Interview: Elvis Costello on Working Again With Burt Bacharach, Working on Projects Instead of Albums

by Paul Cashmere

Elvis Costello is working on two new projects with Burt Bacharach, one for a Broadway show.

“We are working on two musical projects at the same time. It is fairly and kind of intense. I never would have imagined it,” Elvis tells Noise11 news.

The new project will bring to the stage the 1998 Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach collaboration Painted From Memory. “One is an adaptation for the stage of Painted From Memory with new songs added and the other is development of another musical which will require even more new music. We are working at quite a speed. This has been a rocketship start to the year,” he said.

‘Painted From Memory’ grew from the movie Grace Of My Heart starring Illeana Douglas. Costello and Bacharach wrote and recorded the stunning God Give Me Strength for that movie.

Elvis says he no longer thinks about making albums. He now works on projects. “There is no need to make another one,” he tells Noise11. “There might be a desire. It doesn’t have anything to do with me making my living. That’s not the same of opportunities to record presenting themselves. The large repertoire of songs I am working on are not by any means complete or will they imminently be heard but they exist. The songs I am working on with Burt Bacharach are not being prepared for recording. Initially they are being prepared for performance on stage and for a musical. The production will have to reach a certain degree of success before we would think about an original cast record where we would represent at on record. That might not even more as automatic as it used to be because as you know the business of making records has changed quite a lot. Before every little thing was recorded. Now, not so much”.

When he spoke to Noise11 in 2013, Elvis said he might never make another album. Later in the year he collaborated with The Roots for Wise Up Ghost. “To make a record, literally like a mark in the log, doesn’t mean the same thing as the way you’ve known me in the past,” he said.

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