacy and challenging symbolism of his lyrics, the transparency of his romantic musings here is often startling. Probably inspired by an arc of emotional change in his own life (Costello hints that the bittersweet "You Left Me in the Dark" and hopeful "I'm in the Mood Again" don't bookend the album by coincidence), a subtext of difficult romantic communication also surfaces repeatedly on tracks like the dramatic "Someone Took the Words Away" and lovely "When It Sings", while the neo-classicism of "Still" reunites Costello with the Brodsky Quartet in arguably the album's most traditional, sophisticated moment.

Backed by Steve Nieve's spare, haunting piano (the instrument the songwriter composed the songs at; this is the most guitar-free album of his career), the drums of Peter Erskine, the double bass of Mike Formanek and the most economical of orchestral flourishes, Costello creates a decidedly autumnal mood. His gently quavering voice is pushed into the spotlight as never before as he takes a musical tightrope walk whose sublime execution seldom belies its conceptual audacity. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Laura Miller on 20 Sep 2003
Format: Audio CD
People will trash this album and, in my opinion, without justification. If you're looking for "Oliver's Army" reruns or what we know to be Elvis Costello then this album is not for you but do not despair. North will suprise, delight and move you in a way that only Elvis Costello can. On first listening the tracks are slow and seem vaguely repetitive, but the more you listen the more the "story" emerges. With this album, Elvis Costello has lost his anger and replaced it with a gentleness that to some, may not suit him but once again he has proved that music is an evolutionary process. Long may he continue!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Owen Burdekin on 30 Oct 2003
Format: Audio CD
Having been amazed by Elvis's memorable collaboration with Burt Bacharch (Painted from Memory), I was similarly blown away by this exquisite offering. Elvis is indeed, in his own words, In The Mood Again, and boy does it show!! All these new songs are beautifully measured, and delivered straight from the heart. This is soppy music for grown-ups at its best, the highs of romantic intoxication being presented within the bounds of realism: reflections on lost love; the astonishment at finding oneself in feet first once again; the sheer excitement (and dread) of what the future may hold. The undoubted pinnacle of the album is 'Still', on which the Brodsky Quartet provide the accompaniment. This is a magical album, for anyone who has loved, lost and found again.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like EC. More than like him. But I was disappointed with this. The Delivery Man was superb, and my expectations were raised, only to be lowered by this. I'd advise getting many of the excellent EC albums ahead of this one - I've tried to connect with this several times, but think it's time to give it to a charity shop.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 59 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An amazing piece of work 24 Sep 2003
By Roger McCoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've just finished listening to North for the first time. I wasn't sure what to expect coming in. When I first purchased the album, I didn't know what to expect from a musical chameleon like Costello. Glancing over the liner notes, I noticed the complex arrangements, some noting as many as fourteen different players, along with a mention of a 34-piece string section at the end (I assume this must be for "Fallen"). Then, noticing the Deutsch Grammophon logo on the CD, I realized this would be something heavily influenced by classical. Although I'm familiar a fair amount of Costello's works, I still have not heard his chamber-pop works such as "The Juliet Letters" with the Brodsky Quartet (who make an appearance in "Still" on this album), but I had been given the impression that such experiments had led to mixed results.
I'm happy to say that the results here are anything but mixed. Most will not find "North" as immediately captivating as "Painted from Memory", and will be disappointed if they expect a sequel to "When I Was Cruel". Although the rocker Costello is gone, at least for the moment, the works here feel more honest, heartfelt, and uncompromising than any of the albums mentioned above. If you give yourself over to the music, it is captivating and compelling, and I have the feeling that, over time, this will remain one of my favorite Costello albums. Sure, I'll still be popping in the pop/rock hits and classics, but this album acts as a subtle emotional roller coaster, if such a thing is possible. It takes you on a journey of a desperation and hope going through it's 11 tracks. Definitely not for everyone, but more than worth your precious time.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
give it time.... 29 Sep 2003
By wordnat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
....and you'll love it. i'm a huge EC fan, but this album kind of annoyed me at first. just too mellow. the only tunes that jumped out at me initially were "still" (an absolute stunner) and "someone took the words away" (even better), and i had to send out search parties to find the melody in (seemingly) dirge-like numbers like "when did i stop dreaming" or "fallen". but, after about a week or so of listening, the intricate beauty -- and, yes, sturdy melodies -- of these fragile songs bloomed into full flower. head "north", folks -- it's a great trip.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Going the other way... 11 Oct 2003
By Michael Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
During a recent interview Elvis was asked about the title to his latest album, "NORTH". He replied that most songs and records written about love are all about a relationship "going South", "well, this is just the opposite of that.." I thought this was a brilliant statement on the body of work that Elvis has brought to us with this effort. So sit back, be quiet, and listen to a man start from loneliness, move to hope, and onto unbridled love all within one record. Elvis's exploration of the intimate rooms of male emotion that he walks into with this record is to be admired and taken in deeply, as most artists in Elvis's position would not be so brave to pursue so completely. His full commitment pays off with the nakedness and very intimate and quiet setting and leaves us feeling as if we are hearing him for the first time. If you wish to hear an artist that not only challenges himself, but his fans continuously, and then go on this journey and discover something most of us never take the time to admit to ourselves.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Elvis Costello get's the "one thing" that really matters 24 Sep 2003
By Ian C. Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Bruce Springsteen once said that he felt Elvis Costello wrote great love songs. I agreed. But, with "NORTH" I feel he has pushed and reached an even finer place of maturity and complete surrender to the power of a love song and his pull and take on the theme.
He touched on this with incredible beauty on "Painted From Memory" with Burt Bacharach. Plus, he moved his initial sarcastic and often heartbreaking musical endeavors from his early success of "Allison" to his "Imperial Bedroom" breakthrough to this ultimate step forward both vocally and emotionally. He is a brilliant artist at the peak of his powers. Who is in touch with his soul and his musical history from Cole Porter to Sinatra to George Jones Ballads. But, the sweetest ticket is that he wrote these songs and pulled in his experience to bring us right to a metropolitan highrise apartment filled with dim lights, Hi-Fi sounds, Martinis and two breaths.My theory on these first listens is to find the "One Thing" and listen to this great album over and over.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Moving Album of Tender Love Songs 24 Sep 2003
By Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Elvis Costello's new album contains some of the most brilliant straight-forward ballads that he has ever written. In this collection, lyrics are carefully woven into tender musical arrangements setting the mood for some of EC's most heartfelt songs. "When It Sings," "I'm in the Mood Again," and "Still" are my favorite tracks at the moment. The album is full of tender love songs that have a more universal appeal than some of his other ballad-driven albums. It captures the essence of losing and finding love: the thrill, the loss, the elation, everything. Gone are the ranting, tongue in cheek bitter lyrics that have defined some of his early work, and if that's what you are looking for then you're better off picking up some of the Rhino reissues like This Year's Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy, and Trust. This collection, however, emphasizes a kind of sincerity that has been very sparse in Costello's work despite his vast catalog and numerous genre jumping experiments. One gets the feeling that there is no longer a need to get in the last word or throw punchlines exposing the subjects of his tunes. This is not to say that there isn't any despair, longing, or loss on this album. The difference here is that Costello seems to explore these emotions introspectively rather than by ridiculing, lashing out, or laying blame. This album has made a tremendous impression on me. I just hope others will have the opportunity to hear some of these wonderful songs.
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