Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...

Wednesday 9:00 PM on Sundance Channel
8.5
10
9.5
9.0
8.5
8.0
7.5
7.0
6.5
6.0
5.5
5.0
4.5
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
N/A
Rate Show
12 votes
Follow
  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 0

    Inside Notes

    Aired 1/1/11

  • S 2 : Ep 7

    Bruce Springsteen (Pt 2)

    Aired 1/20/10

  • S 2 : Ep 6

    Bruce Springsteen (Pt 1)

    Aired 1/13/10

  • S 2 : Ep 5

    Lyle Lovett

    Aired 1/13/10

  • S 2 : Ep 4

    Elvis Costello

    Aired 1/6/10

  • Cast & Crew
  • Elvis Costello

    Host

  • Steve Nieve

    Himself - Keyboards

  • Pete Thomas

    Himself - Drums

  • Davey Faragher

    Himself - Bass/Vocal

  • The Edge

  • Photos (2)
  • show Description
  • Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... fuses the best elements of talk radio and music television, inviting viewers to enjoy rare musical performances and intimate conversations between the award-winning host and his iconic guests - each of whom is an influential figure from the world of music, politics or film. Explaining his approach, Elvis said, "I'm not interested in extracting some dark secret. I'd rather hear about a bright secret, a deep love or a curiosity that might be otherwise obscured by fame. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk in complete thoughts about music, movies, art or even vaudeville - then frame it with unique and illustrative performances." Guest artists, who run the gamut from legendary performers to notable newcomers, demonstrate the development and creation of their music - often by playing new, stripped-down, acoustic, impromptu or solo versions of some of their best and most popular songs. Elvis and The Imposters perform interpretations of songs either by or associated with the featured guests. In addition, the show features extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime musical collaborations. Spectacle airs on the Sundance Channel in the U.S., Channel 4 in the U.K. and CTV & Bravo in Canada. Elsewhere, FremantleMedia distributes the show worldwide. In addition, Season 1 of Spectacle is now available on iTunes and a DVD/Blu-ray box set was released throughout North America on November 17, 2009. The show is recorded before a live audience at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater in New York City and Toronto's historic Masonic Temple.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • EarlyMemphis

    User Score: 285

    EDITOR

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (155)

    • Elvis: I will say that, for those of you that don't remember it because you're too young, there was this incredibly rich period of music, from about 1968 to 1971, when the introspective singer-songwriters achieved equal importance with heavy rock. Composers and sometimes eccentric-sounding singers, such as Randy Newman and Laura Nyro, wrote hit tunes and had big successes.

    • Elton: The Beatles started everything off with writing their own songs and let's not forget how important that was in the history of popular music, because Elvis Presley always relied on songs written by other people. And in those days, songwriters weren't professional performers.

    • Elton: It's got to the point now where there are no real professional songwriters anymore. Well, there are, but it's not so important anymore. And, unfortunately, more people try and write their own songs and they're not so good at it.

    • Elton: (on Leon Russell) He started to write the most incredible songs and I went to see him in England and fell in love with the way he played the piano and the way he sang. And, I don't think … he didn't influence me at all vocally because no-one's got that kind of voice, he's got the most incredibly unorthodox voice. But certainly, piano-playing wise, I'd say he's my biggest hero. And he's, you know, because I toured with him, I mean, I have to tell everyone I did two tours with Leon Russell. We were both happening at the same time. He was happening, I was happening. He was top of the bill, I was second on the bill. And I was terrified of him, um, because he looked like this … he looked like Rasputin, kind of.

    • Elton: (on Leon Russell) He started to write the most incredible songs and I went to see him in England and fell in love with the way he played the piano and the way he sang. And, I don't think … he didn't influence me at all vocally because no-one's got that kind of voice, he's got the most incredibly unorthodox voice. But certainly, piano-playing wise, I'd say he's my biggest hero. And he's, you know, because I toured with him, I mean, I have to tell everyone I did two tours with Leon Russell. We were both happening at the same time. He was happening, I was happening. He was top of the bill, I was second on the bill. And I was terrified of him, um, because he looked like this … he looked like Rasputin, kind of.

