NORTH
part of the hypothetical reissues series

ORIGINAL ALBUM (40:38)
  1. You Left Me In The Dark (3:25)
  2. Someone Took The Words Away (4:33)
  3. When Did I Stop Dreaming? (5:20)
  4. You Turned To Me (2:30)
  5. Fallen (3:08)
  6. When It Sings (3:53)
  7. Still (2:23)
  8. Let Me Tell You About Her (4:21)
  9. Can You Be True? (3:43)
  10. When Green Eyes Turn Blue (4:13)
  11. I'm In The Mood Again (2:34)
North was recorded in April and May 2003 at New York's Nola and Avatar Studios, with the Brodsky Quartet's contribution to "Still" recorded at London's AIR Studios.

Like When I Was Cruel, North included additional tracks in its UK and Japanese editions, plus there was the added twist of a download-only bonus track. Unlike When I Was Cruel, there was no Cruel Smile equivalent to bring these tracks to a wider audience, and they have yet to be released elsewhere.

RELATED EXTRAS

IMPATIENCE
    [North UK & Japanese CD bonus track]
Featuring backing by the Imposters, Marc Ribot, and most of the horn players from When I Was Cruel, this seems to have been relegated to "international bonus track" status because it doesn't sound much like the rest of North. It has yet to be released in the US.

TOO BLUE
    [North Japanese CD bonus track]
Sounding a bit less unlike the rest of North than "Impatience," this has not been released anywhere outside Japan.

NORTH
    [North bonus download]
The original North CD release included an insert with a code to download the non-album title track from elviscostello.com. The offer apparently expired a year later when the release of The Delivery Man prompted a redesign of the official website. This performance of "North" is different from the version on the DVD included with initial copies of the CD. (See "Additional Notes" below.)

ADDITIONAL EXTRAS 2002-2003

MY MOOD SWINGS with the Brodsky Quartet
    [Moodswings album by Brodsky Quartet]
REAL EMOTIONAL GIRL with the Brodsky Quartet
    [Moodswings album by Brodsky Quartet]
These tracks were recorded in November 2002 but not released until 2005. "My Mood Swings" is a new arrangement of the song previously recorded for The Big Lebowski (and discussed on the Painted From Memory page). "Real Emotional Girl" is a cover of the Randy Newman song which Elvis failed to persuade Anne Sofie von Otter to record for For The Stars.

CRYING TIME with Wanda Jackson
    [Heart Trouble album by Wanda Jackson]
Elvis duets with Wanda Jackson on the Buck Owens classic. Although recorded just before North in February 2003, its country sound and the backing band of John McFee, Davey Faragher, and Pete Thomas make it an obvious choice for a hypothetical reissue of The Delivery Man.

EVERYBODY'S CRYING MERCY (PEACE SONGS VERSION)
    [Peace Songs album by various artists]
Elvis had previously recorded this Mose Allison song for Kojak Variety, but the version on this Canadian album benefiting the War Child charity was newly recorded in March 2003 with the Imposters.

CRAZY (LIVE, NEW YORK, APR. 9, 2003) with Diana Krall and Willie Nelson
    [Live & Kickin' album by Willie Nelson & Friends]
Elvis, Diana Krall, and Willie Nelson share the vocals on the Nelson-penned Patsy Cline hit, performed for Nelson's 70th birthday concert/TV special.

LET'S MISBEHAVE
    [De-Lovely: Music From The Motion Picture album by various artists]
Elvis also performs this Cole Porter song onscreen in the Porter biopic.

MATTER OF TIME with Los Lobos
    [The Ride album by Los Lobos]
Elvis had covered this song in concert in1984 and 1985 with T Bone Burnett, who produced Los Lobos' original recording on their 1984 album How Will The Wolf Survive? For this remake, Elvis recorded his lead vocal and piano at a soundcheck during the North tour (Oslo, November 2, 2003). David Hidalgo's harmony vocal, Greg Leisz's pedal steel, and Garth Hudson's keyboards were added later. Hidalgo seems to be the only member of Los Lobos on the recording.

UNRELEASED & UNRECORDED

"ANOTHER VERSION OF NORTH"
In an interview in the October 2009 issue of British GQ, Elvis spoke of "another version of North. One that I recorded when I was, if you like, at my wits' end. I went into the studio above Steinway Hall on 57th Street [in New York]. I played the piano myself. It was Erroll Garner's piano, and it was practically impossible to play I stumbled through the songs. The result actually does sound like a man on the edge. ... But if I'd put that out, I think the idiots who wrote those 'it's a Dean Martin record' reviews would have seen the common ground with the raw songs in my catalogue." He said he chose not to release this version "because North wasn't all about desolation. It was also about renewal. I know that album is a very difficult listen. But North is exactly what it is supposed to be." The Brodsky Quartet's Paul Cassidy was presumably referring to this version when he described the North demos in Graeme Thomson's Costello biography Complicated Shadows: "These songs were the most extraordinary thing you've ever heard. Sixteen tracks of him on an old pub piano. Massive. I'd never heard Elvis like that. I'd never heard anything like it." It is possible the reference to "sixteen tracks" is only an approximation, but that is one more song than the 15 known to have been considered for North (the 11 which made the album plus "Impatience," "Too Blue," "North," and "Either Side Of The Same Town").

EITHER SIDE OF THE SAME TOWN (EARLY VERSION)
An early draft of "Either Side Of The Town" was among the songs considered for North. A solo composition at the time, the song would soon be reworked with co-writer Jerry Ragovoy for Howard Tate's 2003 album Rediscovered, and it was that version which Elvis recorded the next year for The Delivery Man. An arrangement by Paul Cassidy of the earlier draft was included in Elvis' concerts with the Brodsky Quartet in 2006 and 2009. The early version was very likely part of the alternate North described above, but it is unclear whether the song was attempted during the proper album sessions, at which point the song may have already been rewritten.

[COLD MOUNTAIN OUTTAKES]
Although specific titles are not available, Elvis recorded at least two traditional Civil War-era songs for possible use in the film Cold Mountain. Ultimately his songs went unused in favor of Jack White's versions of similar material. (All was not lost for Elvis, however. Alison Krauss' recording of "The Scarlet Tide," the song he and T Bone Burnett wrote especially for the film, played over the end credits and earned its composers an Oscar nomination.)

CAN YOU BE TRUE? (ALTERNATE VOCAL)
As is typically the case with albums in the 21st century, North leaked online several weeks prior to its release. Strangely, the leaked version of "Can You Be True?" included a slightly different lyric, with Elvis singing the final line as "you may be my man" instead of the album's "I may be your man."

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Initial copies of North included a bonus DVD with unique solo performances of "North" and "Fallen," plus the promotional video for "Still" (using the album recording for its soundtrack).

North was also released in the SACD format, featuring a 5.1 mix of the entire album. No bonus tracks were included.


return to index

return to index