Breaking News Bar
posted: 6/9/2013 6:00 AM

Elvis Costello and The Roots team up on new album

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, left, and drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots secretly recorded their upcoming album, "Wise Up Ghost."

      English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, left, and drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots secretly recorded their upcoming album, "Wise Up Ghost."
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- When Elvis Costello and The Roots teamed up for a new album, they knew their pairing was unlikely and unconventional, so they secretly recorded music without the approval of their record labels.

"Sometimes if you ... get the record company involved, then people have ambition rather than starting to play, so we started to play," Costello said in a recent interview.

"We did it without a label or deadline pressure," said Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson as he sat next to Costello. "This absolutely was a passion project."

They began recording "Wise Up Ghost," which will be released Sept. 17, two years ago. It's a moody, 12-track album that features both new songs and others borrowed from Costello's catalog, including the drum-filled "Sugar Won't Work," which samples from "You Left Me in the Dark," and the soft and simple "Tripwire," which takes from "Satellite."

The Roots first collaborated with Costello on NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," where the hip-hop group is the house band. They also worked with the 58-year-old British rocker at a Prince tribute concert in March.

"This is like our dream -- that's all I can say," a smiling Questlove said. "This is the first project at 'Fallon' where I'm making my musical dreams come true."

Longtime Roots collaborator Steven Mandel co-produced "Wise Up Ghost" with Questlove and Costello.

"The thing I like most of all, the drums are really loud," Costello said. "I'm singing quite close, not having to yell to get it over."

The Roots released a collaborative album with John Legend in 2010. A year later, they released an album with Betty Wright.

Questlove says working alongside Costello, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was scary.

"I was worried in case it didn't work. I knew I'd be the bad guy," he said.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
  • This article filed under:
  • Music
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here