Elvis Costello quotes

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Elvis Costello

Birthdate: 25. August 1954

Declan Patrick MacManus , better known by his stage name Elvis Costello, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, author, television presenter, and occasional actor.

He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and new wave movement that emerged in the mid-to-late 1970s. His critically acclaimed debut album, My Aim Is True, was released in 1977. Shortly after recording it, he formed the Attractions as his backing band. His second album, This Year's Model, was released in 1978, and was ranked number 11 by Rolling Stone on its list of the best albums from 1967–1987. His third album, Armed Forces, was released in 1979, and features his highest-charting single "Oliver's Army" . His first three albums all appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Costello and the Attractions toured and recorded together for the better part of a decade, though differences between them caused a split by 1986. Much of Costello's work since has been as a solo artist, though reunions with members of the Attractions have been credited to the group over the years. Steeped in wordplay, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broad. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image".He has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male Singer. In 2003, Costello and the Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.Costello has co-written several original songs for motion pictures, including "God Give Me Strength" from Grace of My Heart and "The Scarlet Tide" from Cold Mountain . For the latter, Costello was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

„Alison, I know this world is killing you.“

—  Elvis Costello

Alison
Song lyrics, My Aim Is True (1977)
Context: Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.
My aim is true.

„Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity“

—  Elvis Costello

All This Useless Beauty
Song lyrics, All This Useless Beauty (1996)
Context: Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity
If something you missed didn't even exist
It was just an ideal — is it such a surprise?

„As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?“

—  Elvis Costello

Though Costello's cover became a hit, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", was actually written by Nick Lowe.
Misattributed
Context: As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love, & Understanding?

„My sense of history in music is much greater than a lot of people's.“

—  Elvis Costello

dig interview (2004)
Context: My sense of history in music is much greater than a lot of people's. I listen a lot further back in the whole history of music. It's not just pop music of the last 20, 30, 40, 50 years. I'm listening to stuff from hundreds of years ago as well, because you can learn from everything.

„The first song that most people picked up on, particularly in America, of mine, was a ballad, not a rock'n'roll song.“

—  Elvis Costello

dig interview (2004)
Context: The first song that most people picked up on, particularly in America, of mine, was a ballad, not a rock'n'roll song. It was 'Alison', and that's an R&B ballad. I don't think there's any other way to describe it.

„Obviously, when I started out, I had a little bit more curiosity than some“

—  Elvis Costello

dig interview (2004)
Context: Obviously, when I started out, I had a little bit more curiosity than some, and went seeking out the original artists, or in some cases searching up country music. I followed The Byrds a lot, and then when they did a country styled record it made me curious to know who these people were that they liked.

„I don't feel any form of music is beyond me in the sense of that I don't understand it or I don't have some love for some part of it.“

—  Elvis Costello

dig interview (2004)
Context: I don't feel any form of music is beyond me in the sense of that I don't understand it or I don't have some love for some part of it. And if there's something in it that I can respond to, then there's something that I might be able to use as a composer. There are records of mine that have had smaller audiences and have provoked really drastic responses from people — particularly from critics — who maybe don't have quite enough time to live with the record or accept that a piece has its own integrity.

„You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end
At the other end of the telescope.“

—  Elvis Costello

The Other End (of the Telescope), written by Elvis Costello and Aimee Mann
Song lyrics, All This Useless Beauty (1996)
Context: There's always something that's smoldering somewhere
I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh! It sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end
At the other end of the telescope.

„I had a lot of problems with my name … my first name Declan is really not very well known outside of Ireland, MacManus is a name they could never spell …“

—  Elvis Costello

On using the name "Elvis" as a stage name in The First 10 Years Podcast Series http://www.elviscostello.com/media.aspx - Episode Two
Context: I had a lot of problems with my name … my first name Declan is really not very well known outside of Ireland, MacManus is a name they could never spell... if you think about the names of '76, '77 … I got off kind of lightly — with a name you could live with, you know, in time. … I kind of liked the dare of it. Of course we weren't to know that within a month of my first album actually being issued Elvis Presley would die, and it would actually be a talking point. … Let me put it this way — people don't forget you with that name. It's sort of receded as — and this may sound terribly disrespectful and heretical — but as Elvis Presley has receded as a musical force, people make much less of a case about it. Elvis is a sort of cultural figure but there is no direct line between the music of Elvis Presley and the music of today. There is none whatsoever, he's no influence whatsoever, that I can detect, on music made today. Other than people who consciously retro in styling themselves after his ideas. There is no direct impact in the way that you can hear the influence of The Beatles or Stevie Wonder or numerous other people.

