KOJAK VARIETY

ORIGINAL ALBUM (54:21)
  1. Strange (2:48)
  2. Hidden Charms (3:30)
  3. Remove This Doubt (3:51)
  4. I Threw It All Away (3:21)
  5. Leave My Kitten Alone (3:18)
  6. Everybody's Crying Mercy (4:05)
  7. I've Been Wrong Before (2:58)
  8. Bama Lama Bama Loo (2:45)
  9. Must You Throw Dirt In My Face (3:47)
  10. Pouring Water On A Drowning Man (3:35)
  11. The Very Thought Of You (3:37)
  12. Payday (2:58)
  13. Please Stay (4:50)
  14. Running Out Of Fools (3:02)
  15. Days (4:58)
BONUS DISC (65:04)
  1. Ship Of Fools (5:18)
  2. My Resistance Is Low (1:58)
  3. Innocent When You Dream (4:27)
  4. I'm Coming Home (3:11)
  5. The Dark End Of The Street (3:07)
  6. Congratulations (2:44)
  7. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (2:10)
  8. Pouring Water On A Drowning Man (alternate version) (2:51)
  9. Still Feeling Blue (2:20)
  10. Brilliant Disguise (4:00)
  11. How Long Has This Been Going On (2:27)
  12. Sleepless Nights (3:53)
  13. Step Inside Love (2:44)
  14. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (2:35)
  15. Sally Sue Brown (2:16)
  16. Sticks And Stones (1:33)
  17. That's How You Got Killed Before with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (3:10)
  18. The Night Before Larry Was Stretched (5:07)
  19. But Not For Me with Larry Adler (5:02)
  20. Full Force Gale (2:59)
Kojak Variety was recorded over two weeks in 1990 at Blue Wave Studios in Barbados, with Elvis' background vocals added later at Eden Studios in London. Its official release came a full five years later in 1995.

Due to the unusual delay between recording and release, it is possible to follow an especially loose definition of which bonus material is chronologically appropriate for Kojak Variety. The bonus disc begins with the only known outtake from the album sessions (the previously available "Ship Of Fools"), continues with 10 demos (seven of them previously unreleased) which Elvis recorded for George Jones in 1992, and concludes with nine more previously available odds and ends (several from multi-artist "tribute albums") recorded between 1989 and 1998. Like the main album, the bonus disc consists entirely of covers.

Kojak Variety is unique among the Rhino reissues in that only one song ("Pouring Water On A Drowning Man") appears on both the main album and the bonus disc, so there is hardly any repetition at all between the two CDs.

WHAT'S NEW

INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM
I'M COMING HOME
THE DARK END OF THE STREET
YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME LONESOME WHEN YOU GO
POURING WATER ON A DROWNING MAN (ALTERNATE VERSION)
STILL FEELING BLUE

HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON
The seven unreleased songs on the Kojak Variety bonus disc were recorded October 2, 1992 in Pete Thomas' home studio. Elvis had mentioned to George Jones that there were many fine songs outside the "country" genre which could easily become country songs if delivered by Jones' voice. To illustrate his point, Elvis (and the rhythm section of Paul "Bassman" Riley and Pete Thomas) quickly recorded an album's worth of the songs he had in mind. So far George Jones has apparently decided against recording any of them. Although the existence of Elvis' demos was revealed in the March 1994 issue of Musician magazine, only three of the 10 demos have been released until now. These demos sound more finished than most of Elvis' demos, and the song selection is especially interesting because only "Pouring Water On A Drowning Man" (a Kojak Variety album track) and "The Dark End Of The Street" (which Elvis has played in concert) are otherwise associated with Elvis.

WHAT'S OLD

SHIP OF FOOLS
By far the most obvious choice for the bonus disc, "Ship Of Fools" is the only known outtake from the Kojak Variety sessions. It was recorded especially for the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated, released in 1991, long before Kojak Variety itself.

MY RESISTANCE IS LOW
CONGRATULATIONS
BRILLIANT DISGUISE
These are the previously available "George Jones demos." Hoagy Carmichael's "My Resistance Is Low" and Paul Simon's "Congratulations" appeared on the "London's Brilliant Parade" 12-inch single. The vinyl-only release was a rather perverse move in 1994, after CD had been firmly established as the dominant format. The Kojak Variety bonus disc is their first CD release. Bruce Springsteen's "Brilliant Disguise" was first released on the "It's Time" CD single in 1996 and later appeared on 2003's Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Elvis had already released a live version of this song (a 1984 performance first appeared on Ryko's 1995 reissue of Goodbye Cruel World) prior to recording this 1998 studio version, which was released in 1999 on Return Of The Grievous Angel: A Tribute To Gram Parsons. Its inclusion on Rhino's bonus disc is a bit of a surprise, as it dates from after Elvis' 1997 departure from Warner Bros. Aside from "She" on The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, this is the only post-Warner Bros. recording on any of the Rhino reissues.

