Elvis Costello Forced to Cancel European Tour Following Surgery to Remove ‘Aggressive’ Cancer

© Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

(via msn entertainment)

Elvis Costello has been forced to cancel the remaining six dates on his European summer tour on doctor’s orders following surgery to remove what the 63 year-old singer described as a small but “very aggressive cancerous malignancy.” Six weeks after undergoing a procedure — the location of the tumor was not specified — Costello revealed that post-surgery guidelines recommend three to four weeks of recovery.

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Songs You May Have Missed #497

almost blue

Elvis Costello: “Sweet Dreams” (1981)

A song most associate most strongly with Patsy Cline, “Sweet Dreams” had actually been a hit at least twice already before her version was released just after her death in 1963.

In 1956 Don Gibson, the song’s writer, had a top ten country hit with the song. And in 1960 Faron Young’s version did even better. But since Cline’s version has done the most business in the years since, it’s become the “classic”.

Elvis Costello shocked fans in 1981 by releasing Almost Blue, a country album recorded in Nashville. It was his first album not to reach the top 30 in America, his fans not being ready to let him out of his New Wave pigeon-hole. But some of it really does stand up all these years later, including his take of “Sweet Dreams”, which includes some sublime piano work by Steve Nieve.

Elvis Costello Sings “Penny Lane” For Sir Paul

In June 2010, President Obama awarded Paul McCartney the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. At the concert which followed, Elvis Costello paid his own tribute with a very sincere reading of “Penny Lane”, with a member of the President’s United States Marine band playing the piccolo trumpet.

Costello is one of the very few latter-day pop writers to rival McCartney as a melodist. Listen to “London’s Brilliant Parade”, from 1994’s Brutal Youth album, and see if you hear in it as I do another homage to “Penny Lane”.

“London’s Brilliant Parade” http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/London+s+Brilliant+Parade/32ivWr?src=5


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