Spike (Elvis Costello album)
|Studio album by Elvis Costello|
|Released||14 February 1989|
Rhino (11 August 2001 Reissue)
|Producer||Elvis Costello, Kevin Killen & T-Bone Burnett|
|Elvis Costello chronology|
|Entertainment Weekly||(B) |
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The New York Times||(Positive)|
Spike is the 12th studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released on compact disc as Warner Brothers 25848. It was his first album for the label. It peaked at No. 5 on the UK album chart, and at No. 32 on the Billboard 200.
In 1987, Costello began writing with Paul McCartney for the latter's Flowers in the Dirt album. They composed a dozen songs together, which showed up on multiple albums by McCartney and Costello. Two of those songs appear on this album, "Pads, Paws and Claws" and the hit single "Veronica."
As his first album for a new label, in his own words Costello had the budget of "a small independent movie," and having in mind the blueprint for five different albums, decided to make all of them. He brought back his foil from King of America, T-Bone Burnett, to facilitate the sessions and produce the album. Studio time was booked in four different locations: Ocean Way in Hollywood; Southland Studios in New Orleans; Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin; and AIR Studios in London. Four different groups of musicians were assembled in each location. Writing credits on the album are given to both Declan MacManus and Elvis Costello.
The single "Veronica" peaked at No. 31 on the UK singles chart and at No. 19 in America, his best showing ever on the Billboard Hot 100. "This Town" was also released as a single but missed both of the main singles chart in both nations. An extended play single was also released for "Baby Plays Around," peaking at No. 65 in the UK.
The seventh track, "Tramp the Dirt Down," is a fiery lament, depicting Costello's anger at the Thatcher government and its effect on Britain's society. In the song, Costello expresses his desire to live long enough to see Margaret Thatcher die and vows, "I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down." The song reached No. 79 on the iTunes chart following Thatcher's death in April 2013.
Release history 
The album was released initially on compact disc in 1989. As part of the Rhino Records reissue campaign for Costello's back catalogue from Demon/Columbia and Warners, it was re-released in 2001 with 17 additional tracks on a bonus disc. The bonus disc included three tracks with Nick Lowe on bass and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas for use as b-sides, recorded at Wessex Sound Studios after the Spike mixing sessions. This reissue is out of print, the album reissued again by Universal Music Group after its acquisition of Costello's complete catalogue in 2006.
Track listing 
All songs written by Elvis Costello, except where noted; track timings taken from Rhino 2001 reissue.
- "...This Town..." – 4:32
- "Let Him Dangle" – 4:45
- "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror" – 4:07
- "Veronica" (Costello, Paul McCartney) – 3:09
- "God's Comic" – 5:31
- "Chewing Gum" – 3:47
- "Tramp the Dirt Down" – 5:41
- "Stalin Malone" – 4:09
- "Satellite" – 5:45
- "Pads, Paws and Claws" (Costello, McCartney) – 2:56
- "Baby Plays Around" (Costello, Cait O'Riordan) – 2:47
- "Miss Macbeth" – 4:23
- "Any King's Shilling" – 6:07
- "Coal-Train Robberies" – 3:18
- "Last Boat Leaving" – 3:31
2001 bonus disc 
Tracks 1-12 are solo demo recordings.
- "Miss Macbeth" – 3:51
- "...This Town..." – 3:50
- "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror" – 4:07
- "Coal Train Robberies" – 2:52
- "Satellite" – 4:50
- "Pads, Paws and Claws" (Costello, McCartney) – 2:08
- "Let Him Dangle" – 3:39
- "Veronica" (Costello, McCartney) – 3:03 b-side to "So Like Candy"
- "Tramp the Dirt Down" – 5:19
- "Baby Plays Around" (Costello, O'Riordan) – 2:42
- "Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness" – 3:17
- "Last Boat Leaving" – 3:29
- "The Ugly Things" (Nick Lowe) – 2:56 b-side to "The Other Side of Summer"
- "You're No Good" (Clint Ballard, Jr.) – 2:22 b-side to "Veronica"
- "Point of No Return" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) – 2:34 b-side to "Baby Plays Around"
- "The Room Nobody Lives In" (John Sebastian) – 4:46 b-side to twelve-inch and CD single of "Veronica"
- "Stalin Malone" – 3:12 version with recitation
- Elvis Costello – vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, piano, bells, acoustic bass guitar, organ, melodica
- T-Bone Burnett – acoustic guitar, bass, national steel guitar
- Cait O'Riordan – maracas, bells
- Derek Bell – Irish harp, hammered dulcimer
- Frankie Gavin – fiddle
- Dónal Lunny – acoustic guitar, bouzouki, electric bouzouki
- Davy Spillane – pipe, uilleann pipes, Low whistle
- Steve Wickham – fiddle
- Christy Moore – bodhran
- Pete Thomas – drums
New Orleans 
- Lionel Batiste – bass drum
- Gregory Davis – trumpet
- Willie Green - drums
- Kevin Harris – tenor saxophone
- Charles Joseph – trombone
- Kirk Joseph – sousaphone
- Roger Lewis – baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone
- Jenell Marshall – snare drum
- Allen Toussaint – grand piano
- Efrem Towns – trumpet
- Michael Blair – glockenspiel, marimba, tambourine, xylophone, bells, timpani, vibraphone, Chinese drums, Oldsmobile hubcap, Parade drum, anvil, whiplash, crash-box, temple bells, snare drum, "magic table", metal pipe, "Martian dog bark"
- Ralph Forbes – electric drums, drum programming
- Mitchell Froom – organ, harmonium, electric piano, chamberlin, Indian harmonium
- Roger McGuinn – twelve-string guitar, Rickenbacker bass guitar
- Jim Keltner – tom-toms, snare drum, Chinese cymbal
- Jerry Marotta – drums
- Buell Neidlinger – cello, double bass
- Marc Ribot – banjo, electric guitar, Spanish guitar, sounds
- Jerry Scheff – electric bass, double bass, fuzz bass
- Benmont Tench – piano, clavinet, spinet, Vox Continental
- Tom "T-Bone" Wolk – accordion, bass
- Chrissie Hynde – harmony vocals
- Nick Lowe - bass
- Paul McCartney – Hofner bass guitar, Rickenbacker bass guitar
- Pete Thomas - drums
Chart positions 
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (October 2010)|
- Allmusic review
- Blair, Iain (5 March 1989). "Elvis Is Back! Costello, That Is, Driving A `Spike` Into Fads". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Raftery, Brian M. (4 May 2001). "Spike Review". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Cromelin, Richard (5 February 1989). "Album Review : Costello Opens Floodgates in 'Spike'". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- Pareles, Jon (19 February 1989). "RECORDINGS; Elvis Costello's Happy Marriage Of Lyrics and Music". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- Robert Christgau review
- Rolling Stone review
- Costello, Elvis. Spike. Rhino Records 8122 72486 2, 2001, liner notes, p. 3.
- Ibid., p. 4.
- Ibid., p. 25.
- Sherwin, Adam (10 April 2013). "'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead' closer to number one spot as it reaches top five following Margaret Thatcher's death". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Ibid., p. 7.
- Steffen Hung. "Elvis Costello - Spike". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "dutchcharts.nl Elvis Costello - Spike" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "charts.org.nz - Elvis Costello - Spike" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- "swedishcharts.com Elvis Costello - Spike" (ASP) (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- "Elvis Costello - Spike". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
- Allmusic - Elvis Costello > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
- "British album certifications – Elvis Costello – Spike". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Spike in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Elvis Costello – Spike". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH