On this maiden voyage, Elvis Costello is a bit rough around the edges on interviewing, but Sir Elton certainly doesn't let the conversation drop. It's the performances that stand out -- several unique collaborations that preview the wonderful riches still in store on subsequent episodes of "Spectacle". The backing band is Elvis Costello's Imposters with the great Allen Toussaint along for the ride. They open the show with a fabulous rendition of Elton's "Border Song." The conversation reveals interesting nuggets, but the episode climaxes with the closing song: Costello and Elton's duet on "Down River" -- utterly stirring and certainly leaves the audience wanting more!
Costello has an amazing line-up of famous guests, who reminisce about everything from their pre-fame jobs to encounters with musical superstars of days of yore. Each show opens with an ensemble performance of a classic hit song by Costello. Then the guest comes out and they chat, punctuated by ads that are mostly showcases for young performers, which is way cool, and additional performances by the guest(s) and Costello.
Costello's questions range from the simple (What's your favorite Police song?) to the intricate (see the quotes for the Tony Bennett episode). Guests reminisce about their early musical influences, tell anecdotes, and generally enjoy themselves. If you like music, you will enjoy them, too.
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