by Don RoseI admit it. I enjoy sharing good quality discoveries I find on the Web,
and this week I came across 4 music vids I think you will like.
As it turns out - totally unplanned - these videos feature 2 musical acts
who happened to score their highest-charting U.S. singles 20 years ago...
and in consecutive order (one got to a #1 chart position right after the other). The artists: Elvis Costello & XTC. (Can you name the 2 singles?) Okay, here's the scoop: 2009 is the 20th anniversary of Elvis C
scoring his highest charting single in the United States ("Veronica");
it went to #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts (its number one single
March 18 - 25, 1989) and got to #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song that dethroned Elvis C atop the Billboard Modern Rock chart
was by XTC; their 1989 single "Mayor of Simpleton" (from the album
"Oranges and Lemons") reached #1 on Billboard Modern Rock as well as
#72 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Thanks, Wikipedia. Now, to the videos: 1: ELVIS COSTELLO AT AMOEBA RECORDS SF + LA 2009 (Songs & Interview)
Shot during the course of one day in June 2009, when Elvis did a noon show
in San Francisco and then jetted to LA for an 8pm gig. Both SRO; both Amoeba
store locations. (I wonder if fellow Liverpudlian Paul McCartney advised Elvis to
do Amoeba shows after his own Amoeba LA gig exactly two years earlier?)
This video features a couple of songs from his latest album,
some "behind the scenes" with fans on line, and an interview with Elvis.
Very good quality audio and video in this "mini-documentary".
(More from the Elvis Amoeba shows available at www.amoeba.com.) 2: ELVIS C. "VERONICA" LIVE AT WARNER BROS RECORDS BURBANK 1989
Now let's timewarp back exactly 20 years before the above Amoeba gigs.
The person who posted this little gem writes, "Elvis plays for Warner Brothers
employees out on their patio, June 6 1989. Happier times."
I love this one. Sure, the video and audio is a bit rough,
but it is Elvis solo, performing his new single on, yes, a Burbank office patio!
(and, as is the case for most gems I find online, I found
it by accident while looking for something else). Here is Elvis raw,
playing by himself - a taste of how his younger self might've sounded busking
in Liverpool, just him and his guitar and his passion and a small crowd around
him. Make sure to watch till the very end; his last line is rather amusing. 3: XTC "MAYOR OF SIMPLETON" PROMO VIDEO (MTV? UK?) 1989
I believe this was XTC's official video for the single (either in US or UK).
Partridge proudly proffers pure power pop perfected. Love it. Song still shines.
Video's in black and white, and the direction exudes 60s wackiness with
many a nonsensical moment - but, hey, this song is so catchy and fun
it really doesn't matter what the shots are showing. Fun bouncy song,
fun video. Decent quality audio, and visuals are okay for 20-year-old B&W. 4: XTC "King for a Day" Live on MTV ACOUSTIC SESSIONS 1989
This may be relatively rare, since it sounds like there is hardly anyone in the
audience (listen to the very end) and the beginning is a little rough, but I
like those authentic rough edges. It's a 3-acoustic-guitar version of the song,
another solid pop tune from "Oranges and Lemons". Possibly a rehearsal take.
One YouTube commenter said this about the clip: "5/16/89 MTV Studios.
Very cool stuff pre-dating Unplugged by MANY months. This was MTV's
first foray into this." Good sound quality - and you can see the chords, too. Enjoy, everyone!
Till next time...
www.thelareport.com Elvis Costello performs live at the GREEK THEATRE on August 18, 2009.