THE DELIVERY MAN
part of the hypothetical reissues series

ORIGINAL ALBUM (53:20)
  1. Button My Lip (4:51)
  2. Country Darkness (3:56)
  3. There's A Story In Your Voice (3:42)
  4. Either Side Of The Same Town (3:59)
  5. Bedlam (4:47)
  6. The Delivery Man (4:38)
  7. Monkey To Man (4:26)
  8. Nothing Clings Like Ivy (4:16)
  9. The Name Of This Thing Is Not Love (2:49)
  10. Heart Shaped Bruise (4:05)
  11. Needle Time (5:05)
  12. The Judgement (3:52)
  13. The Scarlet Tide (2:26)
Another album with a confusing release history, The Delivery Man was originally issued in September 2004 as a 13-track CD in the US, a 14-track CD in the UK ("She's Pulling Out The Pin" appeared between "Heart Shaped Bruise" and "Needle Time"), and a 15-track CD in Japan (in addition to "She's Pulling Out The Pin" appearing in the same spot, "The Monkey" closed the disc). The vinyl edition included all 15 songs on two discs.

"The Monkey" and six additional outtakes and alternates from the album sessions were released in January 2005 as a 10" vinyl EP entitled The Clarksdale Sessions. A CD version followed in March, but rather than being a standalone release, it was the second disc in a two-disc "deluxe edition" of The Delivery Man. The first disc matched the 14-track lineup described above.

DELUXE EDITION EXTRAS

SHE'S PULLING OUT THE PIN
    [The Delivery Man UK & Japanese CD bonus track; also on The Delivery Man vinyl edition]
Elvis told The Independent that "She's Pulling Out The Pin" was left off the US edition of The Delivery Man because "it slows the flow." Does that mean it didn't slow the flow on the UK and Japanese versions of the album, or was he slowing the flow on those albums deliberately? In any event, it was available as a standalone download on iTunes US at the time of the album's initial issue and received a physical US release on the deluxe edition.

THE MONKEY
    [The Delivery Man Japanese bonus track; also on The Delivery Man vinyl edition, "Monkey To Man" CD single and The Clarksdale Sessions]
Co-producer Dennis Herring plays guitar on this cover of Dave Bartolomew's song, to which "Monkey To Man" is the unauthorized sequel. Although they are all the same basic performance, the version on The Clarksdale Sessions and The Delivery Man: Deluxe Edition ends with a crossfade into the next track, while the Japanese CD, vinyl edition, and "Monkey To Man" CD single have a "clean" fadeout.

COUNTRY DARKNESS (THE CLARKSDALE SESSIONS VERSION)
    [also on The Clarksdale Sessions]
NEEDLE TIME (THE CLARKSDALE SESSIONS VERSION)
    [also on The Clarksdale Sessions]
THE SCARLET TIDE (THE CLARKSDALE SESSIONS VERSION)
    [also on The Clarksdale Sessions]
IN ANOTHER ROOM
    [also on The Clarksdale Sessions]
THE DELIVERY MAN (THE CLARKSDALE SESSIONS VERSION)
    [also on The Clarksdale Sessions]
DARK END OF THE STREET
Although the bulk of The Delivery Man was recorded at Sweet Tea in Oxford, Mississippi, the backing track for "Monkey To Man" was recorded during an April 15, 2004 visit to Delta Recording in nearby Clarksdale, as were "The Monkey" and the six tracks listed above. Most notable is the otherwise unreleased original "In Another Room" (which ends with an uncredited snippet of Professor Longhair's "Tipitina," an odd bit of foreshadowing of Elvis' next major project, the New Orleans-inspired The River In Reverse). A 1992 recording of Dan Penn and Chips Moman's "Dark End Of The Street" appears on Rhino's Kojak Variety. The rest are alternate versions of The Delivery Man songs, with "Needle Time" and "The Scarlet Tide" offering very different arrangements, while "Country Darkness" and "The Delivery Man" are closer to the album versions.

ADDITIONAL EXTRAS 2004

THE DELIVERY MAN (LIVE FOR iTUNES)
    [The Futurama Sessions iTunes download]
THE MONKEY (LIVE FOR iTUNES)
    [The Futurama Sessions iTunes download]
NEEDLE TIME (LIVE FOR iTUNES)
    [The Futurama Sessions iTunes download]
MONKEY TO MAN (LIVE FOR iTUNES)
    [The Futurama Sessions iTunes download]
BUTTON MY LIP (LIVE FOR iTUNES)
    [The Futurama Sessions iTunes download]
At New York's Avatar Studios on September 23, 2004, Elvis and the Imposters recorded "live in the studio" versions of five songs exclusively for iTunes. The title refers to Elvis' Futurama brand guitar, which features prominently on all tracks.

LOVE THAT BURNS (LIVE, MEMPHIS, APR. 17, 2004)
    ["Monkey To Man" CD single]
This live cover of a song by the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac was recorded at Memphis' Hi-Tone Café, where the Club Date: Live In Memphis DVD would be recorded five months later. The "Monkey To Man" CD single seems to have been the victim of very spotty distribution, and it is unlikely to be found for a reasonable price. (The four-track single's complete tracklist is: "Monkey To Man," "The Monkey," "Love That Burns," and the "Monkey To Man" video in QuickTime format. Be warned that there is also a two-track single which includes only "Monkey To Man" and "The Monkey."

