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Wise Up Ghost Deluxe Edition

30 customer reviews

Price: £7.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Elvis Costello Store

Music

Image of album by Elvis Costello

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Image of Elvis Costello

Biography

“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.

While ... Read more in Amazon's Elvis Costello Store

Visit Amazon's Elvis Costello Store
for 204 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Wise Up Ghost + Momofuku + National Ransom
Price For All Three: £24.87

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00D2I8E46
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Walk Us Uptown
2. Sugar Won't Work
3. Refuse to Be Saved
4. Wake Me Up
5. Tripwire
6. Stick Out Your Tongue
7. Come the Meantimes
8. (She Might Be A) Grenade
9. Cinco Minutos Con Vos (With La Marisoul)
10. Viceroy's Row
11. Wise Up Ghost
12. If I Could Believe
13. My New Haunt
14. Can You Hear Me?
15. The Puppet Has Cut His Strings

Product Description

Musicians separated by age, style, and demographic, Elvis Costello and the Roots are nevertheless natural collaborators bound by wide taste, insatiable appetite, and fathomless record collections. This is particularly true of Roots drummer/de facto bandleader ?uestlove, the musical omnivore who is the band's most recognizable member and perhaps the only popular musician outside of Costello who values the music press. This is not incidental to Wise Up Ghost, the unexpected 2013 collaboration between Costello and the Roots. As recognizable as both parties are -- the Roots are Jimmy Fallon's house band, soon to inherit the throne from Doc Severinsen on The Tonight Show; Elvis Costello seizes any opportunity to ham it up on camera -- neither are exactly popular popular artists. Between the two of them, they have a grand total of four Billboard Top 40 hits -- two apiece -- which suggests that their instincts run against the grain, something ?uestlove admits in his 2013 memoir, Mo Meta Blues, when he confesses he always preferred deep cuts to hit singles. This sensibility thrives on Wise Up Ghost, which quickly dismisses its two potential crossover singles -- the ominous "Walk Us Uptown," which is the greatest indication of the album's vibe, then the slyly funky slow groove "Sugar Won't Work" -- before getting down to the hard work of recontextualizing forgotten music from Costello's Warner years while offering barbed social commentary in the vein of What's Going On or There's a Riot Goin' On. Here, the project's origin as a wildly imaginative reinterpretation of Costello's back catalog is evident, but it also speaks to how Elvis rose to the challenge of working with a live hip-hop band. Lacking the context of heavy samples, he nevertheless embraced hip-hop's postmodernism by jamming together the lyrics of "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)" and "Pills and Soap" for "Stick Out Your Tongue," while "Refuse to Be Saved" evokes the ghost of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's appearance on "Chewing Gum" and "Tripwire" suggests "Satellite." These two songs were on Spike -- which would've been the Costello album on the charts while ?uestlove was in high school, also not entirely a coincidence -- and much of the sensibility of Wise Up Ghost derives from those sometimes underappreciated early Warner albums Spike and Mighty Like a Rose, two albums overly dense in sonic and lyrical detail. So too is Wise Up Ghost, a record that flaunts its cerebellum as it progresses, but the Roots' emphasis on smart, textured grooves grounds the album even if it hardly widens the album's potential audience. This is an exquisitely detailed, imaginative record that pays back dividends according to how much knowledge, either of Costello or the Roots or their idols, a listener brings to the album. It's not exactly alienating but Wise Up Ghost does require work from its audience, and the more you know -- and the more you listen -- the better it seems. [A Deluxe Edition added three bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Sweeney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm an enthusiastic admirer of Elvis Costello's work. So much so, that I went to six of his "Spectacular Spinning Songbook" shows this year and have all of his albums, even the more obscure stuff, so I was looking forward to this collaboration with The Roots immensely, especially given some of the extremely positive reviews. However, after owning this album for a while and giving it many, many plays, I have to conclude that it's not quite as brilliant as some critics have painted it and that it's simply a very good piece of work, rather than one of his very best. Of course, it's a highly listenable affair, with crisp beats, funky bass-lines, brass punctuation and impassioned performances from all involved. Costello himself is almost rapping his biting lyrics and The Roots' input and arrangements certainly give this project a different feel to anything he has ever released before, so it's most definitely interesting and for Costello, a man of many musical guises, to come up with something so different at this stage in his career is no small achievement. In addition, one of the small pleasures listening to this album for someone familiar with his back catalogue is to name the original songs where many of the lyrics have been lifted from and adapted.

There are a few choice cuts from "Wise Up Ghost".
Read more ›
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David A. Norris on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great EC disc, which may well attract new listeners to his music and will be welcomed by those of us who already have been convinced. This albumn just has more that grabs you and no sense of there being either filler or overly complicated songs that have been smattered through some of his more recent offerings. This has immediacy, good strong tunes, great singing, and lyrically is direct and highly attractive. It is varied and really commands your attention from start to finish. oone of the best discs of this year that I have heard.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great collaboration between two masters of their own game. Don't come here with any preconceptions. There are some real quality musical moments here
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By robotfish TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
I listened to this streamed on the website of one of our national broadsheet newspapers. It is an intriguing album. Elvis has a history of collaborations (Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint etc) but I can't say I saw this one coming after a recent resurgence of form (National Ransom and Momofoku are both excellent).

However I liked what I heard. Some new music alongside snippets of old (I hear Pills & Soap, Satellite, Invasion Hit Parade, Chewing Gum & Pulling Out The Pin amongst others). Some lyrics are pulled wholesale e.g. Pills & Soap & IHP, whereas some songs are built around riffs. For instance Tripwire, which sounds like Satellite played through a musical box.

Nerdy old-song explorations aside the album sounds pretty exciting. The Roots bring a taut sparse sound that recalls the early work of the Attractions to some degree. I will admit, though, that I felt my interest wane towards the end. Even so, I am sure I will play this on repeat for weeks, but am not so sure its a top-tier Costello release.
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By Poly on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wise Up Ghost is definitely a grower, that's not to say there's nothing to enjoy on the first listen. It's just that this is another new Elvis sound and it takes time to acclimatise to this. The Roots appear to be in the driving seat musically, with a crisp clear sound.

There are some great tracks on this album that begin to show themselves to you on repeated listening, with my current favourites being 'I Refuse To Be Saved' and 'Tripwire'. I Refuse To Be Saved is especially good when the volume is up.

Others have commented on Elvis vocals here and I have to agree that he sounds better than he has in a while. There are always moments on his releases that leave you feeling he is trying a little too hard to hit that note, but on Wise Up Ghost I have not been left with that feeling.

Another above average if not great album by EC. Looking forward to the documentary on BBC4 on Friday (8th November 2013) and Saturday (9th November 2013) night
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elbuho on 2 Jan. 2014
Format: Vinyl
I'm not a huge fan of Elvis Costello's recent output, but this is massively brilliant. One of my albums of the year. The pairing of EC's vocals and lyrics with a laidback hiphop groove is a winner.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am delighted that Elvis Costello can still surprise and enlighten me after all these years. Sometime he experiments and it does not succeed. Here he triumphs. A great deal of the album is courageous and funky re-workings of melodies from his neglected classic "North" album. It should not work. It does. His lyrical talent has lost nothing over the decades. Brave words that I am happy to carry as a commentary on the world as we find it. "If I could believe" could speak for me even in the sadder months of a bereavement.
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