    • Elton: (on Leon Russell) I remember once we were in Cleveland playing and staying in the same hotel and I had to go ask him what time sound check was … He opened the door and he was completely naked and I went "Oh, my God". Umm, and I didn't know where to look. Well, I did, but I didn't. (laughs) Elvis: That's not what you said before. Elton: No, not exactly.

    • Elton: (on Laura Nyro) I idolized her. She was the first person, songwriting-wise, that there were no rules - there were tempo changes. You know, that wasn't verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight. She didn't write in that kind of a way. And that put in my mind that you didn't have to write in that old template, you know, that everybody else did. She just carried on in her own kind of weird way and the melodies were just fantastic.

    • Elton: (on Laura Nyro) She influenced more songwriters that came out … and successful songwriters, than probably any other songwriter. Because, before her, and this is a program that, you know, I want to eulogize these people because if you don't know who they are, you've gotta go and discover them. They're just brilliant. They're like going into an old church in Venice an seeing (a) wonderful ,um … Varanasi painting, or something like that. This is music so far ahead of its time that still sounds, when you play it on whatever system you have, still sounds unbelievable. The soul, the passion, the … just the out and out audacity of her, the way … her rhythmic and melody changes come was like nothing I'd ever heard before.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (23)

    • This Week's Guest Musicians James Burton (Guitar) Allen Toussaint (Keyboards/Vocal) Davey Faragher (Bass/Vocal) Pete Thomas (Drums)

    • This Week's Musicians Larry Campbell (Mandolin/Steel Guitar/Vocal) Tony Garnier (Upright Bass) Kevin Hearn (Piano) Steve Nieve (Piano/Accordion) Jenny Scheinman (Fiddle/Violin/Vocal)

    • The Beatles song "In My Life" not only inspired Bill Clinton, it ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.

    • This Week's Guest Musicians James Burton (Guitar) Davey Faragher (Bass/Vocal) Pete Thomas (Drums) Pat Metheny (Guitar) Charlie Haden (Upright Bass)

    • This Week's Guest Musicians Mike Landau (Guitar) Jimmy Johnson (Bass) Steve Gadd (Drums) Laura Cantrell (Vocal) Andrea Zonn (Fiddle, Vocal) David Lasley, Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller (Vocals)

    • In addition to being a well known, contralto voiced Grammy Award-winning jazz musician, Diana Krall is also Elvis Costello's third wife. She and Tony Bennett did a 20-city tour together in 2000.

    • This Week's Guest Musicians Bill Charlap (Piano) Diana Krall (Piano, Vocal) Tony Garnier (Upright Bass)

    • Elvis Costello toured with The Police on the final leg of their huge 2007/2008 30th Anniversary Reunion Tour, the third highest grossing tour of all-time ($340+ Million).

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (15)

    • Song List Border Song (Written by Elton John/Bernie Taupin) Performed by Elvis Costello and band (James Burton, Allen Toussaint, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas) Burn Down the Mission (Written by Elton John/Bernie Taupin) Performed by Elton John (Piano/Vocal) Working in the Coal Mine (Written by Allen Toussaint) Performed by Elton John (Piano/Vocal), Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and band (James Burton, Allen Toussaint, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas) Down River (Written by David Ackles) Performed by Elton John (Piano/Vocal), Elvis Costello (Vocal) and band (James Burton, Allen Toussaint, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas) Ballad of Well-Known Gun (Written by Elton John/Bernie Taupin) Performed by Elvis Costello and band (James Burton, Allen Toussaint, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas)

    • Song List Femme Fatale (Velvet Underground-Written by Lou Reed) Performed by Elvis Costello and band (Larry Campbell, Tony Garnier, Steve Nieve, Jenny Scheinman) I'm Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground-Written by Lou Reed) Performed by Elvis Costello and band (Larry Campbell, Tony Garnier, Steve Nieve, Jenny Scheinman) Perfect Day (Written by Lou Reed) Performed by Lou Reed (Vocal), Elvis Costello (Vocal) (Kevin Hearn and Steve Nieve on Pianos) Set the Twilight Reeling (Written by Lou Reed) Performed by Lou Reed (Lead Guitar, Vocal), Elvis Costello (Guitar, Vocal) (Kevin Hearn is credited but is neither seen nor heard)

