Spike

By Elvis CostelloOfficial album• Part of the collection “Paul McCartney as producer, composer, or session musician in the 80s

Timeline See what happened in 1989

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

...This Town...

Written by Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

4:31 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Rickenbacker bass
Elvis Costello:
Acoustic guitar, Gretch, Melodica, Organ, Piano, Producer, Rickenbacker 6-string, Spider guitar, Tambourine, Vocals
Jim Keltner:
Extra snare drum
Kevin Killen:
Producer
T Bone Burnett:
Acoustic guitar, Producer
Ralph Forbes:
Electric drums
Michael Blair:
Bells, Glockenspiel
Cait O'Riordan:
Lunge maracas
Roger McGuinn:
Rickenbacker 12-string guitar

Recording:
1988
Studio:
Ocean Way, Los Angeles & AIR Studios, London


2.

Let Him Dangle

4:45 • Studio version


3.

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror

4:06 • Studio version


4.

Veronica

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:09 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Hofner bass
Elvis Costello:
Electric guitars, Producer, Vocals
Mitchell Froom:
Chamberlain, Wurlitzer electric piano
Jerry Marotta:
Drums
Kevin Killen:
Producer
Benmont Tench:
Baldwin spinet, Piano
T Bone Burnett:
Acoustic guitar, Producer
Michael Blair:
Glockenspiel, Tympani

Recording:
1988
Studio:
Ocean Way, Los Angeles & AIR Studios, London


5.

God's Comic

5:31 • Studio version


6.

Chewing Gum

3:46 • Studio version


7.

Tramp the Dirt Down

5:41 • Studio version


8.

Stalin Malone

4:09 • Studio version


9.

Satellite

5:44 • Studio version


10.

Pads, Paws and Claws

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

2:56 • Studio versionA

Marc Ribot:
"alligator" guitar, Electric guitar
Elvis Costello:
Hofner bass, Piano, Producer, Sub-aqua & acoustic guitars, Vocals
Jerry Marotta:
Drums
Jerry Scheff:
Bass
Kevin Killen:
Producer
T Bone Burnett:
Producer, Trigger bass
Michael Blair:
Marimba, Martian-dog bark

Recording:
1988
Studio:
Ocean Way, Los Angeles


11.

Baby Plays Around

2:47 • Studio version


12.

Miss Macbeth

4:23 • Studio version


13.

Any King's Shilling

6:06 • Studio version


14.

Coal-Train Robberies

3:18 • Studio version


15.

Last Boat Leaving

3:31 • Studio version

Disc 2


1.

Miss Macbeth

3:51 • Studio version


2.

...This Town...

Written by Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:50 • DemoB

Elvis Costello:
Guitars, Percussion, Piano, Vocals

Recording:
Feb 16, 1988
Studio:
Eden Studios, London


3.

Deep Dark Truthful Mirror

4:07 • Studio version


4.

Coal-Train Robberies

2:51 • Studio version


5.

Satellite

4:51 • Studio version


6.

Pads, Paws and Claws

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

2:07 • DemoB

Elvis Costello:
Guitar, Piano, Vocals

Recording:
May 1987
Studio:
Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin


7.

Let Him Dangle

3:39 • Studio version


8.

Veronica

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:03 • DemoB

Elvis Costello:
Guitar, Piano, Vocals

Recording:
May 1987
Studio:
Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin


9.

Tramp the Dirt Down

5:19 • Studio version


10.

Baby Plays Around

2:42 • Studio version


11.

Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness

3:16 • Studio version


12.

Last Boat Leaving

3:29 • Studio version


13.

The Ugly Things

2:55 • Studio version


14.

You're No Good

2:22 • Studio version


15.

Point of No Return

2:34 • Studio version


16.

The Room Nobody Lives In

4:46 • Studio version


17.

Stalin Malone

3:12 • Studio version

About

From Wikipedia:

Spike is the 12th studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released on compact disc as Warner Brothers 25848. It was his first album for the label. It peaked at No. 5 on the UK album chart. It also reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200 thanks to the single and his most notable American hit, “Veronica,” which reached No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 on the US Modern Rock chart.

Content

In 1987, Costello began writing with Paul McCartney for the latter’s Flowers in the Dirt album. They composed a dozen songs together, which showed up on multiple albums by McCartney and Costello. Two of those songs appear on this album, “Pads, Paws and Claws” and the hit single ” Veronica“.

As his first album for a new label, in his own words Costello had the budget of “a small independent movie,” and having in mind the blueprint for five different albums, decided to make all of them. He brought back his foil from King of America, T-Bone Burnett, to facilitate the sessions and produce the album. Studio time was booked in four different locations: Ocean Way in Hollywood; Southland Studios in New Orleans; Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin; and AIR Studios in London. Four different groups of musicians were assembled in each location. Writing credits on the album are given to both Elvis Costello and Declan MacManus, Costello’s birth name.

The single “Veronica” peaked at No. 31 on the UK singles chart and at No. 19 in America, his best showing ever on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached No.1 on the US Modern Rock chart. “This Town” was also released as a single but missed both of the main singles chart in both nations. An extended play single was also released for “Baby Plays Around,” peaking at No. 65 in the UK.

The second track, “Let Him Dangle“, is a protest song opposing capital punishment, recounting the conviction and execution of Derek Bentley.

The seventh track, “Tramp the Dirt Down,” is a fiery lament, depicting Costello’s anger at the Thatcher government and its effect on Britain’s society. In the song, Costello expresses his desire to live long enough to see Margaret Thatcher die and vows, “I’ll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down.” “I wish I’d written ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’,” said singer Natalie Merchant. The song reached No. 79 on the iTunes chart following Thatcher’s death in April 2013. In addition, he played this song at Glastonbury 2013 having previously performed it there on the Pyramid Stage in 1987.

Lyrics are given in the booklet for the eighth track, “Stalin Malone,” but the album recording is an instrumental and does not include vocals. A version with a recitation of the lyrics as poetry appears on the 2001 bonus disc.

Release history

The album was released initially on compact disc in 1989. As part of the Rhino Records reissue campaign for Costello’s back catalogue from Demon/Columbia and Warners, it was re-released in 2001 with 17 additional tracks on a bonus disc. The bonus disc included three tracks with Nick Lowe on bass and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas for use as b-sides, recorded at Wessex Sound Studios after the Spike mixing sessions. […]

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