Memphis Release Date, Track List & Music

Elvis Costello’s next release will be an album recorded in Memphis.

A digital-only collection slated for November 25, “The Boy Named If (Alive at Memphis Magnetic)” collects 11 tracks, all but one of which were studio recorded by Elvis Costello and his longtime band, the Imposters, at Scott’s Mc Ewen Memphis Magnetic Recording Co. on Vance Ave.

The recordings – which include Costello originals as well as covers of songs by The Beatles (“Here, There and Everywhere”), The Rolling Stones (“Out of Time”), The Byrds (“So You Want to Be a Rock’ n ‘ Roll Star”), Nick Lowe (“Truth Drug”) and Paul McCartney (“Let Me Roll It”, from the album “Band on the Run”) — were made in October 2021 and May 2022, when Costello and the Imposters were rehearsing at Memphis Magnetic for tours in support of Costello’s album, “The Boy Named If,” which was released in January.

The first tour started on October 13, 2021 at Graceland’s Soundstage, which is why the band was rehearsing in Memphis in the first place. A day earlier, Costello visited WEVL-FM 89.9a nonprofit community radio station on South Main, for the radio debut of her new single, “Magnificent Hurt.”

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In an essay on the new EMI/Capitol release, Costello writes: “When The Imposters and I entered the Memphis Magnetic studio in October 2021, it was the first time we were face-to-face or side-by-side playing to the songs of ‘The Boy Named If.’ This album had been recorded on “electric wire” in late 2020 from our respective dens and cupboards under the stairs, but now we were in Memphis under the guise of rehearsing for our first full tour since the end of the world in March 2020. Now we were three just days after opening on the Graceland Soundstage, but what better way to prepare than to play some of your favorite songs while negotiating the trickiest angles of our new tunes.”

Citing the band’s good faith in Memphis, Costello added that drummer Pete Thomas, a longtime Costello associate in both the Imposters and his predecessor band the Attractions, “once jumped over a fence to salvage a brick from the demolition site of the original Stax Studios building. He told all the musicians with a failing groove in his own basement studio… ‘That brick heard, ‘(Sittin’ On) the Dock Of The Bay.'”

Elvis Costello in the booth of radio station WEVL on Tuesday October 12, 2021 where he hand-delivered a copy of his new record Magnificent Hurt.  Costello will kick off his new tour Wednesday at Graceland.

As its title suggests, “The Boy Named If (Alive at Memphis Magnetic)” is something of a companion album to the old “The Boy Named If”: The Costello originals included on the Memphis album are studio renditions of songs that debuted in more polished form on the studio set. The exception is a remix of “Magnificent Hurt” by Japanese female rap duo chelmico, which Costello describes as “a complete re-model” of the song (can a remix album titled “This Year’s Re-Model” be far behind?).

Costello concludes his essay with the promise of more Memphis hardware to come. Recalling his rehearsals at Memphis Magnetic, he wrote, “That evening I returned to my room at the Peabody Hotel and over the next three nights heard seven new songs ringing ’round the walls… but that’s a tale for another day…”

“The Boy Named If (Alive at Memphis Magnetic)” track listing

  • “Magnificent injury” (Elvis Costello)
  • “Truth Drug” (Nick Lowe)
  • “Penelope Halfpenny” (Costello)
  • “So you wanna be a rock ‘n’ roll star” (Jim McGuinn/Chris Hillman)
  • “What if I can’t give you anything but love?” (Costello)
  • “The Boy Named If” (Costello)
  • “Let Me Roll” (Paul McCartney/Linda McCartney)
  • “Every day I write the book” (Costello)
  • “Out of Time” (Mick Jagger / Keith Richards)
  • “Here, There and Everywhere” (Paul McCartney)
  • Remix of “Magnificent Hurt” (Costello/chelmico)