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Elvis Costello - Mighty Like A Rose

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Mighty Like A Rose

Elvis Costello

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If Spike seemed frustratingly incoherent, it's nothing compared to Mighty Like a Rose, a deliberately dense, difficult record that is easily the most impenetrable that Elvis Costello ever cut. With producers Mitchell Froom and Kevin Killen, Costello made a record with no easy entrances, even if the sparkling Beach Boys-esque "The Other Side of Summer" and the lovely "So Like Candy" would have been accessible with different production. And, certainly, production is the most notable thing about this record. Filled with clattering production, spongy bass, cardboard guitars, studio white noise, and layers upon layers of tracks, there's so much going on that it's hard to get to the core of the songs. Not that Costello makes it any easier for the listener, either, since only a few songs (the aforementioned pair, plus "All Grown Up" and "Playboy to a Man") don't seem self-satisfied in their own construction. And his performances are nearly as affected as the songs, as he over-sings (albeit for effect) and contributes to the muddy wall of sound. Yes, this is "interesting," but it takes many plays before you realize all those "interesting" effects lead nowhere -- only to the strangest record Costello ever cut (and that's not a compliment, unfortunately). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Mighty Like A Rose

Elvis Costello

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1
The Other Side of Summer
00:03:55

Steve George, Vocals - Benmont Tench, Piano - Larry Knechtel, Organ, Piano - James Burton, Acoustic Guitar - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Bass - Richard Page, Vocals - Pete Thomas, Castanets, Drums, Percussion, Tambourine - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Organ, Piano, Vocal Arranger - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Arranger, Bass, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Producer - Steven Soles, Vocals - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

2
Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)
00:04:05

Nick Lowe, Bass - Benmont Tench, Piano - James Burton, Solo Guitar - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Vocal Arranger - Marc Ribot, Percussion - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Vocals, Writer, Vocal Arranger, Rhythm Guitar, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - Larry Keltner, Writer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

3
How to Be Dumb (Album Version)
00:05:12

Roger Lewis, Baritone Saxophone - Benmont Tench, Piano - Larry Knechtel, Organ, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Bass - Pete Thomas, Drums - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer - Marc Ribot, Rhythm Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Vocal Arranger, MainArtist - PIERRE, Percussion - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

4
All Grown Up (Album Version)
00:04:16

Gavyn Wright, Leader - Jim Keltner, Drums - Fiachra Trench, String Arranger, Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by - Larry Knechtel, Keyboards, Piano - James Burton, Acoustic Guitar - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings, Organ - Marc Ribot, Cornet, Horn - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - McManus, Writer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - T-Bone Wok, Bass

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

5
Invasion Hit Parade (Album Version)
00:05:33

Larry Knechtel, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Pete Thomas, Drums - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings - Marc Ribot, Electric Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Electric Guitar, Organ, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Vocals - McManus, Writer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - T-Bone Wok, Bass

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

6
Harpies Bizarre (Album Version)
00:03:44

Fiachra Trench, Orchestral Arranger - Larry Knechtel, Harpsichord, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Pete Thomas, Drums, Tambourine - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Electric Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Nicholas Bucknall, Clarinet - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - T-Bone Wok, Bass - Andrew Findon, Flute - Neil Levesley, Bassoon - Richard Mortan, Oboe - Simon Rayner, French Horn

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

7
After the Fall (Album Version)
00:04:36

Rob Wasserman, Bass - Larry Knechtel, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer - Marc Ribot, Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Vocals - Steven Soles, Harmony Vocals - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

8
Georgie and Her Rival
00:03:37

Benmont Tench, Spinet - Fiachra Trench, Additional Arrangement by - Larry Knechtel, Piano - James Burton, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Bass - Pete Thomas, Drums - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings, Organ - Marc Ribot, Electric Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Vocals - McManus, Writer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

9
So Like Candy
00:04:36

T-Bone Wolk, Extra Bass - Jim Keltner, Drums - Paul Mccartney, Composer, Writer - Larry Knechtel, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Bass - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings, Mellotron - Marc Ribot, Electric Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, MainArtist - McCarteny, Lyricist - MAC MANUS, Writer - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Lyricist, Producer, Writer - McManus, Composer, Lyricist - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

10
Interlude: Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 2 (Instrumental Album Version)
00:00:22

Lionel Batiste, Snare Drums - Roger Lewis, Baritone Saxophone - Charles Joseph, Trombone - Jenell Marshall, Snare Drums - Gregory Davis, Trumpet - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, MainArtist - Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Performance - Efrem Towns, Trumpet - Kevin Harris, Tenor Saxophone - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - Kirk Joseph, Horn

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

11
Playboy to a Man (Album Version)
00:03:18

Jim Keltner, Drums - Paul Mccartney, Writer - Larry Knechtel, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Bass - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Organ, Additional Piano - Marc Ribot, Electric Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Acoustic Guitar, Organ, Vocals, Hi-String Guitar, MainArtist - MAC MANUS, Writer - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Lyricist, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - Trench, Additional Piano

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

12
Sweet Pear (Album Version)
00:03:36

Roger Lewis, Baritone Saxophone - Charles Joseph, Trombone - Gregory Davis, Trumpet - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Pete Thomas, Drums - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Writer, MainArtist - Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Performance - Efrem Towns, Trumpet - Kevin Harris, Tenor Saxophone - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Producer - McManus, Writer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - Jerry Shreff, Bass - Kirk Joseph, Horn

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

13
Broken (Album Version)
00:03:36

Rob Wasserman, Bass - O'Riordan, Writer - Jim Keltner, Drums - Larry Knechtel, Organ - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings - Marc Ribot, Electric Guitar - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Chamberlain Strings, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - Cait O'Riordan, Writer

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

14
Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4
00:03:48

Benmont Tench, Contributor - Larry Knechtel, Piano - KEVIN KILLEN, Producer, Mixer, Engineer - Jerry Scheff, Tuba, Bass - MITCHELL FROOM, Producer, Chamberlain Strings - Marc Ribot, Banjo, Cornet - Max Garcia, Assistant Engineer - ELVIS COSTELLO, Contributor, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist - D.P.A. MAC MANUS, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Richard Sullivan, Assistant Engineer - D.P.A. McManus, Writer - Michell Froom, Contributor

1991 Warner Records Inc. 1991 Warner Records Inc.

Album Description

If Spike seemed frustratingly incoherent, it's nothing compared to Mighty Like a Rose, a deliberately dense, difficult record that is easily the most impenetrable that Elvis Costello ever cut. With producers Mitchell Froom and Kevin Killen, Costello made a record with no easy entrances, even if the sparkling Beach Boys-esque "The Other Side of Summer" and the lovely "So Like Candy" would have been accessible with different production. And, certainly, production is the most notable thing about this record. Filled with clattering production, spongy bass, cardboard guitars, studio white noise, and layers upon layers of tracks, there's so much going on that it's hard to get to the core of the songs. Not that Costello makes it any easier for the listener, either, since only a few songs (the aforementioned pair, plus "All Grown Up" and "Playboy to a Man") don't seem self-satisfied in their own construction. And his performances are nearly as affected as the songs, as he over-sings (albeit for effect) and contributes to the muddy wall of sound. Yes, this is "interesting," but it takes many plays before you realize all those "interesting" effects lead nowhere -- only to the strangest record Costello ever cut (and that's not a compliment, unfortunately). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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