IMPERIAL BEDROOM

ORIGINAL ALBUM (50:57)
  1. Beyond Belief (2:33)
  2. Tears Before Bedtime (3:00)
  3. Shabby Doll (4:45)
  4. The Long Honeymoon (4:15)
  5. Man Out Of Time (5:25)
  6. Almost Blue (2:46)
  7. ...And In Every Home (3:20)
  8. The Loved Ones (2:47)
  9. Human Hands (2:42)
  10. Kid About It (2:44)
  11. Little Savage (2:37)
  12. Boy With A Problem (2:09)
  13. Pidgin English (3:58)
  14. You Little Fool (3:08)
  15. Town Cryer (4:16)
BONUS DISC (69:54)
  1. The Land Of Give And Take (early version of Beyond Belief) (3:02)
  2. Tears Before Bedtime (alternate version) (3:01)
  3. Man Out Of Time (alternate version) (3:41)
  4. Human Hands (early version) (2:42)
  5. Kid About It (alternate version) (3:14)
  6. Little Savage (alternate version) (3:06)
  7. You Little Fool (alternate version) (2:57)
  8. Town Cryer (fast version) (2:14)
  9. Little Goody Two Shoes (alternate version) (3:08)
  10. The Town Where Time Stood Still (alternate version) (2:56)
  11. ...And In Every Home (rehearsal) (3:11)
  12. I Turn Around (2:08)
  13. From Head To Toe (2:33)
  14. The World Of Broken Hearts (3:01)
  15. Night Time (2:53)
  16. Really Mystified (2:03)
  17. The Stamping Ground (3:08)
  18. Shabby Doll (demo) (4:17)
  19. Man Out Of Time (demo) (3:26)
  20. You Little Fool (demo) (3:07)
  21. Town Cryer (demo) (2:55)
  22. Seconds Of Pleasure (demo) (3:17)
  23. Imperial Bedroom (2:48)
The Imperial Bedroom bonus disc opens with ten outtakes (nine of them previously unreleased) from the November 1981 AIR Studios sessions for the album. It continues with one unreleased track from the October 1981 album rehearsals, five songs (all previously available) recorded at Matrix Studios in February 1982, and six solo demos from August 1981 (five of them unreleased), before concluding with Imperial Bedroom's non-album title track from May 1982. The alternates and demos for songs which appeared on the original album are presented in the same sequence that they appeared there, suggesting that somebody holds the Imperial Bedroom running order in high regard.

WHAT'S NEW

THE LAND OF GIVE AND TAKE (EARLY VERSION OF BEYOND BELIEF)
Since Elvis had spoken in interviews about this recording as early as 1982 and mentioned it again in the liner notes for both Girls + £ ÷ Girls = $ & Girls and the Ryko Imperial Bedroom, its eventual release here was particularly welcome. It features the same backing track as the album version but substantial differences in the lyrics and vocal melody.

TEARS BEFORE BEDTIME (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Completely different from both the country version on Ryko's Almost Blue and the "vocal group" version on the original Imperial Bedroom, this arrangement is notable for a straightforward vocal approach that puts the lyrics in the spotlight.

MAN OUT OF TIME (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Dating from early in the Imperial Bedroom sessions, portions of "our reckless attempt to play the song at this frenetic tempo" (as Elvis describes it in the liner notes for the Ryko CD, which did not otherwise include this performance) were grafted onto each side of a different take to form the album version of "Man Out Of Time." Because the "intro" and "outro" are so familiar and everything in between so different, this can be quite a disconcerting listen for anyone who has listened to the album version for years.

HUMAN HANDS (EARLY VERSION)
Although labeled an "early version," this has the same backing track as appeared on the original album. The difference is in the vocal and some lyrics, most notably the majority of the chorus,

KID ABOUT IT (ALTERNATE VERSION)
This early version of "Kid About It" features some lyric variations and Elvis singing in a more natural register throughout.

LITTLE SAVAGE (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Elvis' liner notes describe this better than I ever could: "One of several cuts rehearsed and even recorded in different tempi and time signatures. The slower pace of the album demanded the up-tempo arrangment be included, but the meaning of the song would have been better served by the approach of the unfinished version found on CD 2, even though the vocalist seems to be trying to escape the confines of the harmony."

YOU LITTLE FOOL (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Like the alternate "Human Hands," this is the album backing track with different vocals and some lyric differences.

LITTLE GOODY TWO SHOES (ALTERNATE VERSION)
The band recorded at least two versions of "Little Goody Two Shoes" during the Imperial Bedroom sessions: a fast version which was first issued on Out Of Our Idiot and has yet to turn up in Rhino's reissue program, and this slow version, heard here for the first time.

THE TOWN WHERE TIME STOOD STILL (ALTERNATE VERSION)
Elvis would attempt this song again a year later by playing most of the instruments himself (that version can be found on the Punch The Clock bonus disc), but this early version from the Imperial Bedroom sessions is a full band performance and boasts significantly higher fidelity. However, it is also missing some of the lyrics (including the entire final verse) which can be heard in the later version. Surprisingly, this is not the result of Elvis writing additional lyrics after the initial recording, as the full lyrics can be heard in the song's sole live performance, which predates both recorded versions.