„There's always something that's smoldering somewhere“

—  Elvis Costello

The Other End (of the Telescope), written by Elvis Costello and Aimee Mann
Song lyrics, All This Useless Beauty (1996)
Context: There's always something that's smoldering somewhere
I know it don't make a difference to you
But oh! It sure made a difference to me
You'll see me off in the distance, I hope
At the other end
At the other end of the telescope.

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„Oh I used to be disgusted
and now I try to be amused.“

—  Elvis Costello

(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
Song lyrics, My Aim Is True (1977)
Context: Oh I used to be disgusted
and now I try to be amused.
But since their wings have got rusted,
you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

„With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls.“

—  Elvis Costello

Shipbuilding, written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer
Song lyrics, Punch the Clock (1983)
Context: The boy said 'Dad they're going to take me to task
But I'll be back by Christmas'
It's just a rumour that was spread around town
Somebody said that someone got filled in
For saying that people get killed in
The result of this shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls.

„You might have never heard, but God's comic.“

—  Elvis Costello

God's Comic
Song lyrics, Spike (1989)
Context: Now Im dead, now Im dead, and you're all
Going on to meet your reward. Are you scared? Are you scared? Are you scared? Are you scared?
You might have never heard, but God's comic.

„Sometimes you confuse me with Santa Claus
It's the big white beard I suppose.“

—  Elvis Costello

God's Comic YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0N6TfU54o8
Song lyrics, Spike (1989)
Context: While you lie in the dark, afraid to breathe and
you beg and you promise
And you bargain and you plead
Sometimes you confuse me with Santa Claus
It's the big white beard I suppose.
Im going up to the pole, where you folks die of cold
I might be gone for a while if you need me.

„Obviously the people that I admired, like the Beatles, were really into rock'n'roll, but it was already a little past rock'n'roll when I started listening and making my own choices about music.“

—  Elvis Costello

dig interview (2004)
Context: Obviously the people that I admired, like the Beatles, were really into rock'n'roll, but it was already a little past rock'n'roll when I started listening and making my own choices about music. I've been lucky to listen to lots of different types of music.

„What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love, & Understanding?“

—  Elvis Costello

Though Costello's cover became a hit, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", was actually written by Nick Lowe.
Misattributed
Context: As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout Peace, Love, & Understanding?

„I kind of liked the dare of it. Of course we weren't to know that within a month of my first album actually being issued Elvis Presley would die, and it would actually be a talking point. … Let me put it this way — people don't forget you with that name.“

—  Elvis Costello

On using the name "Elvis" as a stage name in The First 10 Years Podcast Series http://www.elviscostello.com/media.aspx - Episode Two
Context: I had a lot of problems with my name … my first name Declan is really not very well known outside of Ireland, MacManus is a name they could never spell... if you think about the names of '76, '77 … I got off kind of lightly — with a name you could live with, you know, in time. … I kind of liked the dare of it. Of course we weren't to know that within a month of my first album actually being issued Elvis Presley would die, and it would actually be a talking point. … Let me put it this way — people don't forget you with that name. It's sort of receded as — and this may sound terribly disrespectful and heretical — but as Elvis Presley has receded as a musical force, people make much less of a case about it. Elvis is a sort of cultural figure but there is no direct line between the music of Elvis Presley and the music of today. There is none whatsoever, he's no influence whatsoever, that I can detect, on music made today. Other than people who consciously retro in styling themselves after his ideas. There is no direct impact in the way that you can hear the influence of The Beatles or Stevie Wonder or numerous other people.

„My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant, someone who disrupts the daily drag of life just enough to leave the victim thinking there's maybe more to it all than the mere hum-drum quality of existence.“

—  Elvis Costello

New Music Express interview with Nick Kent (1978); quoted in Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, and the Torch Song Tradition (2004) by Larry David Smith, p. 166

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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