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Elvis Costello Revisits ‘Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ Shows With Box Set

Spinning Songbook
Hip-O Records

Imagine a time before the ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ movie, when the name conjured visions not of an eccentric teenager but of an even freakier attraction — Elvis Costello on tour in the ’80s dressed up as a fictitious game show host of the same name, offering up a giant wheel for fans to spin to determine the next song he would play.

Costello and the Imposters recently revisited that era for two concerts at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theater in May of 2011, and those shows have been documented on the new ‘Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ box set.

In 1986, Elvis Costello and the Attractions took his album ‘King of America’ out on the road with something called the The Spectacular Spinning Songbook, which featured the aforementioned giant wheel spun by fans to pick the next song to be played — hits, rarities, covers, it had it all. Each night, Costello would play the role of purposefully gaudy game show host Napoleon Dynamite.

Out Nov. 28 and produced in a limited run of just 1,500 numbered copies, the ‘Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ super deluxe box set covers Costello’s recent two-night return to the Napoleon Dynamite character and the Spinning Songbook in L.A. on a 16-track CD (collecting the best tunes from both nights) and a 19-track DVD (documenting the entire second show).

Also coming with the set is a 10″ vinyl EP featuring four additional songs, a 40-page hardbound photo book, Costello’s journal entries from the tour, a 20″ x 30″ poster, a limited edition tour postcard and a commemorative card signed by Costello himself. How much will all this set you back? Just $251.51, that’s all.

If you don’t feel like shelling out all that loot — and we don’t blame you — just wait until next year, when camp Costello promises the CD and the DVD will be released both individually and together as a set.

‘Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ Super Deluxe Box Set Track List:

Disc 1: CD – The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, May 11-12, 2011
1. ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’
2. ‘Heart of the City’
3. ‘Mystery Dance’
4. ‘Radio Radio’
5. ‘Everyday I Write the Book’
6. ‘God Give Me Strength’
7. ‘Watching the Detectives’
8. ‘Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution)’ (featuring Susanna Hoffs)
9. ‘Out of Time’ (Mick Jagger-Keith Richards)
10. ‘I Want You’
11. ‘Stella Hurt’
12. ‘All Grown Up’
13. ‘Lipstick Vogue’
14. ‘Man Out of Time’
15. ‘National Ransom’
16. ‘(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?’

Disc 2: DVD – The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, May 12, 2011
1. ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’
2. ‘Heart of the City’
3. ‘Mystery Dance’
4. ‘Radio Radio’
5. ‘Clubland’
6. ‘God Give Me Strength’
7. ‘Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution)’ (featuring Susanna Hoffs)
8. ‘Out of Time’
9. ‘I Want You’
10. ‘Everyday I Write the Book’
11. ‘Stella Hurt’
12. ‘A Slow Drag with Josephine’
13. ‘Jimmie Standing in the Rain’
14. ‘Alison’
15. ‘Earthbound’
16. ‘(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?’
17. ‘Uncomplicated’ (Bonus Track)
18. ‘Watching the Detectives’ (Bonus Track)
19. ‘Monkey to Man’ (Bonus Track)

10″ EP: The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, May 11-12, 2011
1. ‘Pump It Up (in 6/8)’
2. ‘Busted’
3. ‘Brilliant Mistake’
4. ‘Strict Time’

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