To murder, my love, is a crime... UL song of the day Sept. 20 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-20-2004, 09:30 AM   #1
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To murder, my love, is a crime... UL song of the day Sept. 20

Tomorrow marks the release of the third and fourth album by Elvis Costello in the last three years. "When I Was Cruel" was a bit of a brilliant throwback to the bitter work of the 70s and 80s, without sacrificing a bit of integrity. "North" was his soulful jazz pop album, and it was, though irony-free and straightforward, my favorite work of his since Spike, possibly since King of America. Tomorrow, "Delivery Man" and "Il Sogno" are to be released. "Il Sogno" is Costello's second release on Deutcsche Grammophon, a classical label, and will be comprised of original classical compositions. "Delivery Man," however, marks Costello's first album for Lost Highway, home of Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams, and Willie Nelson, among others. Seeing as Costello has made country and rockabilly albums in the past, I wouldn't be surprised to hear a few numbers in that style, although with Costello it is impossible to know until you hear the album (I've heard NOTHING about the album yet, myself). So anyway, today's song of the day is to get you's guys all pumped up for Elvis Costello Two-for-Tuesday.

"Man Out of Time"

So this is where he came to hide
When he ran from you
In a private detective's overcoat
And dirty dead man's shoes

The pretty things of Knightsbridge
Lying for a minister of state
Is a far cry from the nod and wink
Here at traitor's gate

'Cause the high heel he used to be has been ground down
And he listens for the footsteps that would follow him around

To murder my love is a crime
But will you still love
A man out of time

There's a tuppeny hapenny millionaire
Looking for a fourpenny one
With a tight grip on the short hairs
Of the public imagination

But for his private wife and kids somehow
Real life becomes a rumour
Days of dutch courage
Just three French letters and a German sense of humour

He's got a mind like a sewer and a heart like a fridge
He stands to be insulted and he pays for the privilege


The biggest wheels of industry
Retire sharp and short
And the after dinner overtures
Are nothing but an after thought
Somebody's creeping in the kitchen
There's a reputation to be made
Whose nerves are always on a knife's edge
Who's up late polishing the blade

Love is always scarpering or cowering or fawning
You drink yourself insensitive and hate yourself in the morning


To be honest, this song is a bit out there lyrically. There are plenty of witty couplets, but I think the biggest appeal here is the actual sound produced by the words. Even the chorus is a bit vague, but that's OK. The screaming guitar intro and outro almost place it in a surreal sonic existence. But the melody is divine, and it is easily one of my top 5 EC songs.

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Old 09-20-2004, 10:01 AM   #2
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Every time I listen to this song, it grows on me. When I initially heard it (on the 2CD The Very Best Of...) it didn't do that much to me. The screaming into and outro turned me off a bit. And I had no idea what the song was about.

Now, I have the expanded Imperial Bedroom (where this song is from) and that album is also a grower on me. The more I hear it, the more brilliant it sounds (buy it and if you can the 2CD reissue). The reissue also has the fast version, of which Elvis lifted some parts for the screaming intro and outro. Here are the relevant parts about the song Elvis wrote in the liner notes for the reissue of Imperial Bedroom:
The first two weeks did not go well. The only thing that really survives on the final record from those chaotic and undisciplined sessions is the screaming introduction and tag of "Man Out Of Time"- a fair indication of the tone of those days. We were trying to beat the songs into submission.


Disgusted, disenchanted, and occasionally in love, "Man Out Of Time"was the product of a troubling dialogue with myself that continued through my more regretful moments. I recall looking at my reflection in the frozen window of a Scandinavian tour bus without any idea who the hell I was supposed to be. I was trying to think or feel my way out of a defeated and exhausted frame of mind to something more glorious.
This was resolved in song, one shivering, hungover morning in the manicured gardens of a remote Scottish hotel. The house in which we were staying had played a very minor part in one of Britain's most notorious political scandals, apparently serving briefly as a bolt-hole for one of the disgraced protagonists. I actually delighted at the thought of this sordid history; it suited my mood. I can't say that the words and ideas that emerged from these experiences were exactly welcome news to some of the band members. Like I could give a damn.

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