Friday, June 12, 2020

Elvis Costello dives into his rhyming dictionary for New Amsterdam

Elvis Costello and the Attractions : New Amsterdam

In June of 1980 Elvis Costello released the UK#36 New Amsterdam EP, featuring the Get Happy!! single and three more tracks. Most Americans would have to wait for the Taking Liberties compilation later in the year to hear these tracks. "New Amsterdam" was recorded in a demo studio. Costello writes in the Girls! Girls! Girls! liner notes: 

As you might guess I didn't use a metronome but I did employ the owner's exotic equipment; vibes! a fretless bass! a very nasty synth! even God forbid, DRUMS!!!The first in an occasional series: A bewildered lad, alone in New York, except for his rhyming dictionary. 

The single is followed by "Dr Luther's Assistant", about a young man who is filmed making time with Dr Luther's wife by none other than Dr. Luther himself. Pete Thomas joins Elvis on this one.


The Smash Hits review:


Flip it over and you have "Ghost Train", recorded by Costello alone at the same demo studio as "New Amsterdam". Costello plays Spanish guitar, marimba and fretless bass .

The final track is "Just A Memory", recorded with Steve Nieve on keyboards. It was first performed in concert in Seattle in 1981 and was apparently reworked for Dusty Springfield. 

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