    • Song List Mystery Train (Elvis Presley-Written by Junior Parker/Sam Phillips) Performed by Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and band (James Burton, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas) Baby Let's Play House (Elvis Presley-Written by Arthur Gunter) Performed by Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and band (James Burton, Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas) Is This America? (Katrina 2005) Performed by Pat Metheny (Guitar) and Charlie Haden (Upright Bass)

    • Song List Bartenders Blues (Written by James Taylor) Performed by Elvis (Guitar/Vocal), Laura Cantrell (Vocal) She Thinks I Still Care (George Jones-Written By Dickey Lee) Performed by James Taylor (Guitar, Vocal), Elvis (Vocal) Why Baby Why (Written By George Jones/Darrell Edwards) Performed By James Taylor (Guitar/Vocal) and band (Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Mike Landau, Andrea Zonn, David Lasley, Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller) Crying In The Rain (Everly Brothers-Written By King/Greenfield) Performed By James Taylor (Guitar/Vocal), Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and band (Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Mike Landau) Fire And Rain (Written by James Taylor) Performed By James Taylor (Guitar/Vocal) and band (Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Mike Landau) That Lonesome Road (Written by James Taylor/Don Grolnick) Performed By James Taylor (Vocal) and chorus (Andrea Zonn, David Lasley, Kate Markowitz, Arnold McCuller) Sweet Baby James (Written by James Taylor) Performed By James Taylor (Guitar/Vocal) and band (Jimmy Johnson, Steve Gadd, Mike Landau, Andrea Zonn) The Hippopotamus Song (Written by M. Flanders/D. Swann) Performed By James Taylor (Vocal) and Elvis Costello (Vocal) - Snippet

    • Song List Cold, Cold Heart (Written by Hank Williams) Performed by Elvis (Guitar/Vocal), Tony Garnier (Upright Bass) The Way You Look Tonight (Written By Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern) Performed by Tony Bennett (Vocal), Bill Charlap (Piano) I'm Old Fashioned (Written By Jerome Kern /Johnny Mercer) Performed by Tony Bennett (Vocal), Bill Charlap (Piano) I've Got The World On A String (Written By Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler) Performed by Tony Bennett (Vocal), Diana Krall (Piano/Vocal) Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me) (Written by George/Ira Gershwin) Performed by Tony Bennett (Vocal), Bill Charlap (Piano)

    • Song List Every Breath You Take (The Police-Written by Sting) Performed By Elvis Costello (Guitar, Vocal) and band (Davey Faragher, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas) Weird Nightmare (Written By Elvis Costello/Charles Mingus) Elvis (Vocal), Andy Summers (Guitar) Roxanne (The Police-Written by Sting) Sting (Guitar, Vocal) - Alternate Arrangement/Snippet Allison (Written By Elvis Costello) Elvis (Guitar/Vocal), Sting (Vocal) - Alternate Arrangement/Snippet Flow My Tears (Written By John Dowland) Sting (Lute/Vocal), Elvis (Vocal) Watching The Detectives (Written By Elvis Costello) Elvis Costello (Guitar, Vocal) and band (Davey Faragher, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas) The Police … Sting (Bass, Vocal), Andy Summers (Guitar), Stewart Copeland (Drums) Walking On The Moon (The Police-Written by Sting) Elvis Costello (Guitar, Vocal) and band (Davey Faragher, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas) The Police … Sting (Bass, Vocal), Andy Summers (Guitar), Stewart Copeland (Drums) Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream-Written by Bruce/Brown/Clapton) Elvis Costello (Guitar, Vocal) and band (Davey Faragher, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas) The Police … Sting (Bass, Vocal), Andy Summers (Guitar), Stewart Copeland (Drums)

