MIGHTY LIKE A ROSE

ORIGINAL ALBUM (54:28)
  1. The Other Side Of Summer (3:53)
  2. Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over) (4:00)
  3. How To Be Dumb (5:09)
  4. All Grown Up (4:14)
  5. Invasion Hit Parade (5:31)
  6. Harpies Bizarre (3:44)
  7. After The Fall (4:34)
  8. Georgie And Her Rival (3:36)
  9. So Like Candy (4:34)
  10. Interlude: Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 2 (0:22)
  11. Playboy To A Man (3:16)
  12. Sweet Pear (3:36)
  13. Broken (3:36)
  14. Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4 (3:49)
BONUS DISC (67:51)
  1. Just Another Mystery (4:13)
  2. Sweet Pear (home demo) (3:42)
  3. Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4 (live) (4:17)
  4. Mischievous Ghost with Mary Coughlan (5:43)
  5. St. Stephen's Day Murders with The Chieftains (3:21)
  6. The Other Side Of Summer (Unplugged version) (4:06)
  7. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (Unplugged version) (4:43)
  8. Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over) (Unplugged version) (4:16)
  9. All Grown Up (home demo) (4:32)
  10. Georgie And Her Rival (home demo) (3:18)
  11. Forgive Her Anything (home demo) (3:58)
  12. It Started To Come To Me (home demo) (2:46)
  13. I Still Miss Someone / The Last Town I Painted (demo) (2:44)
  14. Put Your Big Toe In The Milk Of Human Kindness with Rob Wasserman (4:07)
  15. Invasion Hit Parade (home demo) (4:18)
  16. Just Another Mystery (home demo) (3:41)
  17. Broken (home demo) (3:22)
The Mighty Like A Rose bonus disc includes a fully produced studio recording of a previously unheard Costello original, eight home demos (five of Mighty Like A Rose songs), four live recordings (three of them previously available), a medley of two country songs, and three previously available Costello originals making their first appearance on a Costello album. Unlike the other Rhino bonus discs which generally group similar material together, there is little obvious logic behind the running order, so the disc begins with a studio recording followed by a home demo followed by a live recording and so on.

Mighty Like A Rose was largely recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, with vocal and orchestral sessions at Westside Studios in London.

WHAT'S NEW

JUST ANOTHER MYSTERY
A rarity among Costello reissues, "Just Another Mystery" was completely unheard and unknown in any form prior to this release and is presented here in a completely finished, elaborately produced studio recording from the Mighty Like A Rose sessions. Elvis explains in the liner notes: "Having completely forgotten about the studio recording until it was retrieved from the archive for this edition, I can only imagine I found it lacking some of the feeling of the demo version," which appears later on the bonus disc. Unfortunately, no musician credits are available for this track, but it presumably features some of the same musicians who appear on the main album.

THE OTHER SIDE OF SUMMER (UNPLUGGED VERSION)
This is one of three songs taken from Elvis Costello and the Rude 5's appearance on MTV Unplugged, which was taped June 3, 1991 at Warner Hollywood Studios. An early track listing for the Mighty Like A Rose bonus disc curiously listed this as "The Other Side Of Summer (Rolling Thunder version)," an apparent reference to Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue and his penchant to present his songs in radically reworked arrangements. Although this is the first official release of this recording, it was previously available on numerous bootlegs.

SWEET PEAR (HOME DEMO)
ALL GROWN UP (HOME DEMO)
GEORGIE AND HER RIVAL (HOME DEMO)
FORGIVE HER ANYTHING (HOME DEMO)
INVASION HIT PARADE (HOME DEMO)
JUST ANOTHER MYSTERY (HOME DEMO)
BROKEN (HOME DEMO)
These home demos are scattered throughout the bonus disc, but they share a similar sound which suggests they were all recorded at roughly the same time in 1990 or shortly before. The demo of "It's Time" on the All This Useless Beauty bonus disc may have been recorded at this time as well. Elvis writes in the liner notes: "I had sketched out most of the arrangements on a home-recording set-up that allowed me to illustrate the parts in more detail. I worked without a drum machine, preferring to imitate the ebb and flow of an ensemble but did play a number of odd percussion accents, most of which were faithfully incorporated within the percussion parts."

IT STARTED TO COME TO ME (HOME DEMO)
The one home demo on this disc with a noticeably different sound, this was probably recorded around 1991, the year the song was copyrighted. The finished version on All This Useless Beauty appeared under the slightly different title "Starting To Come To Me." If this was originally intended for another artist like most of the other All This Useless Beauty songs, it is possible that this demo was recorded during the Mighty Like A Rose period but never under consideration for the album.