STEP INSIDE LOVE
YOU'VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY
STICKS AND STONES
These songs were recorded for the BBC television series The Family in February 1994 at Westside Studios, during the same session(s) which produced "Life Shrinks" and with the same backing band (Steve Nieve, Steve Donnelly, Trevor Barry, and Pete Thomas). All were first released on the "You Tripped At Every Step" CD single in 1994. "Step Inside Love" and "Sticks And Stones" actually appeared as Kojak Variety bonus tracks once before — on an extremely rare edition of the CD limited to 200 copies, only half of them released to retail, where they were distributed Willy Wonka style with customers only learning what they had upon opening the package.

SALLY SUE BROWN
This was recorded by Elvis alone during the "Life Shrinks"/The Family session(s) and released on Adios Amigo: A Tribute To Arthur Alexander in 1994.

THAT'S HOW YOU GOT KILLED BEFORE with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Elvis handles the lead vocal on this track from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band's The New Orleans Album, released in 1990. It was recorded at some point between August and December of 1989 at New Orleans' Ultrasonic Studios, with additional recording at New York's Sorceror Sound. Elvis' liner notes indicate that his involvement was limited to New York.

THE NIGHT BEFORE LARRY WAS STRETCHED
This traditional Irish tune was Elvis' contribution to 1996's Common Ground — Voices Of Modern Irish Music. It was recorded in the autumn of 1995, during an extended hiatus between sessions for All This Useless Beauty. Elvis' liner notes say it was recorded in Dublin, but the track notes indicate it was recorded at London's Bunk, Junk & Genius studios with only the mixing taking place at Dublin's Windmill Lane Studios.

BUT NOT FOR ME with Larry Adler
Renowned harmonica player Larry Adler was featured throughout the 1994 album The Glory Of Gershwin, produced by George Martin. Elvis' contribution was recorded at AIR Lyndhurst Studios. The liner notes mention that George Martin's arrangement includes a quote from Elvis' unreleased composition "The Trouble With Dreams" (sung by Mary Wiegold at the 1995 Meltdown festival).

FULL FORCE GALE
    [No Prima Donna — The Songs Of Van Morrison album by various artists]
Elvis' only a capella recording to date is a collaboration with vocal group The Voice Squad. It was released on 1994's No Prima Donna — The Songs Of Van Morrison, a tribute album co-produced by Van Morrison himself (and Phil Coulter).

WHAT'S MISSING (RELEASED RECORDINGS)

WEIRD NIGHTMARE
    [Weird Nightmare: Meditations On Mingus]
This "tribute album" contribution is conspicuous by its absence. It was in fact included on an early track listing for the bonus disc but was ultimately replaced by "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched." It may end up on Taking Liberties or the proposed collection of Elvis' "artier things" instead.

THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME (LIVE, NEW YORK, APR. 12, 1994) with Tony Bennett
    [MTV Unplugged album by Tony Bennett]
This duet with Tony Bennett always seemed like a bit of a long shot for inclusion as it is arguably more of a guest appearance than a Costello performance. However, it remains possible that it could be used on Taking Liberties or "artier things."

WHAT'S MISSING (UNRELEASED RECORDINGS)

No unreleased material is known to exist from the Kojak Variety sessions.

Elvis held only one concert to promote the release of Kojak Variety. On May 17, 1995, he and the Attractions plus James Burton and Marc Ribot performed every song from the album and a handful of other songs at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire. The show was professionally recorded for a heavily edited radio broadcast, which is widely available on bootleg. (The omitted songs have also been bootlegged, but not as widely.) Although the show was notable for the augmented band and several rarely performed songs, it suffered from Elvis' voice being in very bad shape, making an official release of any of its songs unlikely. "The show was not a success," Elvis says in the Rhino liner notes.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

"Strange" and "Leave My Kitten Alone" on disc 1 of the Rhino release have slightly longer fadeouts than on the original Warner Bros. CD.

Two covers recorded with The Brodsky Quartet in 1994, "She Moved Through The Fair" and "Lost In The Stars," are not included in the "what's missing" list above because they seem likely to appear on The Juliet Letters.


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