MY FLAME BURNS BLUE (BLOOD COUNT) (STUDIO VERSION)
    [Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life soundtrack album by various artists]
With Elvis' vocal backed by only Joe Lovano's tenor sax and Bill Charlap's piano, this is obviously quite different from the live version with a 52-piece orchestra on the album My Flame Burns Blue. It was recorded in 2004 at Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey, but not released until 2007.

BEDLAM (FRANKINCENSE/NASHVILLE MIX)
    [iTunes download]
In May 2007, more than two years after the release of The Delivery Man, this puzzling track appeared on iTunes as a standalone download. A month later it was included in the iTunes Originals download-only compilation, where it was given a different parenthetical title, "Nashville Alternate Version." It is the same basic performance that appears on The Delivery Man in a subtly different mix. (For instance: The album mix has a shout of "Bedlam!" at 1:59 that does not appear in the Nashville mix. From 2:04 to 2:24, the album mix has some strident piano playing prominent in the mix accompanying the lyrics about the player piano. This is buried in the Nashville mix. Starting at 4:04, the album mix has percussion on the left channel that is either buried or missing on the Nashville mix.) Why such a subtle variation would be released, especially so long after the release of The Delivery Man, remains a mystery.

UNRELEASED & UNRECORDED

LOVE THAT BURNS (STUDIO VERSION)
An account of the Clarksdale session on studio owner Jimbo Mathus' former website (and preserved on the Internet Archive) mentions the recording of "an old Peter Green song" with Mathus joining in on guitar. This song is almost certainly "Love That Burns."

BUTTON MY LIP (UNEDITED)
Elvis told Entertainment Weekly's Chris Willman that the released take of "Button My Lip" originally ran a little over nine minutes, but it was edited down to a little under five for the album.

SUSPECT MY TEARS
BURNT SUGAR IS SO BITTER
Several unrecorded tunes were performed during Costello & Nieve's 1999 Lonely World Tour. Many of them — "45," "Alibi," "When I Was Cruel," "Oh Well," "Soul For Hire," "Heart Shaped Bruise," and "I Dreamed Of My Old Lover" — have since been recorded and officially released, but the rest have either been abandoned or continue to wait for a future project. In fact, "Suspect My Tears" and "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter" were revived at the concerts which immediately preceded the recording sessions for The Delivery Man, but it is unclear whether they were actually attempted in the studio. "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter" was co-written with Carole King.

I'LL WATCH OUT FOR YOU
Elvis premiered this ballad at one of the Memphis concerts (the April 17, 2004 early show) coinciding with the recording of The Delivery Man. Not only did it not appear on the album, it has never been heard from again!

COMIN' HOME BABY with Nancy Sinatra
A duet with Nancy Sinatra on this Bob Dorough/Ben Tucker song (recorded by Mel Tormé, among others) was planned for her 2004 self-titled album, but it failed to make the final cut because, according to Sinatra, "there wasn't enough time to wait for Elvis Costello to do his vocal." Although she speculated that it could appear on iTunes or a followup album, it has yet to materialize and may still be awaiting Elvis' vocal.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Elvis first mentioned The Delivery Man in his 1999 concerts as the title of a song cycle he was writing. He played two of its songs ("I Dreamed Of My Old Lover" and "Heart Shaped Bruise") and at one point (October 27 in Nashville) even recited part of the unfinished story, including some lyrics which later turned up in "The Delivery Man" and "Episode Of Blonde." Elvis was always unclear about whether he planned to turn this story into a concept album or a stage production or something else entirely. The eventual album The Delivery Man downplayed the original concept by alternating between the story's songs ("Button My Lip," "Country Darkness," "There's A Story In Your Voice," "The Delivery Man," ""Nothing Clings Like Ivy," "The Name Of This Thing Is Not Love," "Heart Shaped Bruise") and unrelated material. Additionally, the story's songs were presented out of sequence, and at least one key song ("I Dreamed Of My Old Lover") was left unreleased for the time being. (There is no evidence that it was even attempted during this period. It was finally released on Secret, Profane & Sugarcane in 2009.) The original story actually developed from a character in "Hidden Shame" (released in demo form on Rhino's All This Useless Beauty and re-recorded for Secret, Profane & Sugarcane), but it is unclear whether the song was ever intended as part of the song cycle. It is possible that additional songs remain unreleased. As a full production of The Delivery Man seems unlikely at this distance, perhaps the most likely vehicle to present the full story would be a collection of Elvis' demos for the project.

A Pretenders website reported in September 2004 that Elvis and Chrissie Hynde had recorded a version of Bread's "Everything I Own" for the film Happy Feet. The eventual film (released in 2006) did include a Chrissie Hynde cover of "Everything I Own" on its soundtrack, but it had no apparent Elvis involvement.


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