I STILL MISS SOMEONE / THE LAST TOWN I PAINTED (DEMO)
Elvis had performed Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" and George Jones' "The Last Town I Painted" in concert before, but the medley arrangement is unique to this solo studio recording from the Mighty Like A Rose sessions. Although described as a "demo," this sounds like it could just as easily have been recorded as a lark rather than as a blueprint for a future re-recording that never happened.

WHAT'S OLD

COULDN'T CALL IT UNEXPECTED NO. 4 (LIVE, MANSFIELD, JUN. 21, 1991)
This recording from the Mighty Like A Rose tour was first issued on the 12-inch and CD single for "So Like Candy." The singles included a brief but amusing spoken intro ("Look out, music lovers. I'm going to play the piano.") which was unfortunately omitted from this release.

MISCHIEVOUS GHOST with Mary Coughlan
This was first released on Bringing It All Back Home, the soundtrack album for the BBC TV series about Irish music. According to the liner notes for that release, it was "written especially for Bringing It All Back Home by Elvis Costello. It features a string sextet, 2 violins, 2 cellos, and 2 violas, arranged by Fiachra Trench, with Donal Lunny on bodhran, Davy Spillane on uileann pipes, Mary Coughlan vocals, and Elvis Costello lead vocal and 12 string guitar. Musically, according to Elvis Costello, 'Mischievous Ghost' is a 'collision between a discipline like chamber music and a melody derived somewhat from traditional music.' Recorded in Ringsend Road Studios, Dublin on Thursday 12th April, 1990."

ST. STEPHEN'S DAY MURDERS with The Chieftains
Elvis' second ode to the 26th of December (after "TKO (Boxing Day)") was recorded in May 1991 at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin and originally released on The Chieftains' album The Bells Of Dublin.

DEEP DARK TRUTHFUL MIRROR (UNPLUGGED VERSION)
HURRY DOWN DOOMSDAY (THE BUGS ARE TAKING OVER) (UNPLUGGED VERSION)
Like "The Other Side Of Summer," these both come from Elvis' appearance on MTV Unplugged, taped June 3, 1991 at Warner Hollywood Studios. "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror" was first issued on the various artists compilation The Unplugged Collection Volume One, while "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)" first appeared on the "So Like Candy" 12-inch and CD single.

PUT YOUR BIG TOE IN THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS with Rob Wasserman
This was recorded especially for Rob Wasserman's album Trios, released in 1994. The collaboration between Costello, Wasserman, and Marc Ribot was recorded at Ocean Way in 1990 during the Mighty Like A Rose sessions, perhaps at the same time as "After The Fall" and "Broken," which also feature Wasserman and Ribot.

WHAT'S MISSING (RELEASED RECORDINGS)

ALISON (LIVE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, OCT. 26, 1990)
    [The Bridge School Concerts Vol. One album by various artists]
This performance from the 1990 Bridge School benefit concert is notable for background vocals from Neil Young and not much else.

VERONICA / THE WAYS OF LOVE (LIVE, MOUNTAIN VIEW, OCT. 26, 1990)
    [The Bridge School Collection, Vol. 2 iTunes download]
Coming from the same show as "Alison," this performance incorporates a snippet of Neil Young's "The Ways Of Love," a song otherwise unrecorded by Elvis. (This was released as an iTunes exclusive in 2006, long after Rhino's Mighty Like A Rose.)

MAY 17TH
    [Ferrington Guitars album by various artists]
This brief instrumental, in which Elvis plays all three of his guitars custom built by Danny Ferrington, was released on a bonus CD accompanying the book Ferrington Guitars in June 1993. Although it is not entirely clear when the song was recorded, the book was copyrighted in 1992, so the song is unlikely to have been recorded any later than that. Also, the photo of Elvis inside the book comes from the 1990-1991 "beard years," which may indicate Elvis submitted the song and photo when that look was still current.

WHAT'S MISSING (UNRELEASED & UNRECORDED)

PLAYBOY TO A MAN (HOME DEMO)
This was included in a preliminary track listing for the Mighty Like A Rose bonus disc but did not make the final cut. This was recorded by Elvis alone and should not be confused with the duet version included on the bootleg The McCartney/MacManus Collaboration (which I have listed on the Spike page).

TRAMP THE DIRT DOWN (1991 VERSION)
Elvis has frequently reworked his songs in concerts, but the changes are not ordinarily as drastic as the 1991 reworking of "Tramp The Dirt Down" which incorporated quite a few new lyrics to update the story. It seems very unlikely that this was ever formally recorded.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Elvis' version of "Weird Nightmare" dates from the Mighty Like A Rose period but is discussed on the Kojak Variety page.


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