Timeline Albums, EPs & singles Songs Films Concerts Sessions People Interviews Articles

Release date : Monday, May 13, 1991

Mighty Like a Rose

By Elvis CostelloOfficial album • Part of the collection “Paul McCartney as producer, composer, or session musician in the 90s

Last updated on March 18, 2017

Track list

Hide track details

Disc 1

  1. The Other Side Of Summer

    3:56 • Studio version

  2. Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)

    4:06 • Studio version

  3. How To Be Dumb

    5:14 • Studio version

  4. All Grown Up

    4:18 • Studio version

  5. Invasion Hit Parade

    5:34 • Studio version

  6. Harpies Bizarre

    3:44 • Studio version

  7. After The Fall

    4:36 • Studio version

  8. Georgie And Her Rival

    3:38 • Studio version

  9. So Like Candy

    Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

    4:37 • Studio versionA

    Marc Ribot : Electric guitar, Spanish guitar Elvis Costello : Acoustic rhythm guitar, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals Mitchell Froom : Celeste, Chamberlain, Mellotron, Producer Jim Keltner : Drums Larry Knechtel : Tack piano Jerry Scheff : Bass T-Bone Wolk : Intro/outro bass figures Kevin Killen : Producer

    Recording : Late 1990 - early 1991 • Studio Ocean Way, Hollywood & Westside Studios, London

  10. Interlude- Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 2

    0:22 • Studio version

  11. Playboy To A Man

    Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

    3:20 • Studio versionA

    Marc Ribot : Guitar section Elvis Costello : 12-string rickenbacker, Big stupid guitar, Cox organ, Producer, Vocals Mitchell Froom : "piano frenzy", Cox organ, Producer Jim Keltner : Drums Larry Knechtel : "piano frenzy", Upright piano Jerry Scheff : Bass Kevin Killen : Producer Benmont Tench : "piano frenzy"

    Recording : Late 1990 - early 1991 • Studio Ocean Way, Hollywood & Westside Studios, London

  12. Sweet Pear

    3:37 • Studio version

  13. Broken

    3:37 • Studio version

  14. Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4

    3:49 • Studio version

From Wikipedia:

Mighty Like A Rose is the 13th studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released in 1991 on compact disc as Warner Brothers 26575. The title is presumably a reference to the pop standard “Mighty Lak’ a Rose“, and although that song does not appear on the album, the words of its first stanza are quoted in the booklet of the 2002 reissue. It peaked at No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart, and at No. 55 on the Billboard 200.


Originally this album was to be released under Costello’s actual name Declan MacManus, having grown tired of the Elvis Costello pseudonym. Record label pressures, however, won the day and it was released as an Elvis Costello record.

Mighty Like a Rose continues in the vein of Costello’s previous album Spike from 1989, although with Mitchell Froom taking over the producer’s chair from T-Bone Burnett. This time, the tracks were recorded in one location, Ocean Way in Hollywood, with orchestral and vocal overdubs taking place at Westside Studios in London. Two more songs from his collaboration with Paul McCartney appear, “Playboy to a Man” and a song selected as a single, “So Like Candy“.

Costello refers to this as an angry record, recorded in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The opening track, “The Other Side of Summer” was designed as a Beach Boys pastiche after their style in the early 1970s. The track “Invasion Hit Parade” features a trumpet solo by Costello’s father, Ross MacManus. The album also features a song written by his wife at the time, Cait O’Riordan, “Broken“. The album is dedicated to her.

The lead single, “The Other Side of Summer“, peaked at No. 43 on the UK Singles Chart. Although it missed the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, it reached No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 40 on the Album Rock Tracks chart. The second single, “So Like Candy“, did not chart in either nation.

Release history

The album was released initially on compact disc in 1991. As part of the Rhino Records reissue campaign for Costello’s back catalogue from Demon/Columbia and Warners, it was re-released in 2002 with 17 additional tracks on a bonus disc. Several of these were recorded at Costello’s home. […]

Paul McCartney writing

Talk more talk, chat more chat

Notice any inaccuracies on this page? Have additional insights or ideas for new content? Or just want to share your thoughts? We value your feedback! Please use the form below to get in touch with us.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2024 • Please note this site is strictly non-commercial. All pictures, videos & quoted texts remain the property of the respective copyright owner, and no implication of ownership by us is intended or should be inferred. Any copyright owner who wants something removed should contact us and we will do so immediately. Alternatively, we would be delighted to provide credits.