...AND IN EVERY HOME (REHEARSAL)
"The funny thing about '...And In Every Home" is it started life as a rocker, as a really overt rocker like 'Pump It Up' or something and it had slightly too many chords in it for it to be effective," Elvis said on the promo LP A Conversation With Elvis Costello. Evidently the song had already changed considerably by the time of this rehearsal take, because it bears little resemblance to "a really overt rocker like 'Pump It Up' or something." For the most part it sounds instead like a stripped-down version of the album arrangement. This is the only released recording from the October 1981 album rehearsals held at "a friend's cottage in Devon," although it is certainly not the only one known to exist. Elvis writes in the Ryko liner notes that during rehearsals they "made quite credible 8-track recordings of most of the songs. That tape suggests an album very close to Trust."

MAN OUT OF TIME (DEMO)
YOU LITTLE FOOL (DEMO)
TOWN CRYER (DEMO)
These solo demos date from the same August 21 and 22, 1981 sessions at Pathway Studios which also produced the versions of "The Stamping Ground," "Shabby Doll," and "Seconds Of Pleasure" included on the bonus disc. Although this is the first official release for these three tracks, they had previously circulated among collectors. (And unlike the Get Happy!! and Spike demos which had been available unofficially for years prior to their release by Rhino, all of the available Imperial Bedroom demos are included on this bonus disc.)

WHAT'S OLD (BUT NOT ON THE RYKO CD)

TOWN CRYER (FAST VERSION)
An early track listing for the Ryko CD included "Town Cryer (Barry White version)," which is presumably the same as this track. It was probably omitted from that release due to lack of space. According to the Rhino liner notes, it was recorded "late one evening" during the Imperial Bedroom sessions "armed only with a wah-wah pedal and a beat group's attempt to imitate Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra." First issued on the B-side of "Man Out Of Time" and also included on the obscure NME Mighty Reel cassette, it makes its CD debut on the Rhino bonus disc.

SECONDS OF PLEASURE (DEMO)
The Ryko Imperial Bedroom included "Seconds Of Pleasure," but it was the 1982 recording from Am-Pro Studios which has been moved to Punch The Clock in Rhino's reissue program. This version was originally released on Ryko's Trust but has been moved here because it was recorded along with the other Imperial Bedroom demos at Pathway Studios between August 21 and 22, 1981. (Because the Am-Pro Studios version is available elsewhere in Rhino's reissue program, it is not included on the "What's Missing" list below.)

RYKO REPEATS

I TURN AROUND
The first of five songs recorded at Matrix Studios in February 1982, this Costello original was completely unheard (other than some lyrics reused in "The Invisible Man" on Punch The Clock) prior to its inclusion on the 1994 Ryko CD. Elvis plays organ in place of an absent Steve Nieve.

FROM HEAD TO TOE
THE WORLD OF BROKEN HEARTS
NIGHT TIME
REALLY MYSTIFIED
Rhino's track notes indicate that Steve is absent from the remaining Matrix recordings as well, but I believe this to be a misreading of Elvis' liner notes, which seem to refer specifically to "I Turn Around." "From Head To Toe" and "The World Of Broken Hearts" were first released as a September 1982 single, "Night Time" on the "Everyday I Write The Book" 12-inch single in 1983, and "Really Mystified" on the 1984 charity LP Sometimes A Great Notion. "From Head To Toe" was also included on Out Of Our Idiot.

THE STAMPING GROUND
Recorded August 21 or 22, 1981 at Pathway Studios along with the other Imperial Bedroom demos, "The Stamping Ground" was first released on the B-side of "You Little Fool," with the performer credited under the name "The Emotional Toothpaste." It was also included on Out Of Our Idiot.

SHABBY DOLL (DEMO)
Also recorded at the Pathway Studios demo sessions, this was released for the first time on Ryko's CD.

IMPERIAL BEDROOM
The non-album title track was recorded at Eden Studios May 2, 1982, well after the end of the album sessions but still prior to the album's release. It was credited to "Napoleon Dynamite & the Royal Guard" and first issued on the "Man Out Of Time" 12-inch single. It later turned up on the B-side of "Party Party" and Out Of Our Idiot.

WHAT'S MISSING (RELEASED RECORDINGS)

LITTLE GOODY TWO SHOES (OUT OF OUR IDIOT VERSION)
    [Out Of Our Idiot CD]
This outtake from the Imperial Bedroom sessions was one of two previously unreleased tracks included on Out Of Our Idiot (and only on the CD version of that compilation), and it has yet to appear anywhere else. It was in fact the only Out Of Our Idiot track not to be included in the Ryko reissue program, its absence apparently due to the Ryko Imperial Bedroom being filled to capacity. The Rhino bonus disc includes an alternate version of the song. Perhaps including the Out Of Our Idiot version as well was considered redundant, although the two versions are actually quite different from each other.

WHAT'S MISSING (UNRELEASED RECORDINGS)

As mentioned in the entry for "...And In Every Home (rehearsal)," additional recordings are known to exist from the Devon rehearsals, but they have yet to make their way into the hands of collectors.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The interesting "DJ edit" of "Man Out Of Time," which omits the album version's fast intro and outro can be found on Singles, Vol. 2.

Richard Groothuizen and Kees den Heyer's book Going Through The Motions (Elvis Costello - 1982/1985) includes the interesting claim that Imperial Bedroom "was originally scheduled to be a double album containing 23 songs," although it is unclear where that number comes from, and it could just as easily refer to the songs under consideration as the total recorded.



return to index

return to index