    • Song List If I Only Had A Brain (Written by Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg) Performed By Elvis Costello (Vocal) and Bill Frissel (Guitar) Memphis Skyline (Written by Rufus Wainwright) Performed By Rufus Wainwright (Piano/Vocal) New Paint (Written by Loudon Wainwright III) Performed By Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) Vibrate (Written by Rufus Wainwright) Performed By Rufus Wainwright (Piano/Vocal) Willie Moore (Traditional) Performed By Rufus Wainwright (Vocal) and Kate McGarrigle (Banjo/Vocal) With Elvis Costello (Guitar), Bill Frissel (Guitar) and Gabriel Kahane (Piano)

    • Song List Big River (Written by Johnny Cash) Performed by Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal), Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Vocal) Rosanne Cash (Guitar/Vocal), Norah Jones (Guitar/Vocal) John Mellencamp (Guitar/Vocal) and John Leventhal (Electric Guitar) Small Town (Written by John Mellencamp) Performed By John Mellencamp (Guitar/Vocal) With Elvis Costello (Guitar), John Leventhal (Guitar) and Kris Kristofferson (Guitar) How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart (Written by Hank Williams/Norah Jones) Performed by Norah Jones (Guitar/Vocal) With Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Vocal) and John Leventhal (Electric Guitar) Sunday Morning Coming Down (Written by Kris Kristofferson) Performed by Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Vocal) Seven Year Ache (Written by Rosanne Cash) Performed by Rosanne Cash (Guitar/Vocal) and Norah Jones (Vocal) With Elvis Costello (Guitar), Kris Kristofferson (Guitar), John Mellencamp (Vocal) and John Leventhal (Lead Guitar) From Sulfur To Sugarcane (Written by Elvis Costello/T-Bone Burnett) Performed by Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) and John Leventhal (Lead Guitar) Longest Days (Written by John Mellencamp) Performed By John Mellencamp (Guitar/Vocal) April 5th (Written by R. Cash/E. Costello/K. Kristofferson) Performed by Rosanne Cash (Vocal), Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Vocal) and John Leventhal (Lead Guitar) Here Comes That Rainbow Again (Written by Kris Kristofferson) Performed by Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Harmonica/Vocal) Me And Bobby McGee (Written by Kris Kristofferson/Fred Foster) Performed by Kris Kristofferson (Guitar/Harmonica/Vocal) Rosanne Cash (Vocal), Norah Jones (Guitar/Vocal), Elvis Costello (Guitar/Vocal) John Mellencamp (Vocal) and John Leventhal (Lead Guitar)

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (3)

    • Rufus: It would be nice to really work the system … get on the radio and have a hit video and all of that ... And I have sort of tried to do that in my own way, which is so far out of the ball park from what people actually do to … be famous. Um, I'm like, "Let's do Grey Gardens! Grey Gardens was a 1975 documentary by the Maysles brothers which was later adapted into a Tony Award winning Broadway musical and book. Salon.com reports describing "Grey Gardens as a cult sensation is like calling Star Wars a popular science fiction movie." So this "cult sensation" is the most commercial thing Rufus, who wrote a song entitled "Grey Gardens" for his album Poses, can think of doing.

    • Elvis: "… a man came down on a flaming pie …" In explaining how he got his stage name, Elvis references The Beatles story about how they got their name. Paul McCartney (with whom Elvis has written some very nice songs) used the line in his tune, Flaming Pie. Paul recollects Lennon's tale of how the band got their famous name : "John joked that the name Beatles came in a vision from a man on a flaming pie, coming unto us … 'You are Beatles with an A.'"

    • Diana:… I'm an entertainer, and I also love fashion, and (singing) "I enjoy being a girl." Diana is referring to the 1958 Broadway hit musical by Rogers and Hammerstein, Flower Drum Song, which was made into a film in 1961. I Enjoy Being a Girl is a song about how much the character of Nancy Kwan enjoys girlish pursuits such as dressing up, getting a new hair-do, and curling her eyelashes.

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Terrific music, historic collaboration between Sir Elton and Elvis Costello.

    By MDFandEEF, Feb 14, 2009

  • Music fans rejoice!

    By m00nshadow, Jan 02, 2009

  • Related