Song of the Day #3,256: ‘Black Sails in the Sunset’ – Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello in his prime was as prolific and consistently excellent as anybody to ever step in front of a microphone.

Today’s Random SOTD, ‘Black Sails in the Sunset,’ was left on the cutting room floor during the recording of 1981’s Trust. It’s certainly worthy of inclusion on that album or any other, and yet it’s far from the best outtake Costello has released. His rejects are better than most people’s official catalogs.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #1,016: ‘Black Sails in the Sunset’ – Elvis Costello

In 1996, Elvis Costello toured in support of his All This Useless Beauty album with a series of low-key shows featuring just him on acoustic guitar and his longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve on piano.

The same year, Costello released a limited edition box set compiling performances from five nights of that tour. Each 5- or 6-track CD contained recordings from one U.S. city: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New York. It wasn’t the most fan-friendly packaging (each CD runs a little more than 20 minutes, meaning the whole thing could have fit on one or two discs) but it was a special collection.

Continue reading