King of America [Rhino Bonus Disc]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Unlike the other installments of Rhino's ongoing Elvis Costello expanded reissue series -- started in the summer of 2001 and only now coming to an end in the spring of 2005 -- King of America is not released as part of a set of three albums. It is released on its own, reportedly because the album is Costello's personal favorite and so he and Rhino wanted to spotlight it via a stand-alone release. That makes a certain amount of sense, but bear in mind, there is only one other album in his 1977-1996 catalog that has yet to be reissued in this campaign and that is his 1993 collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet, The Juliet Letters, which isn't exactly his most ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Unlike the other installments of Rhino's ongoing Elvis Costello expanded reissue series -- started in the summer of 2001 and only now coming to an end in the spring of 2005 -- King of America is not released as part of a set of three albums. It is released on its own, reportedly because the album is Costello's personal favorite and so he and Rhino wanted to spotlight it via a stand-alone release. That makes a certain amount of sense, but bear in mind, there is only one other album in his 1977-1996 catalog that has yet to be reissued in this campaign and that is his 1993 collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet, The Juliet Letters, which isn't exactly his most beloved album, and wouldn't have made a good companion to King of America, which certainly is among his best-regarded and most-loved albums. Fittingly, King of America has been given a generous 21-song bonus disc, a lengthy new set of liner notes from Costello, and in a series first, a slightly altered cover shot the black-and-white photo of Costello in a crown, which was once sepia-toned, now has shades of color, so his cheeks are now a rosy red and there's gold highlights on the crown. Of these 21 songs, 11 appeared on the 1995 Rykodisc/Demon reissue -- the two sides of the Coward Brothers single "The People's Limousine," "They'll Never Take Her Love From Me", the demo "Suffering Face," the outtakes "Shoes Without Heels" and "King of Confidence," plus a covers-heavy set of six live tunes that was initially released as a bonus disc in 1995 -- leaving ten new songs. Of these, the highlights are a stark solo reading of Richard Thompson's thoroughly depressing "End of the Rainbow" and the bitter, politically charged "Betrayal," a song cut with the Attractions that would later mutate into Spike's "Tramp the Dirt Down." The rest of the new cuts are all solo demos, many of which were recorded on the verge of extreme drunkenness according to Costello's liner notes. Unfortunately, to the average listener they don't sound like they're on the verge of collapse, they merely sound like straight-ahead, mildly interesting demos that are the kind of thing you listen to once and then file away which applies equally to unreleased songs like the torchy "Having It All" and to such alternate versions as an early, bittersweet version of "I Hope You're Happy Now" [which would surface later in 1986 on Blood & Chocolate] and "Deportee," a reworking of "Deportee's Club" from Goodbye Cruel World. Of course, Costello fanatics will be happy to hear these rarities -- which are, by and large, quite good, even if they wouldn't warrant frequent plays, since they're curiosities more than forgotten treasures -- but most fans who own the Ryko/Demon reissue don't need to replace their copy with this new reissue, since with the possible exception of "Betrayal," all the major songs here are on that previous incarnation of King of America. Plus, the cover art looks better on that 1995 edition, too.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
This reissue is the definitive version of his 1986 acoustic masterpiece, featuring a bonus disc of extras.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/26/2005
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227464226
  • Catalog Number: 74642

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elvis Costello Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Jo-El Sonnier French Accordion
James Burton Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Steve Nieve Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Jim Keltner Percussion, Drums, Stick
Ralph Carney Saxophone
Michael Blair Percussion, Marimbas, Vibes
Ray Brown String Bass
T Bone Burnett Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Tom Canning Piano
Mickey Curry Percussion, Drums, Stick
Mitchell Froom Organ, Piano, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
David Hidalgo Vocal Harmony
Little Hands of Concrete Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar
David Miner Bass
Earl Palmer Percussion, Drums
Jerry Scheff Bass, Electric Bass, String Bass
Bruce Thomas Bass, Electric Bass
Pete Thomas Drums, Stick
Ron Tutt Percussion, Drums
Henry Coward Guitar, Vocals
Howard Coward Guitar, Vocals
T-Bone Wolk Accordion, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Piano-Accordion
Technical Credits
J.B. Lenoir Composer
Gary Stewart Reissue Producer
Elvis Costello Composer, Liner Notes
Buddy Holly Composer
Richard Thompson Composer
Mose Allison Composer
Dave Bartholomew Composer
Leon Payne Composer
Norman Petty Composer
Dan Penn Composer
Greg Allen Art Direction
Bennie Benjamin Composer
T Bone Burnett Producer
Larry Hirsch Engineer
Bill Inglot Producer
Spooner Oldham Composer
Andrew Sandoval Producer
Coward Brothers Producer
Henry Coward Composer
Howard Coward Composer
Declan MacManus Composer
Ivy J. "Jimmy" Bryant Composer
Dan Hirsch Remastering
Sol Marcus Composer
Gloria Caldwell Composer
Val Jennings Reissue Producer
Larry Kalman Hirsch Producer
Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus Producer
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